We Have to See Within Ourselves and Others

You would have notice in my blog by now, that I keep focusing on ourselves – the self. The reason why I do this is because of this – we can only control ourselves and we can only change ourselves. We cannot control or change other people. And that’s why it’s always about self-introspection and learning what you can do better.

Two other things I do are these:

  • I would also try to illustrate how others would think. The thing is this – can we change others? Can we change how they think? We cannot. So we can only focus on understanding how they think so that it makes it easier for us to learn and move on.
  • I have also tried to emphasise, when placed in the same situation as another, how we would think. If we can understand how we would think then, we would understand how someone would think similarly – so if we can understand why people would do certain things because we would do the same if we were in their shoes, we would understand how to make life easier for ourselves, by taking a perspective from the shoes of others.

Primarily, this is what we need to learn:

  • We need to introspect and look within because we can control and change ourselves. We have to leave others to be – it’s their life to learn. It’s not our role to help them learn. It is also not our role to help them learn so that it can make our lives easier. If the aim of changing them is so that our lives will become better, then we need to look at ourselves and why would won’t change ourselves instead.
  • We need to empathise with the perspectives of others. Only when we understand that if we, as they would, would do the same thing in a similar circumstance – for example, if we would leave someone if we decide that we might truly be incompatible – then we would need to have the awareness and maturity to understand that others will, and should be allowed to do the same to us.

Ultimately, we need to learn not to take things personally – to be detached from what is happening, and we need to learn not to see things as only from our own perspective, but to see broadly so as to have a overall and complete understanding as to how we can then learn to move on in life happily.

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Is Gay Love Possible?

Sometimes, we ask ourselves – is it really so hard to find true love in the gay community? But this isn’t the right question to ask.

Truth is – everyone on this planet asks this question – can I find true love and it’s not just the gay people who do? The reason why we ask this question isn’t because true love doesn’t exist. It does. But we ask this question because we want to want to fantasise about love – the arduousness of the journey makes our journey to find love more romantic, or so we think.

The reason why we cannot find love is because how we go into it:

  • If we do not know what we want, when we meet a new guy, what we are doing is that we are ‘wading’ into each guy we meet, and hoping that things will work out. When things don’t, we blame the guy or we think that love isn’t possible. But have we thought about what we did (or not) which resulted in the relationship not working out? We need to understand ourselves first and foremost.
  • If we meet someone and get into a relationship with them very soon, do we really know the person? We don’t. When we start getting to know the person some time down the road and start realising that this person isn’t who we want to be (or it could be the other way round), what do we do? We had allowed ourselves to walk into a relationship too quickly without understanding someone else, and when it doesn’t work out, we choose to think gay love isn’t possible. Is this the case? The issue here that we need to understand is why we want love so much that we would walk into anything blindly?

Thing is, it’s very easy to blame it on being gay and to think that gay love isn’t possible. It’s very easy to romanticise the notion that my life is sad because I am gay and because I am gay, love isn’t possible. Woe is my life. What is happening is that we already have pre-conceived notions that being gay is tough so we want to affirm it is by thinking that gay love isn’t possible. It makes us wallow in ourselves – in a warped way, it makes us feel important when we wallow in self-pity. Then enough already – it’s about time we get out of it.

Whether being gay is a sad thing or whether it’s a wonderful thing – that’s entirely up to us.

We can make it worthwhile to be gay – understand ourselves, what we want and learn to go about getting it in as responsible a way as we can to ourselves. 

I am saying it only because it is possible – because there are many people who are learning to do it in a responsible way (to themselves) and there are many people who continue to believe.

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A Relationship is Based on the Foundation You Build Together

I saw this on the Positive Outlook’s Facebook Page.

I think this sums up pretty much how we, as gay people, need to understand our relationships (though of course, this doesn’t apply just to gay people).

We need to be aware of how we enter into relationships. We need to get to know the person first, before deciding to enter a relationship with the person.

If we enter the relationship simply because of initial attraction – we do not know what this initial attraction is based on. If we had wanted to enter the relationship to fulfil our inner need for love and attention, then the relationship wouldn’t be based on the love we have for the other but a void within. When we realise this person isn’t able to fulfil the void – because no amount of filling it can fulfil this void until we look within ourselves and fill it with our own love – then the relationship might not work out.

But if we enter the relationship because we truly know the other person and feel the connection, then we might actually make something work!

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3 Things That I Have Learnt From Dating People

There are some things I have learnt from dating people and going into relationships:

  1. If the person doesn’t think I am worth it, then I am not worth the person. And I don’t say this in an angry way. Sometimes, you are just not a person’s cup of tea or he doesn’t think you are the one for him, so you are not. And you move on. And find someone who would like to drink you for tea.
  2. If you are insecure when seeing someone, it’s most probably because of something that’s within you – you do not believe in the value of yourself. You might ask – but what if I am insecure because he is seeing someone behind my back? Well, if you value yourself, you would not allow yourself into a situation like this and you would not feel insecure.
  3. I will only let the right people into my life – people who know what they want and are ready to receive what I have to give. I wouldn’t allow someone who doesn’t know what they want because then, I will be only a testbed. If I am still testing, I would enter into the test with him. But if I am not, I wouldn’t become someone else’s test.

