Saturday, January 30, 2010

Prop 8 - Testimony from The Unknown

When I first realized my attraction to girls, I went into a long-time research over it. First, I wanted to be sure if it's a disease or not (coz everybody said it's a disease), maybe how I can get rid of it. Second, if being gay makes me an abnormal or weird person. I'd never seen any representation of a gay person before. And third, if it's a sin. Honestly that's the only thing I can't resolve until now. Problem is, I can only believe in what I feel. I'll never know what God really thinks.

Do you know what makes me choose to walk on this path in the end? It's because in every article, in every forum, in every dialogue or debate about gay rights or being gay at all, there is a very clear difference. The anti-gay people always talks about fear. "Burn in hell", "Jesus hates fags", "gay marriage threats traditional marriage", "the gays will teach children about sodomi", etc. "Disgusting, abnormal, abomination, unnatural, sin, etc" is among their favorite words. But the argumens in the gay side always talks about love. It's among, "We shouldn't judge people," "Respect difference", "I'm proud of my gay son/daughter/friend/parents/etc", "Love is stronger than blood", etc. True, the cases are sometimes reversed. There are anti-gay people who can actually think cold-headedly and logically, and there are some gay people who are downright rude. But in most cases, it's totally clear to me which side is 'right', according to my heart. It doesn't even matter to me if I'm gay or not. Even if I'm straight I'd still support gay rights, just like I'm not Jewish but I'd be against Hitler anyway.
I always want to be married someday. It doesn't matter much if it's legal or not for now because I don't want to wait until Indonesia makes it legal. But because of that, I want to support people who are 'almost' be able to get married. Besides, it's really a harmless thing. What difference would it be to your life if your neighbour is married or not? You can still pretend they're roommates if you want to. But being married is crucial to them, it affects many aspects in their lives. Face it, the hullaballo of Prop 8 has nothing to do with 'traditional marriage', children wellbeing', much less 'sanctity of marriage'. It's simply a political force of an organized religion. They fear that if gay marriage is legal, people will question more about their dogmas and rules, and therefore makes them leaves their church. Again, it's based on fear. And it's totally political, not religious, because those people will not lose their faith. They will only move to churches who is more open-minded. For people with strongly political minds, it's dangerous.

I don't wish for a 100% vote for NO on 8. I just wish, since it's 2010 already, people would be wiser and learning well from history. It's not the first time that one minority group of people being bullied, and it won't be the last. If you don't stand up for them now, when it's your turn to be bullied, there'll be no one left to stand up for you.

Love or fear. It's your choice now.

Learning To Live

"When I woke up I was seventeen
You kissed my lips in a bad bad dream
Showed me things aren't what they appeared to be
Called me angel and set me free

You gave me life in the cold cold dark
But you ran away in the morning spark
Made me think that reality
Oh, is not where I wanna be

But I am what I am and I am what I am afraid of
So what am I afraid of

I need a fearless love, don't need to fear the end
If you can't hold me now, you will never hold me again
I wanna live my life, pursuing all my happiness
I want a fearless love, I won't settle for anything less"

When I listen to this song, I think of how much this song suits my life. It can even be the soundtrack to my teenage days. Like Melissa, I also 'woke up' when I was 17. Unlike her, it didn't happen in one day. Like the song, I met someone who opened up my world, someone who adored me and made me feel something I'd never felt before. Like in the song, she ran away once it's clear that we're more than friends.

You might have heard about 'I am what I am' in thousands of sayings or in songs. But have you ever heard about 'I am what I am afraid of'? It's so totally true. 'I am what I am' refer to having pride in who you are and what you do. But sometimes because of fear, you don't do what you're supposed to do, or you deny who you are. That's what 'I am what I am afraid of' means. I do love love love Melissa :DDD

I don't know if it's for the better or worse, but I am not what I was a year and a half ago. Ever since I knew Melissa, I learned not to let my feelings bottled up inside. For a while it was good. I know it's healthier and I don't have any problems with anyone cause I finished every disagreement right then and there. But for that one year I had to live with a very cancerous person, a person that for some reason always brought out the worst in me. I had to admit I went out of control often after that. I yelled and screamed and cried to my heart's content. It was good for me, I'm almost totally healed from whatever wound I had, because I let out all the anger, the sadness, and the hatred. I'm only sorry that the people around me couldn't do that no matter how I asked them to. My tantrum must have hurt them more.

