This is a collection of stories on coming out – good and bad, happy and sad, that have been published on Sayoni since we started. [In chronological order]
Coming out Earnestly
Girls are beautiful creatures.
I have always thought so. The seniors at school were really pretty. So were the models in magazines and the teenage starlets on TV. I loved looking at their pictures, and I would spend countless hours on the computer looking at my pretty celebrity crushes. And at school, I would look at my seniors with a certain longing. My eyes followed their every beautiful and breathtaking movement. Sometimes, I looked at my own friends too with that same desire.
Activism with a band on
I’ve been wearing a rainbow-coloured rubber wristband. You know, those wristbands that come in various colours, first it was a yellow one from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, then there was the dual black/white for anti-racism, and before long, even Giordano and McDonalds were selling them too. I’m not one for fads, so I’ve never owned or bought one in any of the myriad of colours they come in. Except this Rainbow one.
Where do I go from here?
So today at 5pm I’m supposed to go meet up with my aunt’s ex-gay friend. (How did this happen?)
Yes! I finally came out to my uncle and aunt. This was two Thursdays ago (every time we have dinner at their house it seems to be a Thursday). After dinner, we were still loitering around the dinner table, and I said to my uncle ‘I have something to tell you, I am gay.’
3 words, 3 friends, 3 aspects
After a moment of silence’ I looked straight into my friend’s eyes with trust and sincerity’ and three words came out of my mouth.
I said, ‘I like girls.
Friend A is from Shanghai. She came to Singapore when she was 13 years of age. After almost 10 years, she is ‘Singaporified’- speaking in Singlish and eating laksa. However, when I spoke the words above, I was not sure if she could accept it due to her upbringing by her conservative parents.
I’m dreadful when it comes to remembering people’s names, especially Chinese ones. But I have a better memory for the conversations which I have, especially if the conversation is memorable because it is witty, engaging, enlightening or even downright annoying.
One conversation which has stayed in my mind is the one I had with a another lesbian when I was first coming out, and she eventually became a good friend. She was sharing her experiences about living as a lesbian in Malaysia with me and during that conversation she mentioned,
‘Gay people can be very homophobic because of their internalised homophobia.’
Coming out, the most powerful form of activism
I was sitting outside the lecture theatre, having a short break with a friend after a particularly draining and exhausting lecture.
She is someone I knew since my junior college days, when she was in the same CCA as me. We were never close friends, but somehow a strange streak of fate brought us together again, when we ended up in the same faculty in university, and happened to take one same course for that particular semester.
It started off as an innocent conversation, but it did not last that way.
For you, my first love
I was what, nine? You would have been hardly older. You were the new girl, the kid who transferred from another school. The maroon skirt had not itself accustomed itself to you. You were tugging on the white shirt, tucked in as per regulations. You looked up, with a brilliant smile on your face.
In the closet no more
Today is the first day of me reading your blog. I feel somewhat connected to it, as though it were the story of my life, past, present and future. Everyday I wake up and I am faced with the prospect of living in a close minded society. I live in Malaysia and it being a Muslim country, there are a lot of restrictions and people are narrow minded when it comes to GLBT right. Our mere presence in this society is a burden to them for they see us as parasites, leeches. We bring shame to the community.