Chinese, Queer, 23, Auckland

My story, unlike many others, is not a coming out story. In some ways it may seem incomplete, because I’m still living the story in the middle of the plot line where the problem has yet been solved.

My parents are conservative Christians who have been part of the mobilisation against gay marriage. They don’t know that their daughter is queer. It has only been recently that I have been confronted with the possibility of having to come out to them. I think I’ve known for a while now, maybe since I was 6 that I was attracted to people of various genders. I had only been in relationships with boys before, not that they knew about most of those either. But right now, I’m with someone that I care deeply about but because of her gender, I can’t share this with them. My mum on most weeks that I visit will ask me if I have a boyfriend yet and she would pressure me to find boyfriend because she wants me to get married before I’m 30. The awkwardness gets to me sometimes but I know that if I say anything now, I don’t think I can emotionally deal with the consequences.

In the past, my Dad has gotten violent when he thought I was in a lesbian relationship with my best friend. I was 14 years old and had been talking on the phone with her for hours, (as best friends do!) and he started beating me and kicking me when I was on the ground, at the the same time yelling homophobic insults. That memory sticks with me. My relationship with them has come a long way since then. Even though I’m not afraid of his fists anymore, I have other fears of what they might do. I fear that they will disown me. I fear what it will mean for them if other people knew. I fear they will find out one day from someone else or catch me and my girlfriend holding hands in public. I fear the verbal and emotional abuse and guilt-tripping from my mother.

I’m really lucky that I have the friends that I have. There is a small but tight group of Asian queers who are also politically engaged. Their existence is so validating and makes me feel less alone. Not everyone has access to this kind of support.

I don’t know if I will ever feel comfortable enough to tell my parents. Sometimes there are small openings of hope, like when my mum talks about a family friend who is quite obviously lesbian (but not openly) but still accepts her and doesn’t blame her for being that way. I’m just not sure how they would react to their daughter being queer.

I’m grateful that at least my sister is supportive. When I told her about my girlfriend, she wasn’t judgmental (or surprised!). She told me that she think it’s ‘so true’ what Miley Cyrus posted on her twitter page about gay marriage: “All Love is Equal”.

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