News and Opinions

Standing up for ourselves

Written by irene on . Posted in Coming Out

I was sitting in the auditorium of Peking University on a Sunday evening, and waiting for a film screening to begin. I glanced around casually while reading a book, and watched as the students entered alone, or in small groups, and taking their seats, chattering away or buried in their insatiable need to work on Mathematics problems constantly.

Two days ago, I was loitering around in the campus of PKU, and I got a pamphlet handed to me as I walked past an area full of bazaar stalls. I looked up, and saw a fair bespectacled boy smiling at me. It was a gay documentary film screening organized by the Red Cross Society in PKU. The guy assured that non-students are welcomed too, and so I made a mental note to attend. (Never mind that I would have to go alone, as my only possible companion would be on the train back to Shanghai by then.)

So here I am, sitting together with all the students, watching the jumbled conversations about casual sex and random relationships. The angle of the film wasn’t well-taken, and the entire editing felt too raw. I felt entirely perturbed by the generous portrayal of their drag antics, without making the effort to explore their mentality and their psychological needs.

During the Q & A session, there were participants raising various questions, from why the director decided to film this documentary to how he managed to join the gay community. My gaydar beeped occasionally.

The Piano Man

Written by (Guest Writers) on . Posted in Coming Out

I was surprised when I saw him sitting at the piano when I walked into church. His bright yellow shirt and flamboyant manner was shocking. I felt a strange and foreign kinship with him, yet I was confused as to why he was part of the worship team. He was totally gay! I attended a few weeks without sharing my thoughts with anyone else, but finally I nonchalantly asked a fellow church member if my suspicions were true. Her response was, ‘of course not dear, he’s a Christian’! I knew she was wrong, but I learned once again that I was treading on thin ice as a Christian and a closet lesbian. I was reminded how I should be and on the surface, no one could accept me for what I was.

I had ignored the fact that I loved women for years and years. I was too busy being the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect sister. I had to make everyone happy at all costs, so when the distraction of a confusing attraction crept its way into my mind, it was easy to push it away in haste without a second thought. The dreams I had at night of holding my best friend or touching a female classmate were easy to ignore too. I mean really, dreams are so confusing!

Add to the mix the unspoken rules of my faith and it was doubly important not to acknowledge the hidden feelings that dwelt subconsciously in my mind and heart.

It's not a choice

Written by (Guest Writers) on . Posted in Coming Out

What bothers me about the “it’s a choice” argument about homosexualty or homosexual “lifestyle” is the lack of empathy and the obvious ignorance on what living “the lifestyle” entails.

For whatever reason, people who make that argument seem to only see homosexuality as a sexual rebellion and a plot to overthrow tradition and social norms. It is as if gays and lesbians are deliberately antagonising the established rules, and not only that, but they enjoy doing it. Yes, we’re all thrilled and pumped up about it. What they don’t see is the painful process of self-doubt, self-hatred, and alienation, and when you’ve come to terms with those yourself, realizing that you will never be “normal”, that no matter where you go, you will never feel completely safe.

Some of us might have forgotten it; for some it might just be remembered as another glitch in the bumpy road to adulthood; but it’s an unmistakable darkness that we have all gone through. Some emerge from it with a few bruises, some with deep wounds, and some never make their way out.

Numerous studies have found a higher suicide attempt rate in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered teens. Obviously because they’re just too excited about entering a world without sexual limitations, where pissing your parents off is considered to be cool.

Women who hate women who love women

Written by AnJ on . Posted in Coming Out

When i was still in my undergraduate years, i had a good friend who doted upon me like a sister. She told me all she needed was a degree -never matter the grades- and she would get married and be a “tai-tai”. (A tai-tai is the wife of a rich man. A tai-tai does not need to work.) This same friend of mine later told me that in any leadership committee, it is best that girls do not take up more than half of the seats. Because women, in her experience, were incompetent. And woe to any club who has a lady-chairperson!- she exclaimed. *DOTS*

Women who put down groups of other women have always intrigued me.
You would think that being women, they would understand how things are like for women. They would see the stereotypes in place and how women still have some way to go in terms of equality.

But no… There is a surprisingly number of women out there who take in everything they have been told, without critical evaluation.

Women who endorse the following statements:
“A woman should not expect to go to exactly the same places or to have the same freedom of action as men.”
“Women  are unable to hold positions of power because they are overly emotional and illogical, desiring to gain too much control over men.”
“Men are less likely to fall apart in emergencies than women are.”
“Men and women have qualities that complement one another.”
“Lesbians endanger the institution of the family.”
“Lesbians tend to dress in opposite-sex clothing.”

My family: Not chosen

Written by (Guest Writers) on . Posted in Coming Out

It would be easy for me to say that family is chosen, not given, and that wherever I feel comfortable is where home is. But they’re there, and there’s no where else I can belong to, whether I want to or not. Maybe in some ways I’m in a lucky position to say such a thing: my family didn’t turn me away when I came out, and they still love me as they always have. I don’t have to go search for another place, another home, because mine’s still there for me. But my family is not the most progressive one you can find. While my parents are very liberal minded in many ways, in others they are still quite conservative. They retain the traditional Chinese family values, and addition to that they are faithful Catholics. I won’t pretend that my coming out didn’t cause any emotional conflict for them both, and I can’t ask more than just acceptance. I have that and I am grateful for it, but though terrible it may sound, sometimes I wish they had reacted more extremely.

See, my problem is I have to walk the line between respecting their beliefs and their hope for me to find my way to be happy, and just to ignore their idea of what my happiness is and look somewhere else for guidance and recognition.

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