Sunday, September 10, 2006

Brotherly love

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


quicksilverlining said...

hmm. i read that too. always thought the writer was a girl, though. yes, for once it's quite touching. this time it's a real problem. heh.

icydefunct said...

i wish i had an older brother of that sort too... is not always nice being the eldest in the family... hehehe...
"a love that dares not speak its name"... sadly is true...but hopefully that whom is in this cirlce of love will remain vigilant and preseverance to what society have on us...and maybe in near future things will get better!...=P

famezgay said...

i have an older bro lar.. Anyway yes my older brother dotes me too.. But being a spoilt one, I always complaint about him even in front of my parents OOOops

MrBunnyBan said...

The agony aunt's reply is what surprises me most! Wooo. Not bad leh

Kit said...

Ya, I have a gay younger brother, and I am gay too, does it means that my brother luckily has an elder brother like me?? :P

William said...

After years of reading that column, I find that the responses are quite standard. The stand on homosexuality is always liberal. If the person is confused, the advice would be to explore one's options. Never religious. Always do what you feel is right for you.

g_c said...

awwww... for one , i'm quite happy that the agony aunt's answer didn't reflect any distaste for gay people or gay relationships( although she/he did stress out several times that it wasnt condoned by society blablabla..WE KNOW ,KAY? no need to stick the knife in again)

i have to say that that guy is one lucky person to have that kind of accepting older brother..maybe its cause they're orphans and don't have the parent's expectations or moral demands to stop them from acting freely, but it still makes me wish i had that type of support from my older straight brother..all i got when i came out was" you're gonna be the one whose gonna kill mom with your stupid gay beliefs! you have to change"...yah the lady is still alive but he's already blaming me for her death!

Jay said...

Well in this instance the writer isn't asking for advice on how to deal with hir/her brother's homosexuality, so there really isn't any call for the agony aunt to talk about that. In fact, the problem could almost be a straight one - boy loves girl from different culture who's going back to her home country etc etc etc.

The line about 'the love that dares not speak its name' was a bit corny and unnecessary, I thought.

All that said, I agree with you - it's nice to read about such a supportive sibling.

savante said...

Can you tell I'm bawling away for the two... oh so tragic!!!

Derek said...

qsl: You mean the other problems weren't real? ;P

icydefunct: Hey, you're back!

Yeah, it would be wonderful to have a bro like that - supportive and understanding.

famezgay: Ooookay, luckily you're not my brother! LOL

mrbunnyban: I am sure your brother is like that too, isn't he? ;P

kit: Of course he's lucky. You can introduce guys to him and vice versa LOL

william: Hi william. Nice of you to drop by.

Yeah, Big Bro gives quite liberal advice, which is good and I hope it affects the readers positively too.

g_c: Hey, I would be more than glad to have a brother like you! ;P

And if he doesn't stop the complaining , won't he be the one that's gonna drive your mom insane or something? LOL

jay: Yeah, it's a real change from the usual love problems.

savante: We know you have a kind heart, doc! ;P