Monday, August 01, 2005

To be or not to be

This is all food for thought for one of my fellow bloggers, kitjar. I don't mean any hard feelings; these are just my opinion and perception.

It's kinda lengthy, which is why I post it here instead of at his blog.

First of all, I am pissed, but not that pissed as the others were, at what have you written.

When you didn't know the existence of gays, you lived in a world of your own, oblivious to the reality that is different from yours.

In your case, ignorance is bliss.

The ignorance was discarded when you started your research paper on gays. That in itself is a very obvious sign of something deeper wanting to get out.

When you found out about Paul's blog, that was another step in understanding about homosexuality and also yourself. Of course, how you discovered his blog would be an interesting titbit too.

From then on, you got to know more people, myself included. Or rather, bloggers, not people. You have only known us virtually and let me tell you that online personas are different from our actual selves.

Your typical perception that meeting gay people will somehow influence you to be gay is, as I have mentioned before, completely unfounded.

If that is the case, surely I would have been influenced to be straight by now, with all the heterosexual people in my life, like my parents, colleagues, university mates, neighbours, etc.

In addition, in your 27 years of life, you would have definitely met and known some gay people, without you realising it. Just as other people would have known you, without having any idea that you have a liking for guys.

But now that you know that gay people exist in Malaysia, and in fact everywhere else on this planet, does it make any difference? What if someday you found out that one of your close friends is gay?

Are you any different now that you got acquainted with an online community of gay bloggers?

If I have known you in person and assuming that I am straight, but now I know that you like hot gay sex, does it mean that you are no longer the Kitjar I have known?

You do not change and become gay, you are merely opening up yourself to who you have always been, albeit unconsciously.

Basically, being gay does not make you any different or morally worse off than you were before.

You said:

I AM CONFIDENT that I will not live a life of shame or guilt. I will not let down my family, religion, community and state.

I agree that how you live your life is in your hands. Whether it is shameful or guilty, it is not for society to judge. Nevertheless, if you know what you are doing is not wrong and doesn't hurt anyone, you can surely hold your head high.

If you don't have the courage to be yourself and rather live a life of pretense, who are you letting down?

What about when you decide to get married? Who are you hurting if you can't give 100% love to your wife?

Imagine you were having sex with her but in your mind, you see Lukas Ridgeston or Jesse Metcalfe. How would she feel if she knew?

It seems to me that you want to get married because firstly, that is what your family wants and sociey expects of you. Secondly, to have kids.

I may be wrong there; you know yourself best. Though if I am right, that would make your future wife just a child-bearing machine to fulfill your selfish needs.

In addition, allow me to point out that painful truth that things didn't work out for you and Michelle, even though she is, to you, the perfect one.

In today's day and age, you don't need a wife to have kids.

Your mind is on our side of the fence and your body isn't. You are excited to be here, but your body maintains its stand on the other side.

I can understand how powerful your mom and society's influence on you is, but you really have to start thinking for yourself. Because you have been letting them do all the thinking so far.

You are living a scripted life.

You kept asking how we could live a so-called sinful life in Malaysia. The reply is, why not?

It is not difficult once you have embraced the truth and live it.

Parents do not have children for the sake that their children would get married and bear them grandchildren? To a certain extent, yes, but that is only a small part of it, if at all.

All parents want the best for their children, according to what they know. But as I have said, what they think is the best is based on what they know, which may not turn out to be the best.

But most importantly, parents love their children unconditionally and want them to be happy. To be a decent person.

Is it not better for someone to be gay and is good and morally-upright, rather than another who is straight, married with four children and has two dogs, but sleeps around and doesn't mind breaking the rules to achieve what he wants?

In short, you have uncovered the truth about yourself and others, yet choose to go back to where you came from. This is not unlike Cypher, who betrayed Neo in the Matrix. To Cypher, a life of illusion is better than the bitter truth.

It is difficult to unwind that knowledge and pretend to be someone you are not. Just as you can't pretend that Santa and the tooth fairy exist, after you have known the truth.

