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Carrey Lim

June 1997

The Way I Am

A true story about the life, thoughts, feelings and hopes of a gay teenager, this article is targeted at gay, lesbian, bisexuals as well as straight people, who have come to understand why queers are the way they are.

I'm a 16 year old teenager, living in Malaysia and I'm gay. Life is hard for a person like me. I'm still in the closet and have not told anyone (except some online friends) that I'm gay. I live a comfortable and luxurious life and my parents and family members are very good to me. This, therefore, even makes me more reluctant to acknowledge the fact that one day, I have to come out to these people whom I love dearly.

Each and every night, when I lay my head on my pillow, I'd pray to God, I'd ask "Why am I made a homosexual? Why can't I be just live a straight life?" And then I kept wishing, I kept wishing that one morning I'd wake up and I'd say to myself that I'm not gay anymore. But deep inside, my heart tells me that this morning won't come. When I was little, I myself did not have a good opinion about gay people. At that time, of course, sexuality was never an important concern of mine. The image which the society has about homosexuals is a lousy and false one. They think that gays are sissies, child molesters, and weird people.

I live in a country where coming out to the world that you are gay isn't exactly the best thing to do in the world. I think there are some laws which say you'll be sent to jail or something if you're gay. There are no support groups here, no Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual societies in universities, colleges or schools.

You know, I always thought that once you're gay, lesbian or bisexual, this world will change for you. That you are part of a different world, and a different society. And I think that life will never be the same again. People are going to look at you at a different way, few people will respect you, you won't legally get married and you won't have children.

I admit that lots of people, gay teens like myself, are not actually "confused" about their sexuality. Many already know deep inside themselves that they are homosexual people. But the way the society thinks about homosexuals and their "fear" of unacceptance in the society plus the transformations their lives will have to go through makes them fight back, and try their best to deny that they are gay people. It's because of the many "bad things" which will happen to us, once we tell the world that we're gay, that makes us even more afraid of accepting who we really are. We're lying to ourselves.

An article about a boy named Robby Kirkland who ended his life in his struggle to accept being gay really moved me. It got me really thinking, how many young innocent lives have been sacrificed just because of something they themselves can't control. These people died not because of their own unacceptance of their sexual orientation, but rather how the world treated them. The society killed these people.

I cry at the thought of the millions of the queer people who walk on the Earth who are verbally and physically abused everyday. Each and everyday, I got to school and hear all kinds of terrible jokes made on gay people, by my own friends! Even my best friend. I just simply wished that I have the courage to grab them, look at them in their eyes and tell them, "I'm Gay! Now will you shut up??!!"

This has to stop. Life has been so hard for us, trying to accept ourselves and the society even makes things harder for us.

Perhaps if the society will one day learn that being "gay" is simply what you are, and not a lifestyle or a choice we have made, then things would have been different for us. But until then, I'll just keep praying every night.


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