But no matter what happens, we have to be prepared for anything that comes and be responsible for our decisions. If we decide to be with someone and if things don’t turn out the way we want them to, then we have to be responsible for our decisions. We cannot blame someone else if things don’t work out. We have to understand that we have allowed ourselves into the situation and we will allow ourselves to learn from it and come out of it when the time comes for it.

If we say that we are tired of dating or going into relationships, it’s because we continue to allow ourselves to go into something without a full understanding of it. But when you know to understand yourself and be responsible for yourself, you will not allow yourself to enter into relationships which you know will not be useful for your growth.

But if you do, know that it’s because you have allowed the other person to enter into your life to help you learn about lessons that the both of you can learn together with. Then, allow yourself to learn and to always be responsible for yourself and your own decisions.

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Finding True Love

For many years, whenever I met someone, I would think to myself – I want to be with him. I want to be attached to him.

And after a few days or sometimes, weeks, I would think to myself – that he is the one, that he is the one I can see myself with for the rest of my life.

Many times, when things didn’t work out, I would ask myself this – why do I keep meeting guys whom I feel is the guy that’s meant to be with me for the rest of my life and why they didn’t work out. I couldn’t understand. Why couldn’t they see it?

But then, truth is – why couldn’t I see it?

Thing is, I never really did knew any of them. Even after dating them for two weeks, a month or two months, I never really knew these men I were dating.

Every time I met someone, I would start wishing and hoping that he’s the one that I start making him the one. I never really knew if he was the one. I made him the one.

Every time I met someone, I would create a story of who they are and I would fall in love with this person I created. I had created the same story of a person, which I moved around, onto every other person I meet. And with every person, I had thus created this idea of a person whom I wanted to be with for the rest of my life.

But I never knew them.

I wasn’t loving them. I never did. I was living in my own world and my own story. I had wanted love and with every person I met, I made that story come true in my own little world.

*****

It took me many years to finally understand that it wasn’t all about me. When I met people, they had their lives and they had their stories too. I had expected them to be who I wanted them to be and had wanted them to be there to satisfy my inner needs.

But that wasn’t what they were meant to do. Just like when I go into a relationship, if someone has expectations of me, after a while, I would feel the stress and burden of his expectations and if I could see clearly, I would then choose not to be with that person because I would know that he couldn’t see me for I am, but that he was still mired within his own self and his own inner needs.

And that was where I was. I had inner needs which I needed fulfilled and I had hoped that these guys could do them.

When I finally realised this, I had already let go of many guys, some of them who would have been wonderful. But as I wasn’t ready and didn’t know what I was actually doing, I wasn’t ready to let them into my life.

Truth was, I was looking for someone to fulfill my inner need – I didn’t love myself. I was afraid of being hurt and I was afraid to be alone but instead of dealing with them, I went to look for other guys who would love me, so that when they did, I would then learn to see the value of who I was – or so I thought.

*****

But that’s not the way things work, as I finally learnt to understand after the many guys I met. I had to learn to believe in myself and to find the strength within to learn to love myself. Only when I was strong and loved myself, and only when I knew what I want, could I then let someone else in. Only then could I be able to see beyond myself to see another person who they are, to embrace them for who they were and love them wholeheartedly.

It took me many years to understand this. But I’ve finally did understand. I spent years learning to believe in myself, to be stronger and to learn to love myself. I am still learning.

When I did learn to love myself, I understood that what I was looking for was for someone who could see me for who I am, for my beauty and my flaws, who would love them, as I would learn to love his. And I understood that what I was looking for was for someone who would be the other person who would enrich my life with things that I could learn from him as he could learn from mine, and which we would feel joyous within our union with each other.

That one day, I would find unconditional love, where we would learn to embrace one another for who we are and guide each other along as we learn in our own, and in each other’s lives.

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Dealing with Rejection: Having Self-Belief and Hope

I chatted with a guy on Grindr today. He said that he was going overseas in the next few days for a long holiday and asked if we wanted to meet up for coffee in the evening. I agreed since I had nothing planned for the evening and I was quite excited to meet someone new.

We met in the evening. I had already eaten earlier as I was hungry. When he came, we went to Soup Spoon and he got himself a bowl of soup. Within 10 minutes, he finished the soup. I asked if he wanted to eat anything else. He said no and then said that he had to go back home to pack his bags.

I told him not to worry and I’m fine with it. And we parted. As I was walking to the train station, I started sinking into myself again. I started thinking – why am I not good enough? Why do people meet me and not like me? I am that bad … And for a moment, I thought to myself – life is so meaningless. Why am I living it?

*****

But right then, I woke myself up again.

This was a feeling that I hadn’t had for years now – the feeling of hurt and despair. I’ve been hurt now and then over the past few years but not with the added intensity of despair. It’s been a while since I allowed myself to feel loss, with the feeling of wanting to give up. I suppose the fact that he was quite blatant about not wanting to waste anymore time at the meeting came as a shock.

But then, I didn’t blame him. He did what was right for him – if he wasn’t interested, why waste any more time? I suppose I was shock as the usual social etiquette means that even if someone wants to do that, they wouldn’t or at least they might force themselves to spend that arduous one hour sitting with someone they didn’t really fancy, while typing on the phone, hoping to make time pass faster. He did what was right and I wasn’t prepared for it – which explained my response as well.

