“I had to leave my country because I fell in love with a woman.” – Kiron Student, Ani
I am a lucky girl! A fun wizard who loves music, but does not know how to dance! My name is Ani, I am from Indonesia, from the island Sulawesi, and I had to leave my country because I fell in love with a woman. I came to Germany because of love. It is a long story. We ran away together from Indonesia because it is such a strict country, where they do not accept gay love. So we had to run away. We met at a solar eclipse event. It was very romantic. I was an IT student, also working for a tourism office, when we fell in love. However, I could not tell my family. My dad is a police officer and my aunt is working in an immigration office and I have a lot of family all over the city. But they found out! I had already decided to get my passport ready to leave the country when my aunt discovered that I wanted to leave. She checked my undercover Facebook page. I have two Facebook profiles in order to hide my secret identity. But my aunt found out and saw that I was having a relationship with a woman. It was very difficult! I talked to my family before I left, I waited to talk to them after dinner. I tried to explain but they were really mad. I am still in touch with them today – I tell them that I am happy here, that I am studying and that I am doing well. But it is hard for them to understand. When I talk to them when my love is around, they change their mood and it is not easy. This creates a lot of tension, not just between my family and me, but also between us as a couple. I really miss my twin sister. Maybe she understands me better because we are twins. We will even meet each other out of the country in Malaysia. Since, I really cannot go back to my home country. I am paranoid that my family will catch me. I am kind of “wanted” back home. My family is looking for me. If they would find me they would put me into a mental home, where I would have to undergo hypnosis and psychotherapy because they think being gay is an illness.
I was 21 when I came to Germany – now it has been nearly a year that I am in Berlin. I really like the city. My favorite spot is the flea market at Mauerpark, where you have a lot of street food. I am happy here and I found Kiron. I read about it for the first time online and immediately applied. It was easy and cool. I was able to choose to study whatever I wanted. Now I study Computer Science with Kiron. I was so happy because I was able to get a sponsored computer from Project Reconnect. The laptop is very useful for my online study! And I found friends at Kiron that support me. So I think: I am just a lucky girl! One day I would like to have my own company, a company that helps people, just like Kiron does. Back in Indonesia, I was already helping out in my community. I was teaching English to the elderly and the rural population. I like helping others. My friends always tell me to study social work. But I don’t want to. I am fascinated by Computer Science. You can make things in your mind become reality! That is why I want to find my own social startup one day. Or I am going to be working with Kiron and will make it even more awesome than it is right now.
Interview by Flora Roenneberg