My name is Tim Dejsiriudom and I’m from Bangkok, Thailand.
Growing up, I think that my mother knew I was gay even before I did and she would say a lot of mean things. And in order to stop me from being gay, she would say very mean and nasty things to me. I think the most heartbreaking thing that I remember she would say was, “If I knew you were gay, I wish I would have choked you when you were born.”
That left me in a lot of pain so I was very scared of coming out to her.
When I was in high school, I decided I wanted to explore myself, my sexuality, and I had the chance to meet an older guy outside of school one day and I was able to befriend him and we started hooking up and dating and from then on he introduced me to his friends, as well as his life: his personal life, his social life. One night, I told my parents that I was going to a friend’s place for a sleepover, however, I was actually going out with the guy I was dating at the time. And that was actually my first time at a gay club.
At first I heard music, and a lot of lights, I could smell alcohol, people’s cologne. And as I got to the dance floor, I really felt that energy from everybody, from the music. That’s when I saw these men holding hands, kissing, laughing with each other. And they were just really being themselves, freely. And I was very excited and really touched by seeing that because it’s one thing to look at pictures and read about being gay, but it’s another to really see it in person and even experience that for yourself for the first time. So that really opened up a lot of things for me.
I snuck back into my house after a big night out. After showering I laid in bed and I was just thinking about the things that just happened at the club. All the, I would say the energy, the boys, the dancing, and I keep fantasizing about these people who I just met. Where they’re from, what are they doing, why are they there, are they together, are they not? I knew right then that I had to learn more about this. And for me to do that, I can’t just sneak out of the house. I have to do it openly and freely, and for me to do that, I have to do it somewhere that’s not in Thailand. Basically, somewhere away from home. And that’s when I decided that I have to move away.
My senior year of high school, I had to apply for colleges. So I applied to a few art schools in America and I got accepted to a school in Savannah, Georgia, as well as a school in New York City. Even though I wanted to go to New York, that was my first choice, my parents first choice was Savannah, Georgia, because they were scared that I was going to be gay in New York. So I moved to Savannah for college and that actually didn’t stop me from being gay. And I actually met a lot of gay friends in college and after graduating, I moved to New York and that was really when I was able to be who I am and really learn how to be comfortable in my own skin.
There’s always a way out and it’s really up to you. You can’t just wait around and wait for things to get better, you really have to take action and that’s what I did. I took action, I left home, and moved to America, which is halfway around the world to just really become myself. The Tim back then won’t even want to hold hands with a boy so it’s been a big transition and I’m really thankful for that.