Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Love withers

I believe that feelings and love don’t change overnight. They change gradually, sometimes even without anyone realizing. If it was not discovered and brought into the open for discussion, it will fester and reach its breaking point and it would then be the end of a relationship.

The aftermath of a broken relationship isn’t usually nice, especially when one person still likes the other. That explains why closures are important. Good closures usually necessitate more than one meet up.

I still remember mine two years back. I was half expecting it, as something happened earlier which hurt me a lot. We were at Coffee Bean and we talked. He told me his reasons, which at that time seemed reasonable. It made a lot of sense and I could see where he was coming from.

Surprisingly, I was calm. Even though I believe he was at fault and I was being dumped, I was amazingly composed. I was rationale and realized there was no point forcing it, forcing him to be in a relationship which he didn’t want to.

The next day, we met up again. Or specifically, I called him to come over. I wanted to be together again. I wanted him back.

But at the end of our meet, it was not to be. I was heartbroken but more importantly, the much-needed talk happened.

We talked. I cried. We hugged. We parted ways.

I tried to get over him over the following week also. I think it took me more than a week, but I finally found the strength to let go, to realize that it wouldn’t have worked out anyway if he truly didn’t have any feelings for me.

Breaking up is painful, but the way it is done can help soften the blow. The hurt and pain would still be there, but somehow if it is done in a manner which is out of concern for the other party, out of a desire to still be friends after that, out of a need to have proper closure.

Which is why, personally, I feel that breaking up over an SMS, email or other electronic media is, well, improper and inconsiderate.

The way I see it is that, if I were at the receiving end of an email which says “It’s over” followed by ten pages of reasons, I still don’t think it’s sufficient.

Firstly, doesn’t the other have the courtesy, not to mention guts, to tell one face-to-face but have to do it virtually?

Secondly, I feel that a real meet up conveys more meaning and sincerity. The non-verbal signs and the body language; all these adds up to making the break-up more amicable and less painful. It clears things up. There are things which only could be done in a physical meeting.

Even when two friends say goodbye, there is a handshake (for the prudes) or a hug. What more of a relationship which lasted for some period of time. A *hugs* sent electronically is different from a real hug.

In addition, there are always questions. How? Why? What? - these can only be answered properly in a face-to-face setting. Questions that need to be asked and answered so that both have a clear picture of what happened and the events that led to the ultimate unfortunate result.

Parting in a good way does not guarantee that the ex-couple would still be friends and be in touch, but it surely helps. Obviously, it's better to part on good terms and with fond memories rather than an abrupt goodbye or a huge argument where abuses were hurled.

Another thing which I believe is important is the timing of the break up. Definitely not after a session of sex and then one says “Things are not working out. Let’s break up.” Or near to or on that person’s birthday. Or during when the other is having exams.

To me birthdays are important. I don’t want to remember the day with something unpleasant. And I definitely don’t want anyone to experience it like I did, when my relationship ended three days before my birthday.

In the end, all break ups are painful. But if it was done with the intention of letting things go so that both parties experience as little pain as possible and with as much issues clarified, it makes the healing process smoother.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Boys Love

As much as we would like relationships to last, there are times when it is no longer possible to sustain it. Reasons range from lost of interest, another third party involved, not being able to see themselves together in the future, drifted apart, etc.

To me, all relationships are the same, gay or straight. Couples go through many obstacles, arguments, fights, silent treatments, the whole works. But for us gays, the challenges are more numerous and the obstacles are more difficult to overcome.

Which is why more gay relationships fail.

Can one openly bring the boyfriend home and introduce him to one's parents? Can one bring the boyfriend to the company's annual dinner? Can one declare one's love for another for everyone to know?

Of course, one can all do that. But how many actually can and do? You may pooh-pooh these as small and minor things, but the influence from parents, society and friends are significant.

As such, gay relationships take more work and effort. Gays don't have things planned out and then just go through the motions of life like the straights, where marriage is the way to go.

A straight couple who has been dating for 10 years is more likely to get married than to break up, even if there is not much passion left. To them, that's the natural course of action and it is more hassle to start all over with a new partner, especially if they are past the marrying age i.e. above 30.

In addition, if a straight couple breaks up, there are friends and family who would rush in to help mend things. They want to see them get back together and do whatever they can to salvage the relationship.

What happens when a gay relationship breaks up? More often than not, we only have our other gay friends to turn to. Guys are usually more practical and would say that there are plenty of fish in the sea. I would be really surprised if the parents come on board to assist to mend things or friends chip in to help them get back together.