The truth may hurt, but in the long run, it is for the best.

Ultimately, (I know it's cliché) the truth shall set you free.


Chaichakri said...

SHUCKS! I am surprised that you posted an article all about me.

Well, thanks for the advice. I know, it is not easy. I guess, I have a lot of demons to slay first.

Until then, I would still prefer the status quo. As in all economics principle, cateris paribus, where others will remain unchanged! Thanks

Holden said...

Hey Derek, thanks for putting it into such eloquent words... I could not have put it in words like that...

Spot said...

Derek – I, being one of those who had harsh words for him, think I should clarify my said comments. First of all, I wasn’t taking offence to his self-professed confusion. The point that snapped me was the alarmingly stalker-like detective work he put into finding out Will’s identity. And I must say that I truly commend Will for exemplifying the precepts of his beliefs by not freaking out but being supportive of Kitjar instead.

My take on Kitjar’s situation based on his blog and comments on others’ blogs, is that it’s not so much an issue of confusion as to whether he is or he isn’t.

The hot potato is the shame and guilt that comes from the self-realisation/acknowledgement of his sexual preference and the conflict it places him within the context of his religious beliefs and upbringing. The shame, guilt and subsequent denial to avoid dealing with it is truly understandable.

What I found exasperating was his "oh you’re all so cool, I love it here but oh dear what you guys are doing is shameful and evil and I’ll not fall into that den of sin, unlike you lot" act. There's a whole lot of hypocrisy there, inadvertent though it perhaps is.

Exasperation aside, that whole attitude of his is exactly the realisation-denial response in motion.

So I figure, that instead of continuing in said manner, kitjar needs to have an honest (instead of using Justin parables) talk about how to reconcile his sexual identity with his beliefs and society’s/family’s expectations.

As far as I know though, and I have inquired into this, Buddhism does not prohibit homosexuality. It does, however, warn against being untruthful. And that would include to oneself.

I can understand how powerful your mom and society's influence on you is, but you really have to start thinking for yourself. Because you have been letting them do all the thinking so far. You are living a scripted life.

It would be ideal if all parents were like your mum. How perfect if all parents really do love their children unconditionally. Fact is, we don’t live in a perfect world. Parents have been known to disown children for offences far less significant than being gay. Some parents take it as a personal failure on their part. So, no, the truth may generally set one free, but in this context, it will tear one's life apart.

Those parents who can’t take the revelation should never be told. More often than not, they suspect, but don’t want it confirmed. It’s not like you can’t live a happily “out” life without telling your parents. This won’t sit well with the precept of being truthful, but hey, in the larger scheme of things, it’s a decision one can make for the sake of not hurting one’s parents. Unlike being or not being gay, which isn’t a decision capable of being made.

Life is all about compromise. You can’t have what you want on your terms all the time, if at all. Like having children.

In today's day and age, you don't need a wife to have kids.

If you’re talking about a single man adopting, that’s pretty near impossible. If you mean having an illegitimate child with a woman, good luck finding a woman who’s willing. Even if one could find a Lindsey-Melanie-Brian situation in Malaysia, one should always consider the future of a child with unmarried parents. Not good.

Kitjar has valid concerns. But he’s not going to resolve them from just reading blogs and approaching the issue from behind a mask.

Derek said...

Kitjar: You do have a lot of demons to slay. The important thing is that you know what you have to do next. Bravo.

Holden: Thanks. I do my best.

Derek said...

Spot: I understand what you are saying. And I also understand what Kitjar has been doing.

Him finding out Will’s identity clearly illustrates our point that oh you’re all so cool, I love it here but oh dear what you guys are doing is shameful and evil and I’ll not fall into that den of sin, unlike you lot

That point was what ticked you guys off.

He is watching from afar, fascinated, yet frightened. It’s like he is standing at the mouth of a cave and wants to enter, yet is apprehensive because everyone has been saying that it is dangerous.

