Social media remembers Kwaito singer Mandoza as his funeral service is underway in Soweto

WATCH: We decided to give three middle-aged people the opportunity to try social media for the very first time

Villa Rosa actor comes out as gay in response to Orlando shooting

2016-06-15 14:36
 

Johannesburg - Jacques Pepler (25), who played the role of Eben in kykNET’s former soap Villa Rosa, has come out in response to the devastating Orlando killings.

Jacques’s character Eben also came out last year in October in the long-running soapie, which ended in March. 

Jacques posted a picture of himself kissing his partner of six months, Ruan van Biljon, on Instagram on Monday in the wake of the Orlando massacre. “I am gay,” he wrote. “I am one of the minority that is so openly and easily discriminated against. I am one of the people who so many would condemn due to their religion, but I know in my heart that I am a Christian and my God does not hate.”  

Jacques added that he was always too scared to be open to his sexuality because of what people would think of him or his image as an actor and that he was scared he would lose roles if he come out as openly gay.

He also told mambaonline.com: “I feel free. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”  He said that after the massacre in Orlando he realised it is more important to be brave and come out publicly.   

For a very long time I've been too scared of what people would think of me or my "image" due to the notoriety that comes from being in the public eye as an actor on television. I've also been scared about the fact that if I ever admitted it, that I would be denied roles that I know I can play (which will probably happen after this) but after what has just happened in Orlando with the terror attack on the LGBTQI community I've realised that it's more important to be brave and come out of the closet publicly and to admit it. I am gay. I am one of the minority that is so openly and easily discriminated against. I am one of the people who so many would condemn due to their religion, but I know in my heart that I am a true Christian and my God does not hate. Think about it; Who in their right mind would choose to be gay when so many youngsters are disowned by their parents, or taunted and abused by most of society? I was born this way, and after 25 years I have finally found the courage to be proud of who I am after so many told me how wrong my "lifestyle choice" is. Trust me, this wasn't a choice. No one chooses this. The gay community already faces so much hatred with so many, including me, attempting suicide and most of them succeeding. Now with this terror attack it will inevitably be more difficult for gay people to come out for fear of being killed for who they are. But I say that WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN! WE WILL BE BRAVE! AND WE WILL FIGHT FOR EQUALITY! I have been given a platform in the public eye and I am here now to hopefully be a role model of sorts or just a beacon of hope for all the gay people who feel that they aren't good enough or less of a man for being gay. You are not alone. You are never alone. You can be yourself and you are loved. Come out when you are ready and we will be waiting with open arms to accept you as the beautiful person that you are. My thoughts and prayers are with all the people affected by the Orlando tragedy. I am devastated. #ProudlyGay #LoveIsLove #LoveWins #Orlando  #PrayersForOrlando #KissForEquality Feel free to share so that many can see that there is love and acceptance out there...

A photo posted by Jacques Pepler (@jacquespepler) on



Read more on:    celebrities  |  orlando shooting
NEXT ON CHANNEL24X

 

Recent News

Local crime drama Cape Town, is like the bad reality show Clifton Shores, with even worse acting. Read More »

What's good on the box this week? City Press' Grethe Kemp gives you the scoop on what to watch on TV this week. Read More »

inside channel 24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.