We seldom interfere, unless we really have to. Unlike the heteros who would cajole and beg the unfortunate couple to reconsider.

Last but not least, biology does come into play no matter how much we deny it. Discipline and commitment can be learn, but they are difficult to practice. Ultimately men are sexually driven. In these times of instant gratification, coupled with constant lust and desire, cheating options are easily available. Just like we don't bat an eyelid when a man cheats on his wife, neither do we when we find out that someone has been cheating on his boyfriend.

Obviously, that is not an acceptable excuse.

The only difference is that there is marriage certificate and/or children to make things difficult to separate, but those things aren't there for gay couples. If they are, things might be a lot different.

There are many reasons why relationships fail and the reasons I have mentioned are not exhaustive. It takes deeper reasoning and thought to understand why, as all relationships are different with their own dynamics and complexities.

It's too simplistic to assume that whenever two guys get together, they would ultimately break up. It's illogical to think that it would never last without giving it a try.

Just like it is silly to think that there's no chance in hell that a married couple would divorce. Or that the husband would have an affair with the secretary when there's an opportunity.

If one were to really think like that, all gay relationships will not work out. But we all know that there are many which do. You just have to look harder.

As such, do not be discouraged by all the nay-sayers. If you believe it can happen, it will.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Love grows

Love at first sight.

When I was younger, I thought that it would be a nice way to fall in love. I would walk into a room with a party in full swing, people busy chatting and drinking. I would look around to spot someone I know and head towards him.

As I walked towards the friend, I would catch sight of someone cute. Someone across the room, chatting with his friend. Oblivious to the fact that he has caught my attention.

From where I was standing, he would be someone who looks around my age, tall, with a perfect smile and toned body. He would have a friendly demeanour, confident and has a hearty laugh.

Without warning, he would suddenly turned to my direction, our eyes would locked. Light would emanated from around him and time would feel like it stopped for a moment.

Of course, how many people actually found their partners that way? Not many, I think. I know there are, but that would be far and few between.

Sorry to disappoint those who still believe in love at first sight, but what I am about to continue is not about my own love at first sight.

From my modest relationship experiences, love has not come to me that way. Rather, I fall in love slowly and gradually.

One of them whom I know from Fridae, our relationship didn't start from first sight. Honestly, I didn't find him attractive. But somehow, I decided to give it a go. I told myself that looks isn't everything. We had chatted on the phone many times and there were qualities that I liked about him.

Slowly and gradually, I liked it him more and more. I was devastated when we broke up, even though I was partially being desperate at the time, as I thought I would never find someone who would love me again.

Obviously I was wrong.

Another started off with him liking him first. I didn't think I would date him, as we started off as friends and hanged out quite often. Thus he was more of a friend to me, than a potential partner.

However, after we officially started dating, I began to see what a wonderful person. He was sweet, he was quite mature for his age and he loves me a lot. He was someone whom I thought I would take care off and wanted to make him happy as long as I could.

I was extremely saddened when he had to leave. At the time, we have had a few downs. And I was very much into him, more than he was into me.

As such, love for me takes time to build. It gradually becomes stronger as I know the other person more. It takes a firmer footing when we spend more time together, chatting and telling each other our life stories. The roots grow deeper as I discover his good qualities, like concern for his family and friends, jovial attitude and his goal to be the best person he can be.

Frequent communication is important. Call it possessive or obsessive, but I need to know that he is fine. I will text or call, everyday. I also want the other person to know that he is in my thoughts always.

And most all, it is to show that I miss him. A lot.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Something to warm the cockles III

The article below is taken from here. It's good to know that our brothers are making themselves be seen and heard.

Recently, I got an email from Jon (sorry that I haven't replied you yet), which has a quote that I found to be profound - It's better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for who you are not.

May you find the courage to live the life you want and to the fullest, like the Vinces below.

Gays survive exorcism, find love, urge change
Meet the Vinces.

Or, as friends call them, Vince C. -- short for Cervantes -- and Vince P. -- for Pancucci.

Talking to the young couple, it's hard to imagine that less than a year ago each underwent exorcisms or other religious "treatments" intended to de-gay them while they were students at the same Christian college in California.

"I was about ready to end my life," recalls Cervantes, 19. "No matter how many exorcisms I went through, no matter how many times I cried and asked God to change me, I wasn't changing."

