‘When I finally came out to my mum at the age of sixteen, one of the very first thing she said to me was: “Don’t you dare have sex without a condom. Really. I will kill you faster than AIDS ever could.”

To this day, bullying has affected how I interpret other people’s intentions towards me. There’s a voice inside my head that is constantly telling me that most people have issues with me and that eventually, they will do me harm.

In my first couple years in Berlin, I would go out and feel intimidated by pumped-up muscle gays. In no way did their bodies resemble mine. Over the years, I came to realise that that scene is very shallow. I prefer to hang out with people who have developed loving and healthy relationships with their bodies.

‘To this day bullying has affected how I interpret other people’s intentions towards me’

This city taught me to grow into my body. I am aware of it and try to listen to its needs. I quit eating junk food and make efforts to truly nourish myself.

Last year, I stopped taking drugs and alcohol. Too many Berlin nights started innocently, with going to the cinema with a friend, then continued in a bar while doing some lines of speed, and ended up in an orgy that lasted until noon the next day. When the drugs began to wear off, I would realise that these guys weren’t actually that hot. Often, I wondered: “Why did I do that, why did I think that was necessary?” Part of the reason is innocent enough, you just want to enjoy the experience that is on offer. But it is also the result of a craving for connection with people – something that never gets fulfilled.

People who live in this city have major commitment issues. They don’t judge, but the flip side is that they are indifferent. I never made it past the five-month-mark in a relationship. I get easily bored with people. Or perhaps this is just a mechanism to avoid getting too close to someone and running the risk of being rejected?

‘It is time for me to be vulnerable and to connect’

Rejection is part of life. It shouldn’t prevent you from pursuing the things – or the people – you love. If you want to connect to other human beings, you have to be vulnerable. It might be scary as fuck, but it is the only way.

It is time for me to connect. There are almost four million people living in this city. I think based on the sheer number, it is impossible not to find other guys that are ready for love.’