He badly wants to turn back, to live a straight life. Deep down, he knows that is almost not going to happen.

I am merely asking him to come out of his shell and at least get to know us /cave-dwellers.

Reality is so much different from theory. What he has known so far is just though our writings, QAF and his research.

It is only natural to fear the unknown.

Furthermore, I am not saying that he should come out to his mom. Only to himself, which is congruent with your thoughts. I have always maintained that coming out is a very personal decision and is unique to one’s circumstance.

You are living a scripted life.

I was hoping that he realizes how powerful the environment can be and how difficult it is to carve out your own destiny. A wake-up call to start controlling his own life.

Of course I also realized that not all parents are like mom.

In today's day and age, you don't need a wife to have kids.

That was the impression that I got – he wants a wife to have kids. Adoption is an option, if not in this country, somewhere else. Somehow or another, it could be worked out.

He’s not going to resolve them from just reading blogs and approaching the issue from behind a mask.

Which is what I have been trying to do – convincing him that he should lose the mask.

Only then can he see better and have a wider view-angle.

Spot said...

adoption by single men is very rarely approved by the authorities because of concerns of sex abuse. whether it be a female or male child. that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

Spot said...

also, you miss my point.

before one even gets to the "come out, the water's fine" stage, religious and societal (and by this i mean what one is prepared to deal with in the context of the day's mores) issues FIRST need to be addressed.

those appear to be the critical concerns, not whether or not he's dying to go for a dip.

he needs to reconcile his position vis-a-vis buddhism. which, i must stress yet again, is not against it. but he needs to believe that himself.

god, i hope someone's getting some benefit from this debate! :)

wingedman said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Spot! I actually was pretty pissed off, as it's not the first time someone had tried playing the ooh-i-know-who-you-are game with me.

But Kitjar and I have been corresponding through email and I geuss I understood why he responded the way he did.

I firmly believe he's just very confused and trying to get to grips with himself. before this, before finding out that real gay guys exist, and exist happily too, he probably thought his life was fine and dandy, and so long as he kept quiet about his occasional lustful thoughts about men, he'd be fine.

He does seem to have a very complex martyr attitude that a lot of gays with religious and parental pressure face. That is, it's better for him to suffer in silence than for everyone else around him to.

It's hard to criticise him when he's coming from that stand...I mean, if you're not in his shoes you can't really understand the kind of pressure he's under.

I really don't know how to advise him. To be "selfish" and be free but to lose everything else, or to swallow it all and live miserably?

But Kitjar should know, the latter will be a lie. Does he really want his parents to pass into their next lives not knowing who their own son is?

Derek said...

Spot: It has to start somewhere; I mean the reconciliation. Either with himself first or with religion.

I may be wrong, but I think starting with oneself is better. Once you can accept yourself, build up the confidence and realise that there are people out there like you who face the same problems, then move on to religion.

Of course, my other theme was asking him to think for himself and question things which he has always taken to be true.

Thanks for clarifying your point. ;-)

And oh yes, I hope somebody is getting something out of all these ....

Will: Not surprising that people have been trying to find out who you are, you cutesy-pie you. ;P

To be "selfish" and be free but to lose everything else, or to swallow it all and live miserably?

Lose everything else? Isn't that a bit dramatic? Things will be different, but his world won't crumble around him.

Same here, I have been corresponding with him too. Agree totally that he is as what you said in para 3 (he's just very confused and ... )

Chaichakri said...

Hi Wingedman and Derek,

Thanks for the much-needed support. I guess, I am finally coming to realise who Kitjar Na Bangsar really is!

Certainly, this is a time to reconcile the discrepancy and the divergent views in my life. This has to start somewhere, and thanks to Derek, I have began my own self-discovery journey.

It will take time, and there might be a possibility of an about-turn. But, that is life --- it is all about choices, and making the right choice in life.

Thanks again. Mr Wingdman, I guess, besides our shared affinity in Buddhism. It is good to know that you are also one cutsie-pie too. LOL, hee hee