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


Zhou Yu said...

Ah, it was really awkward at the time. Y'know, I almost dropped my jaw after hearing Git's initial response. Soooo cluelesss..... And it was very hard to be a starter.

But we went through it. Just, nothing felt really special for the coming out thingies.... Just ordinary..... Probably because we have been comfortable with the way we are, eh??

BoewatChat said...

Don't ask don't tell, per se, is basically neutral: leave aside sexual orientation as personal matter..
And I think you could also understand "don't tell" well, as you won't say, "owwhh I'm a lesbian.." from the mountain top :)
Don't tell doesn't mean that we must hide our true identity... Don't tell implies that it is not necessary to come out openly when we're not asked.. ;)

Ryan_Boomery said...

Yeah, but if there is no one who 'tell' like Martina, kd, Melissa, and especially Ellen in the early years, and someone like Harvey Milk, then what would have happened to gay visibility? People would always assume that gay people are freak and they will keep on those stereotypes without really being able to put faces to the names at all.

Pecinta Perempuan(ku) said...

thanx God..biar pun cuma 1...aku punya sahabat yang udah tahu tenteng kondisiku... tapi ke sahabat yang lainnya...belum siap...