Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Choice

I came out again, this time in a mass coming out. I don't like it. It wasn't in the coming out itself. I'm already comfortable enough in who I am that telling people some surprising fact about me isn't that big a deal. It's the process. Git used to be my best friend and this is actually not how I envisioned coming out to her. But this is not all about me - we wanted to do it as a group - so I played along and did it anyway. The thing is that it got so awkward because of bad timing (but if we waited any longer than we wouldn't be able to come out) and that Cae wasn't fully aware that we were going to come out that night. And boy, aren't they so clueless. Even after Zhou said, "I'm bi" they still hadn't had a clue. I think we should've just blurted out, "Hey, you know what? We're homosexuals." There. What I hate most about the process was the questioning. It allllllllllllways came after the coming out process. I have had 'the interview' more times than I did the coming out because I have that interview everytime I tell my friends that Melissa is gay. I can always tell the level of someone's open-mindedness just by the way they do 'the questioning'.

Anwyay, I read Zhou's blog today and it made me think of 'coming out' itself. I'm a firm believer in 'live and let live' concept, and coming out is a part of that for me. I would like to refer to a comment on that post about not forcing someone into coming out and the 'don't ask don't tell' concept. I hate the 'don't ask don't tell' concept, because, well, where's the freedom of speech in that? The 'don't ask' may prevent many of us from having to lie, but the 'don't tell' will cause me some suffocation. Like my stand in most political/controversial matters (i.e. abortion, polygamy, interracial/intercultural/interreligion marriage, sex before marriage, UU APP, etc), I'm highly pro choice. For me personally abortion is not a choice, I'd always suggest divorce before polygamy, and I won't wear bikini to a mall in a million years, but I'd like for everyone to have their choice, because not everyone think and feel like the way I do, right? So it's no surprise that I despise 'don't ask don't tell' in US military. But I highly agree in not forcing someone to come out. The only reason I was looking at Cae the way I did when we came out was because I thought he understood we were going to to mass coming out but he chickened out. Later I realized that wasn't the case. Anyway, until someone actually come out by themselves, I will assume nothing of them. Well, maybe only in my mind, but that's it. Even when I knew they're gay but they stated that they're straight in public, well it's their choice and it's not my place to ruin their stand. It's only if they're gay but posing as straight and then they do something to harm the gay community that I would do something with my knowledge.

For me coming out is one way to know my true friend. It's one of the blessings I've received for being gay. I don't intend to test their loyalty to me, but I can tell how much someone like or love me just by their actions after I come out to them. Granted, my experince is limited because I usually hit people with bullets before I actually dropped the bomb (aka, I usually drop hints before I actually come out), but eh, their reactions still vary. Some people treat me the same after I come out but they flinch everytime I talk about girls, some never bought it up again and told me that they will pray that I'll be healed, some expressed their disgust but continued to grill me about it in fascination, some responded to my coming out by coming out, and some couldn't believe I'm gay. D'oh. I hate the last response the most. When I decided to come out to someone I prepared myself for the worse, prepared myself anyhow they would react and even their leaving me. And then when I finally did, BAM, they wouldn't believe me. Gah. I've experienced that even as a Catholic. Some of my friends couldn't remember that I'm a Catholic because they said I looked more like a Buddhist. Gah again. I know I don't have tattoos or piercings, I can't hold my alcohol, I'm kinda shy and reserved in front of people I don't know, I have a curfew by 6 p.m, etc. In short, I don't look like a lesbian nor that I have the attitude of one. Hm... I wonder if I can actually be accepted in the lesbian community. It sucks a lot because I feel like an outsider in my circle of straight friends when they start talking about boys, yet when I finally find a community of 'outsiders', I also feel like an outsider. It's much like my 'Chinese-Indonesian' identity, in which Indonesian people say I'm Chinese and Chinese people say I'm Indonesian.

Then again there are some people who make me chant, "Come out, come out, come out wherever you are." I'm guilty for that, though well, I don't threat and I can't actually say it to their faces. It's the celebrities and the famous. Well tell me how many of you feel grateful for Martina, kd, Melissa, Indigo Girls, and Ellen during their time and maybe Jodie Foster, Lindsay, Rachel Maddow, Tegan and Sara nowadays? I don't know much about the gay boys but maybe for you it's Elton John, Neil Pattrick Harris, Clay Aiken, Adam Lambert and Dumby - oops - Dumbledore? Or maybe it's shows like Xena, QAF, and The L Word, South of Nowhere, which have massive gay followers? Either way, I'm thankful to US entertainment for giving me a sense of visibility, and much before that a feeling that I'm not alone. Looking at Ellen and Melissa give me the pride of being who I am, because they don't look like a lesbian either, do they? And Melissa gives me an insight of what I'd like my future family to be like. But it's still their choice too because they are the ones who will put their career on danger. I will admire any Indonesian celebrity who come out publicly, because it won't be only their career, it will be their lives too that they put on risk. Even Ellen, who is generally so lovable, received a death threat for that. And the gay community is so diverse you'll never satisfy the whole community. For some Ellen was their hero, but some other thought she wasn't gay enough and the other thought she was too gay. Now try to define that! Ha.

