I’m From Singapore.

by chase l.

Coming out to her was easy. But for her to accept who I am, was not.

The first time I met her, I couldn’t recognize her as one of my classmates in school. She just waved at me with that brilliant sunshine smile. Ironically, my first thought was who is this crazy girl.

When I told her I was gay, there was a look of disgust on her face. She couldn’t accept who I am because of her religious teachings and she felt “disgusted.” Those were the words that stuck and are still etched onto my mind. But after a few days, she came and told me, “Chase, I was disgusted when you told me that you are gay, but you have to understand that I came from a place where the word “gay” does not exist, and you are the first gay person that I have ever met, but that does not mean I do not want you to be my friend.”

And that was 5 years ago.

Now, our friendship has blossomed into a wonderful relationship. We stood by each other through birthdays, loneliness, breakups, my coming out. Just 2 weeks ago, I brought my boyfriend to her place and introduced him to her parents, it’s like introducing my boyfriend to an extended family. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Arguments still occur, big fights still happen. Her religious views still stand firm, and my advocacy views on gay rights do not waver. But in the end, she loves me for who I am as a person, and according to her, being gay is just part of me, it does not totally define who I am as a person, and her love for me is for Chase, and not for a gay boy.

She’s not your typical fag hag. She’s just someone who will pick me up from a gay club when I am drunk, talk to me on the phone when I am being left alone, defend my integrity, my rights, my character in my absence. Someone who will go shopping with me, tells me I look ugly today, check out cute boys with me, willingly be dragged along to check out dates with. She will always be ready to pick me up when I fall, and throw the confetti when we celebrate. She’s my best friend, Genevieve.

In the end, if there are friends who loved you, they will love you for who you are. They will celebrate your strengths and embrace the flaws.

Thank you, Gen.

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I’m From Singapore. “While in a car with 2 co-workers of mine, one of them brought up the topic of “cheating on the wife.” The next statement perturbed me greatly even though I did not show it, I was internally conflicted. “It is fine if you ogle at girls when you’re married, or heck, even go for the occasional one night stand. But as a guy, if you do not lust for the “bust”, you’ve crossed over to the disgusting gay side and there’s nothing worse than that.”

3 Comments:

  1. Discardingnights

    i have a best friend like that too!
    x, DN

  2. I’ve been torn about this sort of thing lately. On one hand I’ve had friends who are deeply religious to the point of not accepting homosexuality on principle. On the other, none of them are close friends, and I don’t think they ever could be anymore.

    I get angry when someone asks why some LGBT people can’t tolerate differing viewpoints on gay rights… as if it was an ordinary issue like tax cuts or the war. The answer is because it’s our lives and our basic rights they’re talking about, and if they can’t believe in fundamental equality for other people, then they already lack the ability to respect us as human beings. Why would I give them the time of day?

    And that of course leaves out all the other consequences of inequality… ruined families and lives, astronomical suicide rates, children without adoptive parents — all the things that make me even angrier. To me, it’s not about having one opinion or the other, it’s about being morally sound or morally reprehensible. There’s no room for minimization.

    Or at least that’s the direction I’ve gone to more and more often lately. It’s interesting to read a story from a different viewpoint. Gen sounds like a great person at her core, and her family too — especially as it sounds like they’ve separated their religious beliefs from their ability to love a person as a person. I really don’t mean to heap all this on her. She’s your best friend, genuinely, regardless of whether she could ever be mine. It’s just a reminder I guess that things aren’t always so black and white.

    Thanks for this well-written and thought-provoking story.

  3. Rafi: Hey Rafi, hope the little story of mine helped you in a way. I can feel your struggle. All of us face this struggle everyday, especially when religion comes into play. From someone that who is non-religious, its frustrating. I can’t disrespect their views and beliefs in their religion, but i can’t compromise my beliefs and rights, and according to Gen, its the same struggle for her, that feeling of being trapped in the centre.

    But in the end, I believe it will work out, I do not know how, I do not know why, I have no answers, neither has Gen, but we just have this faith that it will work out, and i guess it got to start with ourselves first, within friends.
    And when the international stage is ready to accept us, not only in law, but also importantly in attitude, that is the day that i believe all of us have been looking forward to, and what people before us, and people now, are still fighting for.

    Cheers
    Chase

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