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Buddy never really liked his parents, and they never truly got along. They argued and disagreed and butted heads over almost everything. They didn't see eye-to-eye on politics, to religion, to lifestyle and how to raise good healthy happy kids.
Buddy is an atheist, while his parents are very devout Muslims. Buddy is very liberal, while his parents are very conservative. And, Buddy is also unapologetically gay, while his parents, not surprisingly, are extremely homophobic.
But, even though on the inside it was really clear that he didn't get along with his parents, he was never very public or vocal about his disagreements with his parents.He still needed a roof over his head, and food to eat, and money in his pocket, and he was afraid that if he shared who he really was and what he really believed too strongly they would kick him out of the house, maybe even disown him.
Because of that, he formed what looked like a good relationship with his parents, but it was totally fake and artificial - on the inside, he just didn't get along with them. They saw him as being practically perfect, a good and trustworthy kid, but Buddy saw that his parents were really flawed.
His mom liked to hold grudges, was very quick to judge people, and liked to enforce really old fashioned gender roles, like boys should do yard work and take out the trash and that girls only belonged in the kitchen and were destined to become subservient housewives. And his father was so invested and distracted by his work that he never formed and real bonds with his children.
He was also upset at the way his four sisters were treated. His parents wouldn't allow his sisters to have any friends over. They weren't allowed to have phones, or do any extra curricular activities, or drive once they reached the age where they could legally get their licenses.
And it was even worse with Buddy, especially when he tried to come out to them and tell them he was gay - twice. The first time, his parents begged him to date girls because they saw his coming out as a real threat to them. The second time he tried they just threw out a slew of insults and homophobic falsehoods ranging from the idea that gay people were in fact mentally ill, to the idea that it was a simple choice and he was just making the wrong one. They threatened to disown him and told him he would be a failure in life unless he "fixed himself."
This all made him so unhappy and he imagined that he would be under the control of his parents for the rest of his life. So, he felt he had to continue to pretend to be the perfect little straight Muslim boy in the house, dating girls and praying and the rest. He didn't think much of it, had been doing it pretty much his whole life, but when he finally confided in his friends they saw it for what it was, miserable and very, very unhealthy. They asked him to imagine what he would be and how he would feel if he was far enough away from them that they couldn't watch his every move, and judge and control him.
That was a turning point for him and, realizing his parents were more like prison guards than anything else, he thought of the farthest place he could go without them having a negative impact on him and still be successful and thrive as a young gay man.
After doing a little bit of research he concluded that California would be the best place for him -- a thriving LGBT community, a ton of diversity and acceptance, and on the other side of the country from his toxic family life and parents. So, he applied to a few schools in California and, was accepted to attend UCLA! It was one of the happiest moments of his life.
His parents were hesitant about it at first, because of how far away it was, but they were happy to have him go to such a highly acclaimed school - that's mostly what they cared about.
Since moving to Los Angeles Buddy has never been happier. He is part of a really diverse community with amazing friends, endless support, and a great education. Even though he returns home on Holidays and has to pretend, just like he used to, he is so happy to be out of that toxic house and on his own.
His next wish is for his sisters, that they will recognize the truth about their parents, follow in his footsteps, and escape!
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