Wrestling with being gay fundamentalist Christians, their paths merged last August. Through prayer, Scripture reading and listening to their hearts, they came to understand their sexual orientation is a God-given identity. And they soon fell in love. Or, as Cervantes describes it, "I felt God opened a door for me."

At school, they bravely posted testimonials about how it hurt to hear being gay called "sinful" and "immoral" in chapel. School administrators ripped down their testimonials and threatened expulsion.

Refusing to abandon their relationship, the couple left school and became domestic partners under California law, gaining nearly all the state-level rights and responsibilities of married heterosexuals.

Outside a chapel, they exchanged vows. Only then, feeling married in the eyes of God, did they become sexually intimate.

Dedicating themselves to helping other gay Christians, they became Equality Riders, faithful young adults who travel by bus to Christian colleges to carry hope to closeted gay students and share their experiences with all students and faculty.

Guided by the powerful principles of nonviolent protest used by Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., 50 gay or gay-friendly riders are traveling to 32 Christian colleges. (For details:

As two Grand Rapids colleges they'll visit in late April illustrate, sometimes they're welcome, other times they're not.

Rex Rogers, the president of Cornerstone University who claims in his blog that gays are in the "grip of sin," warns Riders won't be allowed on campus because, in his view, their "purpose is to undermine and attack the very basic biblical values that we say we believe in."

Down the road, Calvin College also teaches that gay sex is wrong but is inviting Riders to a worship service, meals and to tell "what it's like to have been on a bus ride for two months on a cause you believed in," says Shirley Hoogstra, vice president for student life. The Riders offer her students a chance "to welcome well the stranger at your gate," she adds.

Pancucci, 20, who like Cervantes has been arrested along the way, says, "We don't want anyone else to have to question whether they can be gay and Christian. We want to go to schools and say, 'Hey, it's OK to come out of the closet and rejoice in who you are.'"

Cervantes revels in knowing the ride is changing hearts. At one Christian college, a young woman took him aside: "She broke down and said, 'I can see your love for your husband is no different from mine for my husband.'"

Ever so gently, Equality Riders like the Vinces are breathing new life into Gandhi's great challenge: Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I Wanted To Fall Asleep ...

I went to watch Shooter yesterday. It was a good action movie – fast-paced and lots of action. There were quite a lot of tense and heart-stopping moments, which is how an action movie should be. Mark Wahlberg could be the new action hero for the silver screen, as he carried the role well.

This movie was in deep contrast with the artistic film which I wanted to watch called I Don't Want to Sleep Alone and I posted about here.

I had expected long shots of a particular scene, where nothing including the characters moved. Those shots that just focused on them staring, lying down or something similar.

I nearly fell asleep.

It was initially quite interesting, where there were the use of various language of songs – the Malay couple singing on the walkway to Pudu LRT, the Chinese oldies song playing from the radio and the immigrants watching a Hindi movie with lots of song. There is this line from the Hindi song which I quite like and it goes something like this – You are the lotus in the pond of my heart; You quench your thirst with the water in the pond.

Most of the scenes were shot near the Pudu Jail near Berjaya Times Square. The colourful but faded mural was shown quite a number of times.

The movie was more like a microcosm of three peoples’ lives. It was an observation into their lives, of how they go about their daily chores. As they are immigrants to Malaysia, we get a glimpse of the difficulty, loneliness and their disconnection from the general society. They usually don’t get a second look from us when we passed by them.

Some scenes which you don’t usually see in movies include one with Rawang carrying Kang to the toiler, holding his weight so that Kang can stand to pee but failing, helping out Kang to unbutton his pants and after peeing putting back his penis into pants. This was shot from behind, with no frontal nudity but just the ass.

Another was Rawang bathing him with a towel. Kang was lying on the mattress still injured, only in his underwear. The underwear was thin and the outline and shape of his penis was clearly visible. Rawang patiently, gently and tenderly turned him on his sides and wiped him all over. After that, Rawang put on a sarong on him. He put his hands into the sarong and remove Kang's underwear for washing.

It all looked very nice and sweet, save for the decrepit and bare furnishings. The tenderness and care was clearly felt emanating from Rawang, but not from Kang. He seemed slightly cold and stiff; no response of appreciation whatsoever.

I wouldn't mind doing the same for my boyfriend, but to a stranger ... it just feels strange. Which obviously points to the fact that Rawang has feeling for Kang.