*****

Then I remembered – why do I make this about me again? Why do I allow myself to feel bad about myself? It wasn’t about me. The guy decided I wasn’t his cut of time and he did the responsible thing for himself to end the meeting, albeit slightly abrupt, but for me. My initial reaction was to make it about me, but it wasn’t – he has a preference and I needed to respect that.

So, I stopped myself from wading deeper into self pity and self doubt and started remembering again – I needed to believe in myself. And I needed to know, in my own way, I’m good enough. In my own way, I’m valuable. And I needed to know remember – this is one guy who doesn’t like me but it doesn’t mean that’s the end of the road. There would be another guy – that one guy who’s meant for me – who will appear. And I needed to see beyond myself to believe in who I was and to see into the future.

*****

Sounds ironic, I know. How do you not sink into yourself and yet be able to believe in yourself? When we start wading into our unhappiness and create ideas of our undesirability, it’s because we want to continue the story of reject for ourselves. We want to extent the idea of reject into a long drawn story so that we can continue to shower attention on ourselves. If he wouldn’t do it, we would. But that’s playing into our ego’s need for attention.

And I’ve learnt to slowly be aware of what I’m doing so that I do not indulge myself. I would start focus on what’s real about myself – who I am, and to believe in that. And to remember to believe in the possibilities of the future and focus on that – and to have the hope to see clearer and further.

We need to be aware that sometimes we feed our own egocentric want for attention and learn to let that go. And we need to find the strength within ourselves to see who we really are, believe in ourselves and have the strength of faith to hope and go on living our lives happily.

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Coming Out: Giving Ourselves and Others A Chance To Learn

When I told my family I was gay, honestly, I never thought they would behave any differently. I had expected them to accept. I had expected it to be a breeze. When they didn’t know how to accept, I didn’t know how to deal with it, so I rejected them. I wanted to move out. I stopped talking to them. I stopped treating them with respect. I thought they were quite silly and stupid as people. I was angry with them. How can they not accept something I think is so natural and essential to who I am – the very person that I am?

At that point in time, I was having my own internal struggles with myself. The very reason why I told them was because I needed support. I needed strength. I needed guidance to help me through what I was going through – why the guys I had dated left me, why I couldn’t have a relationship, how I knew I had self esteem issues but didn’t know how to deal with them and how I honestly wanted them – my family – to help me deal with it. I was in a complete loss and I needed their support and strength.

But after I told them, it never came. They couldn’t deal with it. Then I realised, after a long time – why should they? I needed them to deal with it because I wanted them to sort themselves out so that – they can help me. The primarily basis was for them to be there for me. But it isn’t about me!

Letting them know I am gay – I had a motive. But it shouldn’t have come with it. I needed to know that I needed to fully accept myself first before anyone could accept me. My journey to accepting me is mine and mine alone. And their journey to learn about their attitudes is their and their journey to coming to terms with who I am and then accepting me is theirs.

I was allowing too many things to confuse the issue. By the time I learnt how this works, I was thankfully quite comfortable with who I was and I could by then, accept myself much better. By then, I realised that I needed to let them find their own path and journey. And when I did that, they also had the comfort to do it.

Because, then, they needn’t hold on to the guilt that they couldn’t accept me. Then, because I’ve accepted and forgiven them for not being able to accept me just yet, I gave them the opportunity to breathe, to be away from my judgement, so that they could learn at their own pace.

Letting others know about who I am isn’t just about them accepting me, I realise. It’s a process of them learning more, needing my understanding, feeling the guilt of not being able to accept and trying hard to find a way to do so. When they are under all that pressure, it’s hard for them. And they cannot find their way.

It was important for me to find myself and accept myself, so that I could accept and forgive them, so that they could then find themselves and come to terms with it comfortably.

*****

Sometimes we are worried that others won’t accept us because of our own expectations – we believe that people have the same expectations. They might or might not, but where do these expectations arise from? Do they represent us or what we should want? They don’t.

The reason why we live is to transcend these expectations. To be who we truly can be. The reason why there are expectations is to challenge us to be as true as we can be.

Challenges occur not because life wants to make it difficult for us. When we come out, it’s not because we have to gain acceptance and it’s not just us who has to learn. Our closed ones need a chance to learn and whether we like it or not, us coming out is an opportunity for them to learn, for them to understand more – about life, respect and unconditional love.

 

Our coming out has a stronger purpose than it being just about ourselves. We come out because we need to learn to accept ourselves. But similarly, we come out because others need to learn about themselves, about their own attitudes, why they have these attitudes and how they need to have a better understanding of themselves and their attitudes towards life, themselves and others.

We might not recognise this responsibility but we have a responsibility towards others to ensure that they have this opportunity to learn. And as much as we do not know it, we provide them with this impetus.

At the start, it’s night feel uncomfortable, but when we learn to accept this journey, we can only grow stronger and more learned from it. When we deny that opportunity for us to come out to others, we deny the opportunity not only for us to learn and grow but also the opportunity for others to become wiser.

*****

You might say – why force this opportunity on them. It’s not about forcing, or not. It’s about choice, circumstance and chance. If the opportunity comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

I chose to tell my family and friends – it was my choice. For some people, others know by chance. There are different ways where we reach that platform or that decision to have to come out. But once we get there, the journey thereafter is the same – to learn, to grow, to underhand and to accept. Then, it’s about giving others the opportunity as we would need to give ourselves.

