Phelo Bala might make up half of one of Mzansi’s most loved-up couples, but living and loving as an openly gay man has never been easy for him

His coming out story was evidence of the struggles he has had to overcome.

Phelo looks happier than ever these days. He and his lover, Moshe Ndiki appear to be on cloud nine, his family loves his new partner and after getting engaged earlier this year, a wedding is definitely on the horizon. Phelo looks like he’s living the dream of every hopeless romantic, but his reality hasn’t always been rosey.

This week, the singer and socialite took a moment to reflect on the journey towards being an openly gay man and, on National Coming Out Day, he shared his story with his followers for the first time ever.

He began by stating that “coming out” – i.e. the act of revealing your sexuality to friends and family – was a difficult mountain for him to overcome

He wrote on Instagram, “Coming out was never easy. I’ve had to deal with people viewing me differently, backlash, homophobia, losing business because I now do not fit the “criteria”. Living a lie was not what I wanted for my life, especial if I wanted to grow mentally and emotionally.”

Although he’s been quite public about his sexuality for some time, for years it was widely reported that his own family didn’t approve of his sexual orientation. Rumours were rife that his brothers, Loyiso and Zwai stopped making music with him (the three used to form a musical trio known as the Zwai Brothers) after he disclosed his sexuality.

Despite this, relations between his family members appear to have improved and Phelo is no longer apologetic about who he loves. He ended his powerful testimony on an encouraging note when he wrote, “Life is hard enough as it for me to imprison myself and hide who I really am. The upside is that I now have peace. Peace with myself and I focus my energy on those that truly love me because there will always be someone that loves you for YOU!”

 

Even when faced with homophobia, Phelo can take heed from the fact that he’s now living and loving in a much more supportive country than the one he first came out in.

Have you or someone you know ever had to “come out”? What advice would you give to someone in the same situation?