Skip to Main Site Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Back To Top
decorative element

Genocide Survivor, LGBTQ Member Says Your Life Has Purpose

Published on February 23, 2015

Genocide Survivor, LGBTQ Member Says Your Life Has Purpose

“The fact that you have a life, you have a purpose,” said Daniel Trust, a Rwanda genocide survivor and advocate of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or Questioning (LGBTQ) community.

On Feb. 11, Trust spoke at Eastern Connecticut State University about his experience growing up in Rwanda during the genocide.  At the age of five, Trust witnessed his mother being beaten and killed. “That’s the last image I have of my mom – being beaten right in front of me,” said Trust. “It’s haunted me my entire life.”

Trust was adopted by his older brother, and lived with him until he got in touch with his older sisters who had moved to America.  He was beaten and traumatized throughout his childhood. Embedded in his head, Trust believed, “I could never do anything right.” The journey took years, but Trust finally came to America and received a college education, graduating from Southern Connecticut State University in 2013.  However, Trust ran into some suicidal thoughts when he realized he was attracted to men. “If I’m gay, no one will want to hear my story anymore,” said Trust. He lost all hope and seriously debated taking his own life, until he realized – “The fact that you have a life, you have a purpose.”  God saved him from the genocide in Rwanda.  He was alive and here on this earth for a purpose.  He would live.

With this decision and realization, Trust came out, pronouncing himself gay in 2011.  He told employees, he told friends, he told family.  He felt relieved.  He received both positive and negative comments, but Trust only focused on the good.  “I am gay,” said Trust. “You either like it or you don’t.”

Written by Kathryn Shpak