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Hey @DrummaBoy @sorry to hear you’ve had a tough go of it these days 😞 but thank you for coming back to share! It’s an honour and privilege to get to hear your story and the vulnerabilities. I have a rough time engaging in eye contact with people and then those days where I can’t even meet my own gaze in the mirror, like I’m ashamed or something. I know how disheartening and isolating that feels. On top of that I’m hearing that your being disrespected and unheard by the people who should be there for you the most and I’m so sorry that’s the case. Insensitivity can further aggravate that “us vs them” mentality but I like to think that family is who we choose. Also playing devil’s advocate, do you think your parents are just going through the process of acceptance because they have to reframe how they thought you would love your life? That’s no excuse for their impudence but it may be a factor. I’m glad you’ve already realised you shouldn’t suppress your own feelings to please others. It takes a lot

of reflection and courage to get to the point so I’d like to celebrate that achievement celebrate 🎉 

I have a quote that I think is befitting for this moment

”Sometimes, doing something we dread- and surviving, is the best kind of therapy”

You said initially you were really looking forward to it. Hold on to that emotion. I know there is so much weighing you down but that fact you had that nugget of hope is what you need to start the spark of acceptance and forgiveness. The queer dating and speed friending event sounds like a great opportunity to not only put yourself out there but build on your confidence. I am certain everyone at that event would have an insecurity they come in with and for those who can’t see past visuals and aesthetic. Well frankly they aren’t worth your time. I sincerely hope you make connections and meet sincere, genuine people. In the meantime, take it a step at a time with your parents but keep boundaries, letting them know when things they’ve said or language they’ve used is hurtful. 
I’d love  to hear how the event goes!

Take care and have fun,

you deserve it because you are worthy and priceless 🌈 

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