Since I got back to my hometown, I have met with the disapproval of the changes that have happened to me over my first year of college in a foreign land – my changed looks, behaviour and manner of speech, my new-found beliefs, my deepening academic and personal interests, etc. They somehow believe that Western society has corrupted me and are not happy that I am not growing in the direction they’d hoped I would grow in. My mom’s side of the family is politically active and I have no strong interest in politics (although I realize politics is about every citizen of a nation and it can even be about citizens of foreign lands that the nation is in contact with). My dad’s side of the family is all about economics, computer sciences and making money. I am a very artsy imaginative person and thus am in conflict with both sides. Also, I have deliberately been avoiding my friends from high school. I had taken 2 gap years before college while they went straight to different colleges and universities after the 2 years of high school. Being out as gay also puts obstacles in my relationships with people who knew about my sexuality but are not comfortable with it (although they really have no idea what “gay” means).
Anyways, as easily as I can avoid people in person – all I have to do is not visit them or call them – people catch up to me online, especially on Facebook. It’s a crisis when everyone who has an e-mail account, though they may not know well enough how to type up and send an e-mail, is on Facebook. (I’m talking about some of my middle-aged relatives whose friend requests I keep denying.) And there are my old friends who readily see my online activities and spread words among them about how outrageous I’ve become and taking words back to my relatives, which greatly shames them from time to time. Recently, I saw that my ex-girlfriend is active on her Facebook account. She was my one and only girlfriend I ever had. We had a brief conversation of no concrete subject.
Here’s my little story about us:
I started to have a crush on her right after high school. We didn’t talk much but I was greatly attracted to her. It took me one year to finally ask her out. And she took almost another year to say yes. In the mean time, she became close friends with my sister, and my mom and sister loves her so much – even more than I did back then, I guess. By the time she said yes, I was already falling for a guy – falling and falling hard, and for a straight guy. (Yeah, it was a confusing situation and it sucked!) So with my heart in the palms of a straight guy, I got into a relationship with the girl. I was pretty sure then that the guy was gay or bi – because the way we sometimes held hands felt right. Anyways, I found a reason to break up with her in 3 days into the relationship. Yes, you may call me the bad guy. She’s a nerd, a geek – or something of that sort. 2 days before my 18th birthday, we became a couple. The next day, I was back in town and I followed her all the way into her medical school lecture hall to see her. She didn’t say hi or even looked at me, with the excuse of being in class. So, I broke up over that on my birthday.
She’s pretty simple-minded and a very nice person. And she was pretty devastated by the break-up. (She’s probably recovered by now.) But I can’t escape her. She is still on very good terms with my sister, who usually hates most of my friends for no reason, and my mom adores this girl. My mom actually suggested several times that I get back together with her. I feel like I hadn’t been honest with the relationship and I feel bad that I had hurt her – unintentionally though. I never openly apologized that she felt hurt or anything. But when her dad passed away when I was in college, I sent her a card expressing my condolences but her reply was a one-liner: “Thank you for your sympathies,” or something like that.
It’s some kind of a cold shoulder relationship – by relationship, I mean, friendship/acquaintance thing, not something romantic. But we are – she and my family – are living in the same social circle and I don’t think it’s right that our interactions should come to an awkward halt. I don’t know what her attitude is toward the LGBT community or gay people. She’s just a typical conservative Chinese girl living in mid-land Burma. I can’t possibly expect her to be gay-friendly. Still, I would like her to know the truth about our past relationship. However, I can’t decide if she has the right to know or if I have enough courage to come out to her.
At this point, I’m sure she must’ve heard things about me. But still … I kind of hope she can find things out for herself and forgive me for what I’d done and accept me for who I am. Who am I to ask that much of her though?
NOTE: It’s surprising how – although I identify myself as gay at this point – my feelings for her felt so real and so strong right after high school. Maybe I’m bisexual despite my stronger attraction toward guys than toward girls.