This one’s for people who’ve been coming up with shit about me, my “gayness” and my dad.
Ever since I got back home, people have been picking on my looks. A lot of things changed during my first year of college and my make-over was one of the obvious ones. I got reddish brown highlights on my permed quiff hair. I had to piercing, one on my right ear lobe and the other up on the ear cartilage. I wear rather showy faux diamond stud-earrings, keep my hair styled most of the time and have a necklace around my neck and a couple of rings on whenever I go out. I haven’t had a chance to whip out my bright fabulous skin-tight outfits and I don’t think I’m going to – although they’d be perfect for a tropical summer. Anyways, that’s how I look. And, yes, people pick on me for that. We all know any straight guy could do the same to attract girls, and still they criticize me. “You are a good boy,” they say. “A good boy doesn’t do this or that or that,” they say. They say so because they know I’m out. Yup, they don’t know or believe I’m gay but they just know I’m out. And they say what they say without saying the “gay” part out loud.
(“They” here are my parents, my blood relatives and some old friends – which is most everyone I know.)
I don’t care what they know or what they say. But what they say and how they say it crosses lines. Their definition of “gay” doesn’t fit with the technical definition of “ homosexuality” or queerness. Their definition involves social deviance, sexual perversion and a destructive lifestyle. There is no definite word in Burmese to describe queer sexuality. “Queer men (gay men, trans women) are a network of wannabe women who operate as underground gangs and recruit young effiminate/feminine boys and turn them into one of them. They are not educated. They don’t have human rights. And recruitment is their only method of strengthening their community.” ~ That pretty much sums up how the gay community is viewed in Burma. Lesbians and trans men are not part of this infamy. I’m talking about the people of age 30 and above here. I can get through to most of my friends and make them accept me even if they might not warm up to the whole idea of me being, technically, a homosexual.
Old people, the elder crowd – yes. They hypothesize theories, think of factors that could’ve made/turned me gay. With the definition they have, they would never accept the fact that I am gay. I should always be a nice little boy to them who could simply be effiminate or has feminine qualities. And the male gender is something superior, something I should not abandon and etc etc. Maybe I had butt sex with someone at school. Maybe the gay rights movement going on in the US made me wanna be one of the gays. Maybe I turned gay out of admiration for Obama’s support for same-sex marriage. (On a side note, I have never had that much admiration for anyone in the political realm.) All of them, BULLSHIT! But the worst of them all: maybe because my dad’s a bad guy.
WTF? FTW? My mom’s physically disabled. She can’t walk well got her right leg is atrophied due to polio and she’s got post-polio scoliosis deformity. Although she’s the working woman of the family, she’s very dependent physically on my dad. This is a chauvinistic Asian society, of course, my dad would want dominance in the family. He sometimes shows it by emphasizing on the fact that she can’t drive or even walk well. When he’s cross with her, he leaves her to her own devise – she can’t go to work without him. Relatives from my mom’s side see this as a demonic behaviour of my dad’s. Well, while it’s not good, it’s understandable. Plus, my dad’s played a great role in bringing up me and my sister. He would do the laundry and the dishes, help with the housekeeping and take my mom and me and my sister just about anywhere in town (before I could learn to drive). Them people from my mom’s side of the family have been saying, I’m turning gay because I don’t have a male role model to look up to, because my dad’s a bad man. Listen, bitches, my dad knows how to stay committed to a woman and to his family. He has earned a place in this world, which is supporting his wife and children. He is a perfect role model – well, except for the chauvinistic part (but that’s ok). And me being gay has nothing to do with role models. And I’ll tell you what: you are the bad male and female role models, saying shit about people and not even knowing them well enough.
And again, about being gay, it simply means I date men and it comes naturally. There are many scientific theories that contribute to queer sexuality. I’ll just assume it comes with the DNA, which is probably from my father’s side – because I have a lesbian tomboy aunt. And yes, I do experiments with gender-bending. I have a fascination with androgyny, which makes me gender-queer. But gender expression has nothing to do – if at all – with sexual orientation or sexual identity or biological gender. So here’s the thing about me:
- Biological gender – MALE
- Gender identity – FLUID
- Gender expression – ANDROGYNOUS
- Sexual orientation – GAY/HOMOSEXUAL
Got it? And if you haven’t, I’ll put it more simply and gently: I like dicks, including my own!