See – eventually it’s up to you. Sometimes life gives us an opportunity to come out or force it on us but it’s up to us whether we want to take it and run with it or whether we want to hide from it. It’s our opportunity or if we are not ready, we let it go. Another opportunity might come or it might not. But we live with that decision. Ultimately whatever decision we live with, we need to be responsible with it.

We are given an opportunity to learn and grow. Whether we take it, we have to be responsible for it. What we decide will determine whether others will have an opportunity to learn and grow from this. Even if they don’t from this, they will have other opportunities for them to do so – to learn about life.

But for us, it’s a matter of our growth and learning. If we don’t give ourselves this opportunity for ourselves to at least learn and grow, will we be able to grow? Eventually, if anything, it comes down to us – will we get to learn? Will we get to live our life or will we get to have to live the lives of others, that which they make ours?

Anything that happens happens for a reason. Anything that happens is always, first and foremost, about us. But there are always larger implications. Can we control that? We can’t. But who is to say whether what we do is right or wrong for others? It doesn’t. Who is to say we know what is right or wrong? Who is to say them knowing is infringing on their rights, when they are given the opportunity to learn from us, coming out, for example? How do we know we are not helping them, on the flip side?

Life is intertwined. The very beauty of it is that as we learn in our journey, so do others learn from us. That’s the beauty of life. We might not realise this as we might be muddled in our fears. But when we are able to see beyond, we accept the beauty of this, embrace it and learn from it and give others the change to learn as well.

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Are You Gay, Confused or Married (to a Woman)?

Recently I’ve gotten to know some guys who were not able to come to terms with themselves.

(Coincidentally, today is National Coming Out Day in America and some other countries. It is observed annually to celebrate coming out and to raise awareness of the LGBT community and civil rights movement.)

I got to know a guy last week. He told me that he was worried that he might be infected with HIV because he had unprotected sex with another guy. He knows other people whom he meets regularly for sex, and without condoms as well. (Just so my straight counterparts are reading this, this is also prevalent in the straight community. It’s just not talked about – just a reminder to understand the intention of this post, and not to latch on to the sexual behaviours discussed.) I had a discussion with him and convinced him to go for a HIV test, and not to allow himself to be worried unnecessarily. Before he went for the test, I asked him if he wanted to meet to talk. He said he couldn’t because his wife’s family had a gathering. I’m not quite sure if I have a word to describe how I felt when I heard that. Disgusted? I ended off by telling him that he has a responsibility towards his wife to use condoms. If he didn’t feel the need to protect himself, the very least he could do was to at least protect her.

Yesterday, I got to know a guy. He told me that his current relationship status was “complicated”. So I probed further. What do you mean by that? He told me he has a girlfriend. He identified mostly as being gay, but he felt that he should get married, have a family (defined by him as one between a man and a woman), and he wanted to have children. At that point, I got angry. I was getting to know guys over the week who presented with similar circumstances, and by that time, I wasn’t exactly patient. (Note that by being angry, it’s a reflection more about me than about him, but that’s another story.) He told me further that he had shared his situation with his girlfriend. She had told him that she wanted to be there for him, as he learnt to “heal” himself.

A few years ago, I met a guy. He told me that he likes me a lot and that he could see himself developing something with me in the long term. He told me that he would like to have a relationship with me for the next 2 to 3 years. Thereafter, he plans to get married to a girl and have children. Long term is 2 to 3 years? Seriously? You think that my life is so cheap that I could waste 2 to 3 years of my life with you, and then restart my life after that, because I’m actually willing to spend my time with a guy who wants to use the 2 to 3 years to satisfy what he thinks would be a lost opportunity for the rest of his life, while I babysit his needs? I happen to be someone who continues to believe in love and wants to have a beautiful life with my partner. So, I asked him why he had wanted to get married. His answer was this – as a guy in Singapore, he felt that he needed to study well, find a good job, then get married and have kids – because this is what all guys do in Singapore. You have your life planned out for you. You don’t have to think about your life. Just follow this path and you will reach fulfillment.

By now, you will know I don’t take the conventional path. I take the path that is mine to take. Just as someone else should take the path that theirs to take. 

*****

People have told me that it must take a lot of courage for me to want to let others know that I’m gay. They say that I must be brave. But I always tell them this – the starting point of me telling others that I’m gay isn’t because of that. It’s because I want to lead an honest life. I want to live a life that’s true to who I am. I want to live a life that’s meant to be how I’m supposed to live it. I want to be myself. 

And I understand to some, that this might be seen as having courage. See, when you let others know that you are gay, you have to deal with how they might or might not be able to accept at the onset of knowing, and the journey they go through trying to understand, and eventually to hopefully accept. If you’ve read my previous stories, you would know that for more than 10 years, I had to learn to come to terms with my family as I felt that they weren’t able to accept, and I had to learn how to accept that. But we are good now. It’s a journey that you have to be prepared to take in the long haul, if you believe in yourself, who you are and your right to live your life.

But, see, this journey happens to anything in life. Learning acceptance is a lifelong journey. When you didn’t do well for school for the year, or for the time that you were there, you had to learn to understand why, learn to be strong and accept yourself for who you are – and eventually realise the other talents and abilities that you have. When someone makes fun of you for some attribute that you present, you have to understand why they do it, and eventually learn to accept and move on past them. Life is a journey of understanding and acceptance. 

