Being born in China, I was raised in a very conservative community. There was simply no talk of the word 'homosexuality', as if it doesn't even exist. That contributed to me feeling very confused when I was 12 to 16. By then, I was having strange feelings towards other boys, feelings which I shouldn't have. I had no one to talk to about it, as it's too embarassing, and from what I've gathered from the internet, it's not a good thing to have in China. So I kept my secrets to myself, until...
At the age of 14, I moved to New Zealand all by myself. No parents, no surpervision, and a very, very liberal country. 'Homosexuals' seem to pop up more frequent in my hearing range, and I began to wonder if I was one of them. At first I was scared, as words such as 'homo', 'gay', and 'faggot' are normally used in a negative way. Again, the internet was a great tool in defining myself. I did several 'Gay Tests', and I came positive in every test.
Then came the denial stage. I was scared, so I became quite homophobic. I remember making hurtful remarks about the few gay people who were out at my school. I used the word 'gay' in a negative way on some people. All these time trying to supress my own feelings for other boys.
Then came my 17th birthday. 17, such a magical number. My sweet, sweet 17 is the year where I truly discovered myself, and may I add, the best year of my life so far. So much drama, betrayal, befriend, happiness and sadness...
On my birthday, I went to this party, which I will never forget. After a couple of hours or so, everybody was very drunk, and suddenly, it turned into a massive 'Everyone-making-out-with-everyone-else' thing. I jumped in, of course. And I got my first girl kisses (from 4 different girls), and.... my first guy kisses (from 2 guys).
It became the gossip of the day the Monday after the party. Everyone at school have somehow heard about the incident in the weekend, and were asking me, if the rumours were true, and some asked if I was gay. There were teasing. There were understanding. There were 'I don't give a fuck' attitude. But I denied that I liked boys. Of course I was very confused then myself.
"I can't be.... gay.... can I?...I'm not.... But...."
Nights after nights, this question has been bothering me. Until finally one day, I realised that I do find men more attractive than women. So I classed myself as 'bisexual'. Of course I knew I was 100% Gay, but I didn't want to make such a big step in one step, I wanted to take baby steps. So I went through a transition stage of bisexuality.
However, this stage didn't last for long (1 months max), before I realised that I'm fooling no one other than myself. It is then I found Oasismag.com. I read stories on it, discussions, but was scared to actually post anything on it. Why? Because I was afraid people whom know me might find out that I was gay. So I had a username totally irrelevant to my real name, and when I posted, I made sure there was no mention of my name and details, etc.
I started coming out to people. Baby steps. First my best group of friends. Results came quite positive. Then more and more people. Word of mouth is truly powerful. Everybody knew eventually. And no one really reacted negatively, except for some people, whom I hardly talk to. That's their problem.
It was rather hard to come out to a few type of people. 1) the religious people. I have some Christian and Mormon friends, whom I found so hard to tell them. But to my surprise, they took it exceptionally well. Someone said to me once: "You know, it's great that people got to know you before you came out. That way, they don't judge you by your 'gay' label. They actually got to know you as a person. And your sexuality is just part of who you are. In a way, you are making some people, whom would have disliked the homosexuals, change their mind about it. Because they know you for who you are and love you, they can't hate you for something you can't change. The next time they see a gay guy, they'll think of you, and all negative feelings will be diminished."
2) My parents. I wasn't planning on telling them until I don't need them for financial support, which will be in 2008-2009. However, life is full of surprises. On the phone one evening to them (way back in China), mum suddenly asked me the question.
"I want to ask you something... You do like girls, right? Or... do you like... boys?"
My mind went blank for just a second. What? Did my mum just ask me if I was gay? But... How could she have know? Why? Why now? What's going on?
"Why do you ask that mum? Is it that important?" - I said while my mind was still trying to precess the qestion, and deciding whether I should lie or tell them the truth.
"It's not important. I just wanted to know. It doesn't matter even if you do like boys." - Mum said in a calming voice.
I think at that instant, my inside defensive system went down. All thoughts went blank, and I just told them that I liked boys. After realising that I have just told the truth, part of me was giving me a pat on my back, another part of me was saying 'Shit! Why would you do that you dumbass!'.
I heard silence on the other end of the phone. Mum and dad were crying then.
However, they took it so well. I'm such a lucky boy to have them as my parents. They told me that, my sexuality is not something that they or me can change, so we'll just all have to live with the fact that I am who I am. THey said that they still loved me the way they used to, if not more. She also asked why I haven't told them earlier, and felt quite guity that she didn't know earlier, so that she could have made me feel less confused when I was younger.
My fear of how my parents would react was totally wrong. Despite them being Asian parents, they took it so well. And now, my sexuality is a non-issue.
After that, I felt that a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. It felt so good - the feeling of being absolutely true and honest. The feeling of not being afraid of anything.
I work in the student government of my school. At graduation, some members were in charge of composing a song. It was a take off of "I'll Be There For You" from FRIENDS. They gave me a pleasant surprise when they sang song at the final assembly, with one of the lines being "...And (toblerone) turned out Gay..."! The whole of my year (600 people) burst into laughter, and so did I. I'm so happy that everyone is so accepting, and it just proves that, the more open and comfortable you are with your own sexuality, the less emphasise will be placed on it by your friends and the community.
That was my LONG story, hope it wasn't TOO long. Any further questions, don't hesitate to email back.
Keep up the good work,