The other character Chyi helps the owner of a coffee shop. She also helps to take care of the owner's husband who is a vegetable. She cleans and feeds him everyday. She is supposed to be Kang's girlfriend too.

Ignoring the fact that the main character isn’t cute, he is not very likeable. He had sex or at least used his finger to pleasure the coffee shop owner (who is also his so-called girlfriend's boss) in a dark alley.

Kang is also disgusting. He squirted from his mouth orange juice into Chyi's mouth before they had sex. And the sex scene between them was laborious, as it was during the haze and the both of them were coughing and moaning. It's too absurd that it's funny.

In addition, since the characters couldn't afford masks, they put on polystyrene bowls and plastic bags. Like hello, those things don't work!

The part that takes the cake is that, between the three main characters, only Rawang has lines. And it totalled less than 10.

Imagine, Kang and Chyi did not utter a SINGLE word in the entire 2 hour movie! I know it's an artistic movie, but this is way too artistic for me. I kept looking at my watch, anticipating the moment when they would actually speak. Needless to say, that moment never come.

Another saving grace that I could think of is the angle of the shots. Some of them are really creative and interesting. The location was well chosen too. I was not aware that there is an abandoned construction site near Pudu, which was the scene to the intercourse and one hilarious moment in the film.

The week before, I watch "The Number Twenty Three". Avoid this at all costs. It doesn't make much sense, even though Jim Carrey played the role well.

Seeing the number twenty three in everything (like 11/9/2001 adds up to twenty three and there are twenty three pairs of chromosome in a human cell) doesn't make one go psycho and want to kill people. I mean, what if someone was born on the 23rd of November 1978 (1978 is divisible by 23) and live on No 23 Nutty Street? It doesn't make sense that he will go mental and becomes murderous.

In short, these are my ratings:
Shooter: 7.5/10
I Don't Want To Sleep Alone: 6/10
The Number Twenty Three: 5/10

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Something to warm the cockles II

No time to blog, so I'll just post something heartwarming.

This is taken from the New York Times.

Accepting Gay Identity, and Gaining Strength
ONE month before Zach O’Connor, a seventh grader at Brown Middle School here, came out about being gay, he was in such turmoil that he stood up in homeroom and, in a voice everyone could hear, asked a girl out on a date. It was Valentine’s Day 2003, and Zach was 13.

“I was doing this to survive,” he says. “This is what other guys were doing, getting girlfriends. I should get one, too.”

He feared his parents knew the truth about him. He knew that his father had typed in a Google search starting with “g,” and several other recent “g” searches had popped up, including “gay.”

“They asked me, ‘Do you know what being gay is?’ ” he recalls. “They tried to explain there’s nothing wrong with it. I put my hands over my ears. I yelled: ‘I don’t want to hear it! I’m not, I’m not gay!’ ”

Cindy and Dan O’Connor were very worried about Zach. Though bright, he was doing poorly at school. At home, he would pick fights, slam doors, explode for no reason. They wondered how their two children could be so different; Matt, a year and a half younger, was easygoing and happy. Zach was miserable.

The O’Connors had hunches. Mr. O’Connor is a director of business development for American Express, Ms. O’Connor a senior vice president of a bank, and they have had gay colleagues, gay bosses, classmates who came out after college. From the time Zach was little, they knew he was not a run-of-the-mill boy. His friends were girls or timid boys.

“Zach had no interest in throwing a football,” Mr. O’Connor says. But their real worry was his anger, his unhappiness, his low self-esteem. “He’d say: ‘I’m not smart. I’m not like other kids,’ ” says Ms. O’Connor. The middle-school psychologist started seeing him daily.

The misery Zach caused was minor compared with the misery he felt. He says he knew he was different by kindergarten, but he had no name for it, so he would stay to himself. He tried sports, but, he says, “It didn’t work out well.” He couldn’t remember the rules. In fifth grade, when boys at recess were talking about girls they had crushes on, Zach did not have someone to name.

By sixth grade, he knew what “gay” meant, but didn’t associate it with himself. That year, he says: “I had a crush on one particular eighth-grade boy, a very straight jock. I knew whatever I was feeling I shouldn’t talk about it.” He considered himself a broken version of a human being. “I did think about suicide,” he says.

Then, for reasons he can’t wholly explain beyond pure desperation, a month after his Valentine “date” — “We never actually went out, just walked around school together” — in the midst of math class, he told a female friend. By day’s end it was all over school. The psychologist called him in. “I burst into tears,” he recalls. “I said, ‘Yes, it’s true.’ Every piece of depression came pouring out. It was such a mess.”