Letting others know you are gay is part of that journey. But for some guys, they choose to allow their journey to understand and accept come to a stop at thinking about gay issues – they choose not to think about it. They might bury this issue, while they try to move on with other issues in their lives. Yet, when you bury this issue which is a huge part of who you are, it will necessarily impact on the rest of your life. You would always feel unsettled and be bothered by it. It will affect your other life decisions. Because you aren’t able to come to terms with yourself, you create alternate stories to develop your life around. It makes your life a bloated oasis of disharmony. What then is true about who you are, you think?

That’s why I want to live a life that’s true to who I am. I want to be myself. 

*****

I read this somewhere – but truth is, when you let someone know you are gay, it won’t be easy. Most people do not have to think about gay issues for most of their lives. Most people won’t have a chance to understand what being gay is like. Most of what they know about gay people is what they’ve heard from the media or jokes they had made about other gay people. So, when you let someone know that you are gay, their immediate association to what being gay is what they’ve been hearing about. They do not truly know what a gay person is like. They do not know that apart from being gay, we are pretty much human beings with the same lives and journeys. They do not know that being gay to us is like being Chinese to them or having a hairy navel for others. 

When you let someone know that you are gay, they won’t know how to manage it in the first instance. Imagine if a very close friend comes up to you and tells you that he or she has just found out that he or she is adopted, for example. Would you know how to respond to that? You wouldn’t – only because in your whole life, you haven’t yet had the opportunity to learn about adoption or what it means to be adopted. You wouldn’t know what to say, or what would be the right thing to do. So, necessarily, you stick to what you know. And for some, they might start to pity the person. They might start to sympathise and feel that the person is incomplete. Because we don’t understand.

So, similarly, when someone learns from you that you are gay, they will stick to what they know – what they have heard from the media, and from others. I’ve learnt over the years that if you give others a chance to get to know you as a person, their mindsets and beliefs will change. They will start to recognise you as a person, and not as someone who is gay. Eventually, they will recognise you as this person who has skills, talents and abilities and who does things well, and by the way, he or she is gay and gay people can be amazing people as well. I have a chance to turn things around for people. I have a chance to allow others to look at gay people in different ways. And that’s why I set up this blog – I want to allow others to have an opportunity to understand gay people and to see us as just like anyone else, just as I would others.

But I cannot do it alone. Your friends are yours. Your family is yours. At some point, them learning about you is the dramatic journey that they have to go through to understand more about you, as a person – and this is beyond being gay. 

*****

When a guy tells me that he is worried about letting others “find out” or to let others know that he is gay, because he says that he knows that they won’t accept. I’ve heard this many times – I know that they won’t accept. I know that they cannot accept. I asked this guy once – how do you know that they won’t accept? Have you told them? There was this one guy who told me that his group of friends have many friends but he just knows that they won’t be able to accept because even though they are open, they find that the group of gay people that they were hanging out were too “bitchy” and didn’t like them. When I asked further, I realised that he was the one who was uncomfortable that they seemed ” bitchy” and thus he had made it such that his friends were uncomfortable as well. See, he wasn’t able to accept himself and thus he had created ideas in his own mind that others won’t be able to do so. He wanted to justify his own internal fears by creating a reality that wasn’t present.

This is what I realise – for some gay people who claim that others simply won’t accept who they are, and they just know it – they don’t. In the first instance, they have not allowed themselves to accept themselves, and so they put it on others that others won’t accept. Why do we do that? So that we don’t have to think about ourselves, so that we won’t need to understand why we cannot accept ourselves and learn to manage it. It’s always easier to say that others cannot accept and because it’s them who cannot, we cannot do anything about it. But truth is, we’ve learnt to put the blame on them so that we can run away from understanding why we cannot accept ourselves, and to learn to do so. 

Why can we not accept ourselves? The reasons are the same as to what was described above. All we have heard about gay people is what the media and others have spoken about. Even though some gay people might also have many gay friends, we might still choose to hold on to ideas that the media talks about that makes fun of or demean gay people. And we hold on to it. We believe it, and thus we believe that as a gay person, we are “not right” as well. But can you fault people who do so? Humans are group animals. We want to belong and be part of a group. When we think society says that being gay is weird, even as a gay person, we might want to think similarly, because we want to belong to the larger group. Being part of a larger group makes us feel safer, more secure, more protected. And if we can feel protected, perhaps denying who we are might feel better than having to accept who we are, and have to feel separated. It’s a trade-off, we think.

I’ve learnt to put myself out. I’ve learnt to be as true as I can to myself. Sometimes, I worry that others will judge or say things about me. And sometimes I am concerned. I think that when I try to be myself and if someone is pointing, that they are laughing at me. But, if you truly understand, you would understand that your worries arises not from what people think, but from what you think. If you feel that you are not good enough, you are going to think that others won’t think that you are good enough. You would think that they are going to make fun of you. I’ve learnt that when I believe in myself, others will similarly believe in me. And even if they do, I’ve learnt that it’s because they don’t know me, they don’t understand me. Should I have to reach out to all the 7 billion people in this world to gain their acceptance? I only need my close group of people who love me to be supportive of me, and to embrace and accept me. That’s enough. 

Eventually the question is this – do you want to lead your own life or do you want to lead a life that others want you to live? You can choose to live a life that others want you to – but if you fuck up, they can wash their hands off and move on. They can find someone else’s life and ask that person to lead a life that they want the person to lead, and wait for that person to fuck up.

