Saturday, June 11, 2005

I am Officially Uncloseted Today

Today marked another milestone in my life.

I was doing a bit of revision this morning (had to start now, even though exam is in August). Mom was busy in the kitchen. Dad was at work. Brother was in taekwondo class.

Typical non-working Saturday morning for me. I couldn’t be more wrong.

Ok, the signs were there. When we were still together, my ex-boyfriend had said that I would definitely be found out by them. ‘Parents aren’t stupid, you know. Besides,’ he said, ‘it’s almost as if like you wanted them to find out.’

And earlier this month, I posted about the hazards of not coming out. I have also posted about one of the conversations I had with mom.

Yesterday, I did think about coming out, as the things that I was hiding from them seemed to be piling up very fast recently and it was getting tiresome.

Looking back, I think it all added up. Somehow, by writing and blogging about it, I think I have psyched myself up unconsciously.

So finally, when my mom asked, “Are you gay?” I said, though still with some hesitation ‘Yes.’

I know, you must think I am out of my mind.

But at the back of my head, I was thinking, ‘That wasn’t so hard, was it?’ (Warning: You are advice not to try this at home, unless you are 100 percent sure that you are ready.)

At first, she kept asking, ‘You think you are gay? How long have you thought you are gay?

‘I don’t think, I know I am. How long? Since form three.’ (it was form one actually. I still don’t know why I shave off two years).

She then moved on to gay friends. ‘How many gay friends do you have? Who amongst your friends that are gay?’

‘None from secondary school.’

‘Then from primary school, got is it?’

‘Not that I know of.’

‘So who are those people you always chat online with anyway?’

‘I know them from the internet.’

‘Is Vincent gay?’ (Vincent is my best friend from secondary school. I am out to him, but still we are tight.)


‘Why can’t you be normal like other people? Girls are not attractive to you?’

‘No. And I am normal. Do you think I am not normal? I am still the son that you have always known.’

‘Yes, I know. But men and women are complementary. They fit each other sexually. How can two men be together?’

I avoided that for a while and added, ‘Besides, what most of the majority of the population do is not necessarily normal.'

Then I launched into gay myth-busting mode. Obviously, she needed more convincing about how normal homosexuality is. I gave her the usual facts: 4 percent of the male population, across all countries and cultures, are gay; existence of but undocumented cases of homosexuality in history (I mean, how many historians were or are gay?) and that AIDS is not a gay disease.

Apparently, she wasn’t as in the dark as I thought she was about homosexuality. She said that Chinese newspapers have reports and articles about homosexuals. They weren’t exactly negative portrayals, neither were they positive. They just presented the facts, which is more than I can say about the mainstream Malay and English dailies.

I can’t read Chinese to save my life, but I am real glad that she can.

‘Are you OK?’ (Stupid question, of course she was not OK.)

‘Don’t be too heartbroken.’

‘Of course I am heartbroken. Who would have thought that my own son is gay?’

‘Do you still love me?’

‘You are my son. Of course I love you no matter what. Nothing would ever change that. You think I’ll disown you or kill you or hurt you just because you are gay?’

I nodded.

‘Why didn’t you tell me earlier? So how come you have always denied it and assured me that you are normal?’

By hiding about my sexuality, I have also hidden a lot of other things about myself from her. I never realized to what extent, but now I do. My mom said she almost didn’t know me anymore. Yup, it was that bad.

She has no idea who my friends are and what I did outside.

She has always maintained that I could tell anything. Anything at all. I believed her, but apparently it was not enough. I didn’t believe that her love for me would surpass her desire to have grandchildren, daughter-in-law and keep ‘face’ (respectable reputation in society / how society perceives someone).

I was wrong. And I was stupid to have doubted her.

So, for every question that she asked, I tried to give her a clear, logical answer. The answers are all in my head anyway. It was the clarity part. I had to control myself from breaking down and crying like a baby.

Though there was one question, which I didn’t answer. ‘What about your brother? Is he gay too?’

‘Erm .. I wouldn’t know, would I? I think you better ask him that yourself.’

Of course, I have to make her promise not to tell Dad. He would definitely freak out and probably react very similarly to Justin’s (Queer as Folk) father. Clearly, there was no Brian Kinney to seduce me (though I sometimes wish there was), so most probably I would be the one bearing the brunt of his anger.

As you would have probably known, the relationship between my dad and I is not exactly rosy. It’s almost non-existent.

As such, my mom advice me to be nice to him, to show him respect, because after all he is my father. Furthermore, he’s old and how many years do you think he has in him? He will be devastated, if he were to find out that I am gay, exacerbated by the fact that I don’t treat him with respect.

I didn’t promise anything, I just said I will try.

She seemed to have taken it pretty well. I estimated that her tears could roughly fill a cup. It is still better than crying buckets, right?

Before she left the room, I gave her a hug. ‘Thanks for understanding, Mom. I love you.’


Will said...

OMG I just read this. You are so BRAVE.

I applaud you.

Espion said...

Wow! You didnt say whether you cried or not? Did you?

pluboy@takashi said...

i love u too cynikeel.. u're so brave and then.. it just so happen like that..

i dun think i can ever acted like u did.. never ever..

God bless you.. :P

Derek said...

Thank you, thank you so much for the support.