I've found an example of a fearless love, I've found an example of the life I want to lead. I know it's the road less traveled. I know it's not easy and you can't just follow examples in real life. Even if you have all the same choices, the result may still vary. What I know is that this is my life, and if I want to live it to the fullest I can't let others get in the way. It can be selfish, it can be cruel, but for me, it's the best way. Others may want the best for me, doing things in my best interest, but what's the point if it's not what I need? What I need is just acceptance and support.

It's like a little kid running home with a drawing from school. She was so proud of her drawings, a pretty blue rose. She showed it to her mother, only to get scolded, "Roses are supposed to be red or white!! There's no such thing as a blue-colored roses! It's unnatural, an abomination!" How do you make someone proud of you, when all they're willing to see is a failure? How do you make them see that the blue-colored roses in this world are actually the rare and expensive kind and is very beautiful to many, when for them all roses which is not red or white are unnatural and weird?

For me, fearless love is all about making the choices that is true to my heart regardless of what others might say. I do have a dream, although it's not specific yet. I only know that I will stop at nothing to pursue that dream. And while I'm pursuing it, I'll just have fun. It's only life after all.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Pride Day

Five years ago (I think), on January 5th, I came out for the first time to my best friend at that time. Until now I make January 5th my personal 'pride day'for no other reason than to remind myself to stay true to who I am - and this is not just about being gay, but about being me as a whole.

Well as coming out story goes, I already came out to myself three years before that (8 years ago... wow!). I didn't have a dramatic scene to that story. I didn't wake up one day, looked myself in the miror and though, "Wow, I'm just so gay!" The revelation was kinda smooth to me. It was through the diary I kept during my times with the first girl I've ever loved. Slowly I realized that my feelings for her was much more than a love between friends. Reading Xena fanfics helped me a lot with figuring out my feelings, and one of the fanfics actually dealed a lot with explanations about being gay. I'm so thankful that I found that book at the time, because it gave me a clear view of what I was going into. It said all the things that a confused teenager needs to hear, like, "God loves you just the way He made you", "You don't have to rush into labeling yourself", "Being gay doesn't define who you are, it's just one small part of you"... things like that. One of the characters in the book is Ryan. She is smart, kind, passionate, funny, strong... well, she's as perfect as a heroine could be, with a huge family who love and support each other unconditionally. I kinda take her as my mentor and I adopted her name, with the hope that I could be a woman like her.

I made peace with my God and my sexual orientation very much through the same way. I found another book, this one dealing with being gay and being religious. I was never a church-goer, but I was very religious back then. As much as I wanted to believe that God would love me just the way I am, my religion simply condemns it. The book helped me to see that there is a major difference between believing in God and believing in religion. When Melissa was confused about her sexuality, she went to church and asked her priest about it. She lived in a small town on the bible belt, yet it happened that the one priest answered her with, "There are probably some people in this church that would say that it's wrong for you to love another woman. That it's a sin. But I can't go along with them on that way of thinking. I can't believe that God would have invented a love that could be wrong." In my story, that translated into my religion teacher in high school. No, I didn't ask him right away if it's alright for me to be gay, but he taught me a lot about love. He taught me to think, to interpret the bible more than just the words written. Unlike the religion teacher I had in college, he asked us questions like, "Why do you think Jesus was born as a man and not a woman?" or "Where do you see God in your life?" Instead of teaching us that "God says this, you must do so", he asked, "Why do you think God says this? Why does He say this after He said that?" I went through a long journey of researching about God and gays after that and I've found my peace. I'm not as close to God as I was used to be, but that has nothing to do with my being gay. Truth is that I was closest to God when I was in love (with a woman), cause then I talked to Him more, wishing the best for her, hoping to get close to her, thanking Him for giving me a chance to meet her, etc.

Eight years and I still have no idea of what I should label myself. But now I know better. I don't know if I'm gay or bi or even straight, but I couldn't care less. I won't admire people just because they're gay. I won't support gay people who are jerks. I promise myself to prove that there are much more to me than my orientation.

Ps. To my friends who are in bad times right now, keep on believing that you deserve much more than that. It may not be today or tomorrow, but change will come and it'll set you free :D

You've never been to the moon but don't you wanna go
Under the sea in the volcano
You've never looked into my eyes but don't you wanna know
What the dark and the wild and the different know

There're some things in my life, I'll never understand
But they become the force that makes me who I am

Cause you live and you learn, and you learn to hold on
And time will make it heal, time will make it gone