I’d recently learnt of the Take Action! Contest by Oogachaga.
It’s a contest which invites all individuals or groups who aspire to make a positive difference
to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community in Singapore to
submit an original idea for their own programme.
And this inspired me to tell you about my story.
I once heard a saying that goes “The naked truth is always better than the best dressed lie”.
Although we all know that the truth is not always rosy and nice,
living in a lie would probably be the most depressing and unhappy thing I can imagine.
I had lived in denial for certain things in life before,
but when it comes to realizing who I am and coming to terms with my sexuality,
I am proud I took the courage to embrace and accept who I am inside.
A and I have been together for about a year and a half now. Looking back,
it all still feels surreal about how we evolved from schoolmates who only kept in touch via Facebook,
to friends who were comfortable about sharing things about our lives, to now –
two inseparable girls who can’t wait to spend each day with each other.
This whole journey with A has been more than just an emotional rollercoaster ride,
it is also a valuable lesson that has opened my eyes to things I have otherwise not known had I not met her,
and it had also brought me closer to myself.
Knowing A had made me know myself better.
I think I am a very lucky girl.
Luckily, not only because I have A in my life now, but also because
I have a loving family and friends who accept me for who I am,
and because I was born with this “live for the moment” sort of personality that made me brave enough
to just follow my heart and not my head.
I was a normal child – I looked ordinary and had good friends of both gender growing up.
I loved dresses and girly stuff and have crushes on boys when I was in school.
In short, I did not look particularly tomboyish or extremely feminine.
Everything happened pretty much according to plan and nothing out of the ordinary took place.
I had boyfriends, I brought my potential life partners home to meet my parents, I even thought of getting married!
But things started to change after I met A. It felt almost like I was going through puberty all over again.
The attraction I had towards her felt different – something I had never felt before.
I freaked out when I realized that I might be falling in love with a girl.
There were many things that came to mind before I decided to start seeing A officially.
I was afraid that my family would not approve of the relationship,
worried that my friends will think different of me after they know about my abrupt change in sexual orientation.
I did not want my sexual orientation to affect how people view me professionally too.
But me being the reckless me, I took a leap of faith and I am happy it all turned out well.
I had many questions from readers over the span of this 18 months –
some from curious straight people who just wants to know how I overcame the fears and came out,
some from people like me who are still finding the chance to finally be who they are.
There are a lot of misconceptions about the LGBT society and
I think there will be more acceptances if the society understands the LGBT people better.
So here are my answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
♥ Does your mother know about your relationship with A? ♥
My Mom knows about my relationship with A and I am very lucky that she also acknowledges A as my girlfriend.
A and I recently introduced our mothers to each other and everything is going on well for us so far.
♥ How did you tell your family about your sexuality? ♥
I am from a typical Asian family where it can be hard to talk about sexuality openly,
so I have never actually told my mother face-to-face about my sexual orientation.
At first, I introduced A as a friend but I have never tried to hide or cover up
whenever I go out with or meet up with A.
Over time, I guess my mother realized that the way I treat A is different from how I treat my other female friends.
I spoke to my cousin once and she told me about my Mom telling my aunts that I am going out with a girl now
and my Mom said she just wants me to be happy.
So yes, that was my way of sending the message across to my mother and knowing that she has accepted us.
My aunts and extended family has been really supportive too.
They always make an effort to include A in our family gatherings and get-togethers.
♥ Has it affected your life in any way? ♥
It did not affect my life much.
True friends stayed by my side and those who thought differently about me probably
are not really true friends in my opinion.
I broke the news to my friends gradually and they were supportive of my current relationship.
If you are worried about how your friends of the same-gender might think differently of you,
let them in and tell them how you feel slowly.
Not everyone is the same so it takes time to let them understand you gradually.
♥ How different is being in a gay relationship different from a straight relationship? ♥
A gay relationship is no different from a straight relationship.
Unlike the common perception about how gay relationships are frivolous and gay people are promiscuous,
I personally know gay couples who have been together for years and still going strong.
It does not matter whether you are in a gay or straight relationship.
All relationships take a lot of effort and time to maintain.
♥ Are you happy? ♥
I am happier now and through my coming out, I got closer to my mother and my friends.
I got to know myself better and I am now in a relationship with the most special girl I have met in my life.
I am indeed fortunate to have such understanding and beautiful people around me but not everyone is as lucky as I am.
But a lot of people like me still faces discrimination and difficulty in coming out.
“To Anonymous” is one of Take Action!’s past year winner and was awarded a seed fund of $1000
to steer this programme into the works.
The programme was originally targeted for the transgender population but welcomes the letters from all LGBTQ individuals.
It’s heartening to know that such a simple initiative has achieved such a favourable response.
With an outlet to build a tighter-knit community, encouragement and support is coming from strangers and friends alike.
People are stepping out and accepting the fact that sexuality is only a facet of our humanity,
and regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, we are all fundamentally human.
What’s more important is showing love and concern for others rather than jumping quickly to conclusions and labels.
It’s a pity that the competition is over, but you can still get involved and vote for your favourite project
and 4 lucky winners will each walk away with an 8GB SanDisk SDHC card sponsored by NoFrillsFactoryOutlet.com.
You can also subscribe to Oogachaga’s newsletter for more upcoming programmes,
exciting events and information!
Do check them out now and be inspired!