Your life is yours to lead and live. If you allow ourselves to dictate how you should live your life, you allow your life to be lost to you. If others truly know how to live our lives, then I would invite them to live my life for me. They wouldn’t know how to. If they had to understand how it feels to be gay and to have to not be able to like guys, because that’s what society supposedly wants them to do, they won’t do it – stop liking guys. Sooner or later, they would start having sex secretly, or they might lead very angry and repressed lives.

If someone tells me to lead a life which they believe in – that I am gay but I can become straight for them, I know they do not have my interests at heart. They have their interests at heart. And eventually, it’s this – what is best for me and for myself? How should I live myself that is fair to myself and what is truly about me? How can I live a life that I can be proud of and respect myself for? How can I live a life that I can answer to and be happy with? When I am 65, do I want to look back and regret having lived my life for someone else, or do I want to know that I have lived my life, knowing I’ve done what is best for myself?

And this doesn’t just go for me as a gay person, but for all other aspects of life. 

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I am not saying that all gay people should be proud of being a gay person and live that proud life. What I am saying is this – whatever choice you make to live your life, you are responsible for your own life. So, you make that choice to be responsible to yourself and to others, and to live the choice that you have made. If you decide that even though you are gay, that you want to get married to another girl, then you should at least have the basic courtesy to live your life responsibly, and be responsible for her as well. 

This is my other bugbear. A girl is not an object for you to hide yourself behind. If you are not able to come to terms with yourself, you cannot just marry a girl and leave her alone. If you decide to enter into a partnership with someone, you need to have the responsibility to be there for the person, to love and care for the person. I’ve heard of gay men who enter a relationship with another woman, where they have never had sex. There was a married couple who never had sex for more than 15 years. Eventually, she had an affair to justify for grounds of divorce.

If a gay person cannot take responsibility for his own actions, I would abhor it. It’s about basic human decency. If you decide to enter into a marriage with another woman, it means you are allowing someone else to enter into the life that you have, or put up with. So, you have a responsibility for that other person. If you do not want to take the responsibility for that, then you should not allow someone else to enter your life. If a gay person cannot accept themselves or be responsible to another, then they should remain celibate, rather than marry a woman and hurt her eventually. Women, just like men, by the way, have feelings and emotions, and who want to love and be loved.

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Let me step back quickly here to explain further that this cannot be the sole responsibility of the gay person. See, society has to take responsibility as well. The general society has to. If a gay man feels unable to accept himself, sometimes he simply doesn’t have the strength of mind to do so. Sometimes, he feels that much pressure from what he feels from society that he allows himself to give in to societal demands. And he marries a woman, even if there’s an internal struggle within him. When that happens, can he be solely faulted for his decisions? When he marries a woman, doesn’t know how to love her or treat her responsibly, who was the one who urged him to get married? Who was the one who showered him with expectations to do so? We have a responsibility to someone else – in fact two other people – to ensure that they do not enter a relationship which is not of their best interests. If we still continue to encourage them to enter a union which is not in their best interests, then we have made them do so because we are trying to satisfy our own needs. But this is a broad question. We are talking about issues of ego, respect, understanding, and acceptance here.

How far can we let our ego go, so that we understand that we cannot be asking others to lead a life that we believe for ourselves, because other people are not us?

How far can we learn to respect another person for the life that he or she wants to live because he or she knows what’s best for themselves?

How far do we want to understand the lives or others, to learn to respect and accept their choices and who they choose to be?

How far can we be human?

I’ve asked myself many times too why some women might enter relationships with gay men, knowing or having suspicion that the man that they are getting married to are actually gay. Of course, there might be some women who simply didn’t know.  Some women might feel that they could actually try to “save” the guy. Some might have done so, out of the strong love that they have for the guy. Some might do so, simply because of the time that they have spent being in the relationship and it would have been a waste to let it go. Some might do so, because if you were to let your family or friends know that you are no longer today, you might feel that you cannot deal with the embarrassment. And for the girl who had wanted to wait for the guy to “heal”, why did she thought that way? To save him? Or was it an initial coping mechanism in the interim, while she learn to take in the new information, and decide what to do next?

Again, when gay men get married to women, everyone has to play a part. The gay man wasn’t able to accept himself, so he allowed himself to be subdued by societal expectations. You (as part of society) might play a part in not wanting to understand him, and had enforced your opinions of what you believe of your life on his life. And for the woman, she has to think for herself as well – is this a life that she wants? How can she be responsible for herself? How can she live a life that’s truly hers, even if it means leaving the guy might bring embarrassment, for example?

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We are held back by many of society’s expectations. We feel that we cannot be ourselves because of that. If we choose not to live a life that we can be true to and happy with, we have to take responsibility for the choices we make. If we start finding fault with others or society, then it’s time we start looking at ourselves and perhaps think about how we want to do things differently. We owe ourselves that.

Whoever we meet in life and bring into our lives, there is something that we learn from them. A gay guy might get married to a woman who might have suspicions of him being gay. But they continue to enter the union. There are lessons that the both of them have to learn from another. It’s not a lost cause. But they need to take responsibility for their actions, and to learn from their actions – whatever the lessons may be.