Anyway, I think coming out is important, for visibility as well as feeling accepted as a whole. Even now, when I talk to some of my friends I keep wondering if they would still like me if they know I'm gay. But I've made my decision years ago that I wouldn't deny who I am when asked bluntly but I also wouldn't shout it on top of the mountain. It's not because I'm ashamed of who I am, but because there is no straight people who has ever come out, is there? For me being gay is merely a part of me which is personal, and there is no use to flaunt it out without purpose. I think when I have a girlfriend I will be put out of the closet automatically anyway. Haha. Oh, and a bit of advice for baby dykes and other gay newbies out there: coming out is addictive, be sure you only take a healthy dossage of it. Coming out to the wrong people or at the wrong time can really drag your life down. But taken properly, it can help you be comfortable with yourself and your sexuality. Good luck and good for you, you're gay. ;D

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

God Help The Outcast

I'll let the lyrics speak my mind. This is the OST of The Hunchback of Notredame, in case you don't know, and it is one of my favorite songs for alltime. Just change a few words and it's practically a gay hymne, but I love it even as it is.

I don't know if you can hear me, or if you're even there
I don't know if you would listen to a gypsy's prayer
I know I'm just an outcast, I shouldn't speak to you
But still I look at your face and wonder, were you once an outcast too

God help the outcast, hungry from birth
Show them the mercy they don't find on earth
God help my people, we look to you still
God help the outcast, or nobody will

(I ask for gold, I ask for fame
I ask for glory to shine on my name
I ask for love I can possess
I ask for God and His angels to bless me)

I ask for nothing, I can get by
But I know so many less lucky than I
God help the outcast, the poor and downthrod
I thought we all were the children of God

Needlessly said, after this song I had quite a crush on Esmeralda for some time. :p

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Arrogant Kinda Love

I'm a firm believer that love is never wrong. But there are actually lots of negative kinds of love, the kinds that can actually harm somebody else. Possesive love being the most common one, I think. In Indonesia, though, I think the arrogant kind of love is even more common.

I hate when people say to me, "I did it for your own good." or, "I'm only trying to do the best for you." For me that's so arrogant. Who can decide what's best for me but me? Many people around me do that occasionally, especially my parents and their siblings, although there is this one person who does that to me too many times that she became a kind of terrorist in my life. I know my parents and my families love me so much and they care about my well-being, and that's why they try to lead me to the 'right' way. I know sometimes love can be so blind that they cannot see how unhappy I become once I follow their paths. I would try to tell them, explain to them about my unhappiness, and most of the times my parents and families would listen. Except for that one particular person.

My cases aren't so extreme. I think most people would understand my confusion because most parents do that to their children. Mostly it's about having to get good grades at school, or choosing subject of study, or even choosing friends. I'm not a parent yet, but I can imagine how tiring it is to take care of children's well-being, to shape their characters to the best possible, to teach them manners and morals, etc. I can understand how busy they are with trying to give their children the best that they forget to ask what their children actually need or want. I can understand that no matter how mature I feel about myself, to my parents I'll always be a little girl. The only way I know how to solve that problem is by communicating how I feel to my parents. Some people are willing to listen. But some others are just plain deaf to anybody else's reasoning.

Some extreme cases can be found in the gay community. There are parents who send their children directly to a doctor after finding out that they're gay, or worse yet, to radical churches or 'pesantren' who claim that they can 'heal' homosexuality. Those parents don't realize, they just fed their children to the devil himself. The worst case I know happens in South Africa, where parents and families agree or even help with 'corrective rape' to heal their daughters or sisters from lesbianism. I have no idea how they felt as their parents and families' "We do this because we love you" speeches.

I, too, don't know what to do with this love-hate-guilt feeling. How am I suppossed to react to that kind of love, actually? I know she loves me to death and I know how much I hurt her by practically cutting all contacts with her. There is so much guilt I felt later, but I really don't know what to do. I despise people who think that their way is the best way. I despise it more when those people try to force their way to me. But what am I suppossed to do when they say that they do it in the name of love?