Many things have changed since I first wrote last month in the June issue of Oasis. It has been an important time for me, in discovering my sexuality, accepting who I am, coming out to my parents, surviving the pain, etc., etc.
I have my entire experience of this documented at http://1outofevery10.home.ml.org at the "My Journey" section. I hope it'll help other youth struggling out there. Other than my personal journey, also included in this little site I've developed are true stories about other gays lesbians and bisexuals confronting their own sexuality, stopping homophobia and lots of helpful links.
I am a 16 year old teenager, and I live in Malaysia, a country which is developing at an incredible speed, but one which is still very much homophobic in general.
Just to let you know the seriousness of homophobia in certain countries (hopefully you'll feel lucky where you are) I enclose a response I've received from an earlier posting to the bulletin boards:
>I read your posting on the glb newsgroup. You seemed to have given the
>issue hard long considerations already.
>Coming from the same country (I'm working in the States) I understand
>things are really MUCH worse. The reality is that in Malaysia glb
>people stand no chance of survival. Even issues like intercultural
>understanding has not been soundly accomplished; I have much less hope
>in glb equality in decades to come.
>At 16(form 4?), you can still steer your future without too much to
>worry about(like giving up your career, loosing friends of many years
>etc.). But I have a few realistic(I hope) suggestions:
> 1) If you continue your university education and then work in
>Malaysia, acting gay(coming out and getting involved in a
>relationship) WILL harm you so much! The society will not be changing
>in our life time, I can assure you that.
> 2) Don't label yourself too soon. You may find yourself bi or even
>str8 when you meet Ms right. Hopefully if staying in Malaysia is
>your plan, your don't end up gay(I am not degrading my type tough). If
>you do, DO NOT come out to just anybody.
> 3) You may consider developing your future in a more friendly
>country(etc. USA). But there are other important issues too. that you
>will have to leave your family upon high school graduation. Starting
>your University life here will be taxing too. Applying for
>citzenship is lousy, you will be a 2nd class people for a while( not
>that you will be killed/harrased, but you have less legal rights, etc.
>voting & tax payment). This is possible but it takes
>patience. Be aware that in the USA many people still thinks being
>gay is wrong, but everyone's human rights are protected.
> So my idiotic but important point: Living a gay life in Malaysia
>is doomed! While you are young you have a choice to steer your future.
>Please give the above reasoning some thoughts.
I guess that's all for this time. I feel depressed after reading this e-mail, knowing there's little future for people like me in our own country.
So check out my site http://1outofevery10.home.ml.org and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!