Eventually, regardless of the choices we make, and who we choose to be with, there is only this – we need to have the self respect to love and accept ourselves. And we need to be responsible for the choices we make. If we cannot, then we should make a choice that we can be responsible with. Otherwise, we shouldn’t have to make someone walk into our lives with choices that we make which we cannot be responsible to them about.

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My Boyfriend Has Changed. I Don’t Know If I Can Accept Him

Today, a guy asked me this – he felt that his boyfriend has changed and that he felt that he never really did understand his boyfriend. He said that in the past, his boyfriend and he would compromise on things. But now, his boyfriend would choose to do what his boyfriend wants, and when he wants his boyfriend to change, his boyfriend wouldn’t. This caused him to “nag” further, which he said his boyfriend would then get angry about. At the same time, he would also get angry when his boyfriend wants him to change about things his boyfriend didn’t like. He also started feeling that his boyfriend would behave in one way in front of him, but in front of his friends, his boyfriend would act differently. I’m sure many of us would find this familiar.

So, I asked him – why does he feel that he couldn’t accept his boyfriend and why does he think that his boyfriend should change? I asked him too if he felt that his boyfriend is willing to change, or could change.

I also asked him – did he think a couple should try to change each other?

Also, did the two of them get to know each other well before they decide to start a relationship?

He continued to say that he doesn’t think that his boyfriend could change, but that he is uncomfortable when his boyfriend seems to act differently in front of him, and with his other friends.

And, I told him this – always ask why.

Why do you find it uncomfortable that he seems to act differently?

Why do you think that you cannot accept him?

What do you really want in a person?

He furthered by saying that he doesn’t actually know his boyfriend well, which was why he might be uncomfortable, and that he might not be completely accepting. He shared that he had got together with his boyfriend, because they felt that there were “feelings”. He also heard from others that for a relationship to work, a couple has to compromise. However, he felt that it was hard to compromise and accept. He said he felt selfish because a part of him felt that he wanted to leave his boyfriend, yet a part of him was happy to be in the relationship.

I added that he shouldn’t think in terms of whether he was selfish or not, as that shouldn’t be the question. I told him that we have to think for ourselves, because we have to do what’s best for ourselves. At the same time, we shouldn’t do it at the expense of hurting someone else.

He then said that he had read in one of my blog posts, that he understands that you would need to love yourself before you can love someone else.

I ventured further by saying that only by loving ourselves would we know what we know, and thereby we would be able to bring the right person into our lives.

He continued by saying that he still found it hard to accept the differences with his boyfriend.

So, I asked – “Is it then a question of knowing whether these are differences you can accept?

He agreed that this could possibly be the question, and left to think on his own devices.

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I concluded with the following:

You have to understand the context of how you entered the relationship. You might have started off not knowing each other well enough but had still decided to get into a relationship. So you could only get to know each other after you had started the relationship.

Ideally you would want to get to know someone, and find out if he is the one you want to be with before entering the relationship. But at this point, you’ve done it the other way around by entering the relationship first, then get to know the person.

But the same rules apply. When in a relationship, we should ideally accept the person for who he is. But what if there are things or differences which we find we do not appreciate? Then the question is are we able to accept?

Thing is, it’s complicated by the fact that we are already in a relationship, yet we are still in the process of truly understanding if someone is right for us – in that sense, we’ve jumped the gun. Of course when we are not in a relationship, we might think that if we are not able to accept, we could choose not to enter the relationship. But when we are in a relationship already, the question then is – do we want to let the relationship go, or to accept our partner? However, we might feel that because we are already in a relationship, we might feel that we should make it work – because we think that’s what a relationship is about.

It’s true that you should try to make a relationship work and learn to accept the person you are with, once you’ve decided to make a commitment to the person.

Then there are deeper questions. What is a commitment? How long do you need to know a person before you can decide if you want a commitment with the person? Does the duration matter? Or does knowing the person for who he is matters?

So, you have to think about whether you know the person, whether you can accept the person, whether you want to make a commitment or have made a commitment to the person and whether you want to accept the person, and decide whether to make it work.

A relationship is a commitment that we make to someone. There are some things we need to think about before we make that commitment. But first, we need to know what we want. And we can only do so by loving ourselves, and understanding our needs. Only then will we know who to invite into our lives. We should ideally get to know a person well before we decide to start a relationship. Otherwise, when we only start to really know a person after we get into a relationship, it would make it difficult for us to see the situation clearly as we feel that there are certain expectations that we have for a relationship, when the relationship that we have hasn’t actually reached that stage yet. Finally, when we truly get to know someone and decide that this is the person for us, we have to decide if we want to commit ourselves into this. Before we do so, we would need to understand if this person is someone whom we can accept and embrace for who his is, just as he would for who we are. And no matter what happens, we would then have the commitment to each other to make things work for ourselves.

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Are Gay People Just All About Sex?

Recently, I heard about a guy who had “lost his virginity”, as it was described to me. His friends cheered and congratulated him when they found out. They were happy for him, that he had finally had sex. It doesn’t matter who it was. Nor did it matter whether he used condoms. All that mattered to them was that he has had sex.

Someone asked, “Did you use a condom?” To that, there was no reply. I was told, “So what if you ask someone if they used condoms? They most probably wouldn’t say, or even if they did, they would have said that they had, mostly – because they wouldn’t want to let others know.”