I don't mean to sound arrogant or anything, but now that I have actually come out, I can say this : it's all in the mind. My fears were actually quite unfounded. I shouldn't have doubted my mom's love.

Trust me, they know. They are just waiting for the confirmation from the horses mouth.

I do hope that whichever of you who plans to do the same, will have a smooth coming out too.

Thanks again, I really appreciate it.]

P/S Of course I cried. I am not a cold-hearted bastard, you know? LOL.

Espion said...

Not cold maybe but manipulative? :-)

Nicky Dominique said...

I am fucking PROUD of you! You're a superstar!

Derek said...

Thanks nicky. Looking forward to your turn soon, perhaps?

CT2005 said...

Excerpt from Latter Days (2003) starred by Steve Sandvoss:

When Aaron homosexual's act of kissing a guy was discovered, he was being sent home in shame. There is a scene whereby his mother sort of interrogated him :-

Mum : "Is Christian the one?" [Note : Christian is the name of the guy whom Aaron love]
Aaron : "em ", Aaron nodding his head with a adorable smile.
Mum : "What did he do to you?", irritated by her son's expression.
Aaron : "He love me..."
Mum : "Don't say that! Do you know how ridiculous it sounds? Do you know how repulsive that is to God, to everyone! Two men...? Men don't love. Only women brings love to a relationship."

Aaron : "Mum, he told me he love me"
Mum : "He could have told you anything and beguile you."
Mum : "You must put this thing behind you. This horrible mistake that everyone knows about. You have seen how other people look at us, how they looked away at the bank..... What if your father doesn't come home anymore?" his mother starts weeping quietly.
Aaron : "What if it is not the things I have done? What if it is because of who I am", aaron started to get agitated and tears well up in aaron's eyes
Mum : "Don't say that!! Don't you ever say that!!" His mum suddenly slap aaron on his face. Aaron broke down and started crying.

So not everyone receive a calm reaction when they come out to their family. You could consider yourself lucky, Cynikeel... haha.

Well, I just like the above movie and the above scene is one of my favorite and I couldn't help myself but to share it here when I read about your recent coming out to family :)

jikon said...

i've always thought it interesting that for most gay men the coming out process is more about "what others think of me" than it is about "what i think of myself"... in the final analysis, i think it's the latter that really should matter more whether the "others" are your parents, friends, foes or strangers. until and unless you are happy with "who you are", coming out will be difficult no matter what others think of you.

Spot said...

good onya. the preludes with your mum would have helped in stoking the confidence. one of the best come-out-to-your-mum scenes i've ever seen was in the first season of Six Feet Under. can't remember even a shred of detail though, so can't quote.

expanding on jikon's comment, i think sometimes, the initial euphoria of a successful exit from the closet can drive one on a roadshow of disclosure. fuelling and inexplicable need to spread the news to everyone you know...but when does the journey end?

i think it ends when one finally comes out to the most important person...yourself.

sometimes one decides that one is gay by process of elimination. but the truth may be that one doesn't fall neatly within the hetero, bi or homo categories.

er..sorry, that whole monologue wasn't meant to be about you nor to rain on your parade..just a train of thought that jumped out at jikon's whistle.

god that SO doesn't sound right.

Derek said...

jikon: You are right. What one thinks of himself is the most important. And I do think quite highly of myself, if i can say so myself. ;P

Actually, I have accepted myself three years back when was in my second year in university. I decided one day that I couldn't hide anymore and I came out to my best friend. Then another and another.

As for myself, slowly but surely, my gayness came out. There was no turning back since.

It was liberating to be able to be who I am.

spot: You are 'spot' on, on "the initial euphoria of a successful exit from the closet can drive one on a roadshow of disclosure. fuelling and inexplicable need to spread the news to everyone you know"

Yup, it was like a roadshow, and that was exactly what I experienced. I wrote about it under coming out (part 2) in May.

And I am sure that I am positively gay. Though I have my own little theory about my sexuality, about the nurture part. (under Let them cry, in May also).

Last but not least, thanks for the support. ;P

gay44 said...

If your mother can read chinese, let her read this site

Congartulations, u have made the right choice.

basho said...

amazing. you DA MAN!

Kyle said...

bumped into this entry from jay's archive... it was beautiful actually... so come out and all.. i guess i am so far behind... almost wept...

untold stories said...

WOW..seriously wow... This is precious...and although this was written almost a decade ago I still have to comment on it!

Derek said...

Hi untold stories, thanks. Just sharing my coming out. What about you? ;-)

untold stories said...

I have not come out yet. But I guess my mum already knows, but still in denial maybe. Btw, it feels really amazing reading your posts here. It's really hard to imagine that your blog already existed when I was still in high school, when I was still very innocent and oblivious to the scene. And I worked out you were about the same age as me now, yet it seemed to me that you were already quite matured in your thinking. Reading your blog makes me wonder if I am falling behind.

Derek said...

Haha you made me feel so old.

Don't overthink it. Each of us are different and grew up shaped by various people and the environment. Coming out is not a race, so take your time to know and understand yourself, explore and learn and one day you will come out in your own time and terms.

Anyway I also didn't know much about what gay is when I was in high school. I just knew that I found some of my classmates very cute and want to see them topless!


P/S I see that you read my other half's blog too ;-)