My name is Toan and I’m glad to tell my story. Life can take unexpected turns and rarely goes the way you planned it. I’m a homosexual man living in Vietnam. I have faced all kinds of challenges. After I graduated from high school in 2007, I followed a major study in electro refrigeration in Tra Vinh, a provincial city located in the Southern part of Vietnam. During the first two years of my study, friends and other people in my neighbourhood were constantly teasing me and calling me ‘gay’. Their unfriendly behaviour made me sad and I often felt depressed. Because of the people’s attitude and mockery I decided to quit my study.

Fortunately, I have always been able to make my own choices

Time had also come to leave my family and live on my own. But I had nothing in my hands. Yet I could lead an independent life thanks to my work in a restaurant. My situation was complicated at that time and I wanted to keep my job, so I agreed to have sex with the restaurant owner. After a while, the idea came into my head that I could earn much more money if I changed job. So I started to work in a massage shop. But because I was a newcomer, I had to face difficulties and much pressure, for example violence from customers and exploitation by my managers. I felt powerless and desperate.

In 2010, I had feelings for a customer of the massage shop and he also had sympathy for me. My new friend advised me to go back to school. I liked the idea, so I gave up working in the shop and, with his support, I started a major in hospitality. Now I have a stable job which I really like and I also have a lover. I addition, the relationship with my relatives is much better than before. Fortunately, I have always been able to make my own choices and take a new turn in my life when I want it myself. I feel happy now.

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