Being an out gay Asian at school for almost two years... I think I've had it a lot easier than other GLBT people. I go to a Christian school, but I don't get shit. I'm good friends with many around the school, girls and guys. Some used to give me shit two years back but we even ended up being mates. Interesting...
But I don't think New Zealand teens really have that much of a developed understanding of GLBT people. We don't have much awareness of it compared to say Canada or America. Due to our country's relatively small population, we are even smaller. So I guess I'm very lucky my peers aren't assholes about something completely alien to them like being 'gay'.
I'm the only one out at my 1500 people school. Or the only one out that I know of. But I think this kind of stuff goes around pretty fast. So I would know.
Maybe I can't attribute everything to luck. Maybe I should give myself a little credit. I wasn't an asshole. I'm caring and nice and help people. I'm friendly and sociable. I get to know more people by joining an all round of activities. I'm friends with a few of the most popular guys and girls in our year (maybe that's a deterrent to be an asshole to me...). I expand my social network by meeting and making new friends inside and outside of school. I also don't have an easy to mock Asian accent, Asian last name or Asian habit. I make people laugh. I realise if I'm a happy optimistic non-Asian Asian at school who's very sociable, people actually enjoy my company and have no reason to be a dick to me.
But I can only credit myself so much. Some things are simply out of my control, in a good way. My conservative parents live back in Asia. They don't know I'm out. The people I live with are very loose so I can do anything I want to be the person I am (not just in the respects of being gay). I’m getting the life I want. I go to a relatively friendly school, I suppose. I knew the right people even? It all could've easily turned out the other way, becoming an immensely traumatic disaster…
Despite our seemingly non-existent gay teen population in where I live, I know a handful, I've got my sources. They’re also my friends. I know a closeted gay who's really insecure and born to old-fashioned parents in the military. I know another, closeted and depressed, that lives under the same roof as his conservative Minister parents. I know another one born to even more conservative parents, except this time they're Muslim. They hate fags. I know someone else (my ex) who's getting emancipated (legally disowned) by his parents for being gay. I know.. I know..
Sometimes it's easy to get on with life, taking for granted each simple breath I take. Assume the relative smooth passing of time as a constant. Or even bath in the glory of my optimism, my successful friendships, my coming out and my 'courage'. Then I realise I'm the asshole, the dick, for ignoring something so alien yet so relevant to me – for feeding my lack of understanding, for nourishing my occasional scorn at the insecurities, the rants, the depression and the ‘excuses’ the others make.
Sometimes I still believe they overdo it, making being gay the centre of their life, or the excuses for all their faults. But could that have easily been me? Would it still have been perceived merely as an ‘excuse’ if my mother was a Muslim, my dad works in the military, and they’re both here outside my room right now but the next minute have the intention and potential to make me homeless?
I’m just an Asian. I’m out for two years. My parents aren’t with me. I got great friends. And I think for a bit, maybe just a little bit, I'm lucky.