I was on the way to my next destination in Mexico. I sent a Couchsurfing request to this guy who looked like an interesting and easy-going person... but I kept my expectations low as always. And as almost always, I was pleasantly surprised.
I found in Jasiel a person who, despite having many issues, got past the toughest situation and became only stronger and more determined than ever.
"I just started the primary school and I already had a kind of crush on a male classmate. I didn't know back then what that feeling was. At the age of 15, I already knew I was attracted to boys. My parents are Jehova witnesses and very conservative: they didn't accept the fact I was gay. They put me on therapy, gave me medicines, wanted to "cure" me. The only result was my leaving home. I went to live with my grandparents when I was 17. I worked instead of going to school. Suddenly, I found this freedom I didn't know what to do with: I started to party a lot, drink excessively, and I met many new people. I moved in with my boyfriend but that ended really bad. I changed cities, worked in restaurants, sales, anything where I would be hired. After a few years, I decided to come back to the South and study. I discovered I could have fun without alcohol. I met so many amazing and motivating people from all over Mexico and the world. People are open-minded here, you don't need to go to a gay bar to be yourself.
I am glad my parents never supported me financially because otherwise maybe I would have taken everything for granted, turned into an alcoholic or drug addict. But I don't have a family now. I haven't talked to my parents for a long time, I look after myself, I work and study. My parents were convinced I wouldn't finish the university. I've just received my diploma in chemical engineering and I'm going for a master's degree now."
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico