Usually, the letters written in to Big Bro (advice column / aunt agony column for teenagers and youth in the Star) concern matters of the heart. Out of three letters, probably two are like these:
"Do you think he/she likes me?"
"What does that smile mean? Does she like me?"
"He/she always says hi to me and send me messages. He/she thinks I am funny too. Does it mean he/she likes me?"
"Every time I see her/him, I don't know what to say. I think she has pretty eyes / he has a cute laugh. Do you think I am falling in love?"
NOT that I am trivialising those growing-up pains and confusion and the blossoming of crushes and loves, but it can get pretty tiring after a while.
So here is a refreshing change instead. As I am going to put it up here, you can bet that it's gay-related ;P
Worried for brother
MY BROTHER and I are orphans – we lost our parents in an accident years ago. My brother is intelligent, good-looking and has a good attitude. A complete package any girl could ask for. My mother used to support us, working part-time, and we used to do odd jobs.
I did fairly well in my studies while my brother obtained a full scholarship to do his course.
My brother is gay and he has been in a relationship with K, a Japanese guy who lives near us, for nearly seven years.
Recently, I noticed that my brother has changed a lot. He no longer smiles or laughs out loud but seems sad and distant.
I know that there’s a problem between him and K. I secretly read his diary (Derek: This is wrong, but I can totally understand why he did it.) and found that K is going to Japan to further his studies and he has asked my brother to go along. I confronted my brother, and he broke down and said that he has no intention of going. It’s a lie since my brother has applied to study in Japan.
I confronted K and he said it’s because of the possibility that his parents want him to marry some relative of his. I think that’s what made my brother heartbroken.
How do I console my brother? I am worried for him and I know these guys love each other. How do I support my brother without making things worse? I can’t just keep quiet. – Worried and Desperate
Dear Worried and Desperate,
Your brother is lucky to have you around. You’ve shown an incredible maturity for someone so young.
Often we can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. But in your brother’s case, it could be that he doesn’t know how to ask for help or to talk about what it is that he’s going through, especially when the kind of relationship that he’s in is one that’s not condoned, accepted or recognised. He also may not know how you feel to be comfortable enough to share much of what he’s going through.
Find an appropriate time to talk to him. Reassure him that your love for him will not change. So be caring and supportive but at the same time give him the space that he needs to work some things out for himself.
In many ways, he and K must figure out what they want for themselves. And they must both agree on it because there is nothing else to hold them together beyond their mutual consent. No law recognises this union. It’s no wonder that it’s called “the love that dares not speak its name.”
How I wished I have a brother like that. And I meant the older one ;P