That night, when his mother got home from work, she stuck her head in his room to say hi. “I said, ‘Ma, I need to talk to you about something, I’m gay.’ She said, ‘O.K., anything else?’ ‘No, but I just told you I’m gay.’ ‘O.K., that’s fine, we still love you.’ I said, ‘That’s it?’ I was preparing for this really dramatic moment.”

Ms. O’Connor recalls, “He said, ‘Mom, aren’t you going to freak out?’ I said: ‘It’s up to you to decide who to love. I have your father, and you have to figure out what’s best for you.’ He said, ‘Don’t tell Dad.’ ”

“Of course I told him,” Ms. O’Connor says.

“With all our faults,” Mr. O’Connor says, “we’re in this together.”

Having a son come out so young was a lot of work for the parents. They found him a therapist who is gay 20 miles away in New Haven. The therapist helped them find a gay youth group, OutSpoken, a 50-minute drive away in Norwalk.

Dan Woog, a writer and longtime soccer coach at Staples High in Westport, helped found OutSpoken in 1993. He says for the first 10 years, the typical member was 17 to 22 years old. “They’d come in saying: ‘I’m gay. My life is over,’ ” Mr. Woog says. “One literally hyperventilated walking through the door.”

But in recent years, he says, the kids are 14 to 17 and more confident. “They say: ‘Hi, I’m gay. How do I meet people?’”

For the first 10 years, Mr. Woog never saw a parent; meetings were from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, so members could get out of the house without arousing suspicion. Now, he says, parents often bring the child to the first meeting.

He believes teenagers are coming out sooner because the Internet makes them feel less isolated and they’re seeing positive role models in the media. Indeed, Zach says he spent his first therapy session talking about the gay characters on the TV show “Will and Grace” as a way to test the therapist’s attitudes before talking about himself.

Still, seventh grade was not easy. “We heard kids across the street yelling ‘homo’ as he waited for the school bus,” Mr. O’Connor says. Zach says classmates tossed pencils at him and constantly mocked him. “One kid followed me class to class calling me ‘faggot,’ ” he says. “After a month I turned and punched him in the face. He got quiet and walked away. I said, ‘You got beat up by a faggot.’ ”

The O’Connors say middle-school officials were terrific, and by eighth grade the tide turned. Zach was let out 15 minutes early and walked across the football field to Daniel Hand High School to attend the gay-straight club. Knowing who he was, he could envision a future and felt a sense of purpose. His grades went up. He had friends. For an assignment about heroes, a girl in his class wrote about him, and Zach used her paper to come out to his Aunt Kathy.

He still wasn’t athletic, but to the family’s surprise, coming out let out a beautiful voice. He won the middle school’s top vocal award.

His father took him to a gay-lesbian conference at Central Connecticut State in New Britain, and Zach was thrilled to see so many gay people in one place. His therapist took him to a Gay Bingo Night at St. Paul’s Church on the Green in Norwalk that raises money for AIDS care. Zach became a regular and within a few months was named Miss Congeniality.

“They crowned me with a tiara and sash, and I walked around the room waving,” he recalls. “I was still this shy 14-year-old in braces. I hadn’t reached my socialness yet, and everyone was cheering.

“I was the future. Most of the men were middle-aged or older, and to see this 14-year-old out, they loved it. They were so happy.”

Now, as a 17-year-old 11th grader, Zach has passed through phases that many gay men of previous generations didn’t get to until their 20s, 30s, even 40s. “Eighth grade was kind of his militant time,” Mr. O’Connor says.

“Everything was a rainbow,” says Ms. O’Connor.

These days, Zach is so busy, he rarely has time for the gay-straight club. He’s in several singing and drama groups and is taking an SAT prep course.

“I’ve been out so long, I don’t really need the club as a resource,” he says. “I’m not going to say I’m popular, but I’m friendly with nearly everybody. Sophomore year, my social life skyrocketed.”

In music groups he made male friends for the first time. “They weren’t afraid of me,” he says. “They like me.”

His brother, Matt, says sometimes kids come up to him and ask what it’s like to have a gay brother. “I say it’s normal to me, I don’t think of it anymore.”

As for his parents, they’re happy that Zach’s happy.

“Coming out was the best thing for him,” Ms. O’Connor says. “We ask him, ‘Why didn’t you come out in fifth grade?’"