I chose to remain anonymous simply due to the fact that I have parents, you know the Chinese kind. I'm 22 years old, living in San Francisco where I attend SFSU. I think as soon as I got out high school, I finally came out to myself. I kinda knew that I was attracted to women since I was a kid. I used to have very vivid dreams about women, even in kindergarten. But anyway, I always just knew that I liked women. I used to be scared I would grow up to be gay, but I don't think anymore that it's something you grow up to be. I think sexuality is something that's just is. But you know, and I don't mean to invalidate anyone's sense of identity or system of beliefs, but I think that humans are innately bisexual. But to be honest, I don't even think they are bisexual. I think people inevitably find people attractive regardless of gender. I mean, I call myself bisexual out of convenience. Also, I see it as a political term. If I'm bisexual, I belong to some group; I have some system of support. But if I'm not anything except what I consider natural, then I'm a weirdo, and there's no place for me in this society. Look at the way society is set up. It's so religious. Some people take the Bible very literally. Some people will fill in the blanks for what God missed. You'll see what you want to see.
All my friends know. I mean my really good friends, and other people I don't really care. My mother kinda knows. I told her over the phone. She didn't believe me. She didn't want to believe me. She was really scared, freaked out. She said, "Well, I like girls too, but I don't want to kiss them. Are you telling me you want to kiss them and to make love to them?" Talk about uncomfortable. My mom asking me if I want to have sex with women. I told her yeah, of course. That kinda made her feel better. I told her that I even wanted to get married some day and left it at that.
To be really honest, I thought I was going to marry a man. My mother did. No seriously. I think I'll marry a guy. Maybe I can marry a woman too, and we can all live together and be lovers. But then again, maybe that would be too much attention for me.
When I first told my mom, I actually hadn't planned to. But we were talking about this guy I was pseudo seeing. I told him that I liked women too, and he never called me after that. My mother asked why I said that, if I was just joking. You know, my mother's asked me before, and I've talked about it before. But I've always played it like it was a joke. I guess I got tired of it and tired of having to hide that part of myself. It just didn't seem important anymore to keep mum. I got tired of letting everyone's fears rule me. I wasn't afraid to like women. My mom was. My mom kept trying to convince me I was fooling myself and in a way was begging me to tell her I was joking. But yeah, I told her it wasn't going anywhere and that I was tired of talking. So we got off the phone.
It's funny, I thought that after I told her I would feel better, but I didn't. I felt awful. I mean, I really expected my mom to support me. I don't know why. She's Catholic AND she's Chinese. My mom's fairly traditional. She doesn't even want me to date non-Chinese guys. What is the likelihood she'd want me to date a woman? Her argument was that Chinese people aren't like that. Kinda like there aren't any Chinese queers. I'm an embarrassment to my people. She said she wasn't going to tell my father. He'd flip out. I said fine. I wasn't going to tell him anyways.
I was scared. My dad and I have had countless conversations on homosexuality. I'm always pro, he's con. That's kinda the nature of our relationship. We're always at odds. He's very conservative. Very traditional. No dating till you're done with school. No sex till marriage. No marrying white guys. No being gay. To be honest, I think my dad would lose it if he found out one of his kids was gay. I don't think I was really afraid how it would affect our relationship. It wasn't that important for him to know. It was more my mom. I think I was afraid that my father wouldn't be able to cope with it. I mean, I'm sacrificing some of myself, but I don't really see it as sacrifice. To be honest, I think my dad would lose it if he found out one of his kids was gay. I don't think I was really afraid how it would affect our relationship. It wasn't that important for him to know. It was more my mom. I think I was afraid that my father wouldn't be able to cope with it. I mean, I'm sacrificing some of myself, but I don't really see it as sacrifice. Maybe I just feel it is my duty to keep some harmonic relationship between myself and him.
I didn't want to fight with my father for the right to be gay. You know, nobody has to fight for the right to be straight. I mean when you're born, it's already decided for you that you are straight. No one doubts that you're straight.
I've always felt my mom understood me better and trusted me more. I don't mind my father not knowing, but I wanted my mother's support on this. She called my occasionally after that, but it was weird. It was like this pain between us was keeping us silent. She stopped saying she loved me when we got of the phone. It was weird. But after a few weeks, she called me up one afternoon and after she had spoken to me about "that stuff," she'd been thinking a lot. She told me that she didn't like it or understand it, but I was her kid and she still loved me.
I got mad. I wanted more than for her to accept it, I wanted her to understand it. I wanted her to understand that she wasn't just supporting me in my decision to go to bed with another woman. I wanted her to understand that for me, this was perfectly natural, that I could feel as deeply for a woman as she does for my father. I wanted her to understand how hard it was for me to keep mum about it, to have to pretend like it was a joke. I wanted her to love me because I was capable of loving women. I wanted her to love me because I was growing and understanding myself. I didn't want her to see my life as strange and that she was some martyr having to accept it. I lost my temper.
She asked me what I wanted - how could I expect her to understand when she was not that way herself? She was never going to like women. She said she was trying, that she accepted me, and wasn't that enough? I told her I'd call her back. I sat down and started thinking about her side of it all. I guess when you find out your kid is gay, you feel like you've failed somewhere. I needed to support what she was trying to do. It's more than just whether your parents will accept you. It's also about their barriers to acceptance.