Is sex so priced among the gay community that it is something that you would shout about? Is sex really what the gay community is about? Or is it just because everyone is doing it, and that’s why we feel we have to do it? Or is it because we’ve already gotten ourselves sexed, and perhaps, maligned, that we hope that someone else would have sex too, to be similarly conflicted like we are?

What happened to the idea that having sex with the person you love is the most magical that can be? Fluff? Perhaps. Wherever I meet someone who hasn’t had sex yet in his life, I would always tell him, “I think that’s good. In fact, I envy you. I had sex at a very young age. And then, I had sex with anyone. I never got to start out having sex with the person I truly love. Until now, I still don’t understand what sex feels like with someone you truly love. So, keep it that way. And when you finally find someone you truly love and have sex with him, it would be beautiful.” That would be what I would say. That would be the responsible thing to do.

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I understand the torment that goes through living a life where sex overrules love, where sex takes precedent as a gay person. I know how a life like this might not necessarily lead to happiness. I’ve seen people who have decided to feel ‘jaded’ because they lose hope with finding love, since it looks like everyone else is having sex. I’ve seen people who simply decide to have sex and give up on a relationship, because sex is so much easier to obtain, and because relationships seem so hard to maintain. And so, we give up. I understand what a focus on sex can to do my life, and so, I always encourage someone who hasn’t had sex yet to value himself. And I commend him for knowing what he wants and believing in what he wants, in spite of what others say.

There might be some who chide him or mock him – why are you pretending to be so chaste? Why don’t you just have sex? What are you pretending to be?

But is he pretending? Why do we think he’s pretending? We think so, because, deep inside, we are upset that we cannot be like him. Deep down, we know we envy that he is able to be strong and think for himself. He is able to protect his beliefs, even though every other guy seems to be fucking any hole that can be found. But this guy – he believes in himself. He is assured of himself. He doesn’t need to have sex to feel better about himself. He doesn’t need to have sex to feel loved. He doesn’t need to have sex to realise his value. He knows that love exists and he continues to believe in it. And he knows the sanctity of what he believes in and lives his life, with hope, with belief and with strength and courage.

Are we envious of him? Do we perhaps sometimes look back in our lives and wonder – why did I start out having sex? If I hadn’t start out having sex, things might have been different. I might continue to believe in love, and I might have found the person I truly love and settle down with him. But no, we started out having sex, and because of that, we judge the gay community for being a dirty, disgusting community where it’s all about fuck. But the gay community is defined by who is inside it. It’s defined by us. If we allow ourselves to squander ourselves away, we allow the gay community to languish and become the hopelessness that we imbue it with.

If we want a gay community to be one that we can respect and which believes in love and hope, then we have to start with ourselves. We have to start thinking differently. We have to start realising that if we do not want the gay community to be all about sex, we have to start thinking that way. We have to stop encouraging our friends or cheering them on to have sex if they have not.

And why do we do so? If my life sucks, I want yours to be like mine. That’s what friends are for, isn’t it? Really? Friends will teach you about their experiences, and remind you that they didn’t have it easy. Friends will remind you that if there were some experiences that they weren’t happy about, they would let you know so that you won’t have to live lives the way they did. Friends would tell you that if it hurts and feel empty having sex with random people and that if they wished that they could have sex with someone they can truly love that they would, they would tell you. So that you can learn from them and not do what they have had.

If you are a true friend, when you see that your friend might possibly repeat the mistake that you had done, you would pull him back and speak to him, and remind him of what he is getting himself into.

But that means we need to be aware of ourselves. We find friends whom we feel have similar experiences with us. If we feel we are in the lowdown, we think that they are too. And when we see one another go through experiences which have made us feel wilted, we feel assured knowing that our bad tidings are shared, and that we aren’t the only one stuck in the rut. What kind of friend are we if we do that? What kind of friend are we to hope that someone else makes the same mistake so that we can feel good about ourselves? What kind of friend are we when we cannot stop to think about our situation, and realise that we had the short end of the stick, and know that we should stop our friend from also having to go through the experiences that we wished we never had to go through?

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What does it say about us? Eventually, it comes back to us again. We need to have the awareness of what we go through in life, to learn from it. We also need to have the responsibility as a person, and as a friend, to watch out for our friend, and that if we know that our friend is going through the same experiences that we had before, that we can be there to guide them along, and share with them our experiences so that they can learn from us and live a better life. We have to learn to be happy for others when they live a better life.

Is sex everything then? Is sex what the gay community is about? Is sex really what gay men are all about? Horny lustful bastards? Is this what you are? I know I’m more than that. I’m still trying to find out more about myself. Do I still have sex? Yes I do. I’m not writing this to sound better than anyone. I’m writing this because I want to know – how can I live a life that I can be proud of? How can I live a life that I can br happy with? Why am I having sex with people, yet have a nagging feeling that perhaps there’s more to why I have sex with someone? There’s a reason why I have sex and it’s not just lust. What is this need I’m using sex to compensate for?

I still believe in love. I still believe in the gay community. I still believe we can be gay, proud of ourselves and be happy. I know as gay people, we can live the life that we want. And that’s not because I’m believing for the sake of believing. I believe because I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen myself learn so much more about myself. I’ve seen friends who continue to live happy, contended and fulfilling lives and friends who are still on their path towards searching for what they want and to believe in.

At some point, we have to take responsibility for ourselves, to be aware of the lives we live, and to be aware of why we do certain things, why we have sex and why we encourage other people to have sex. At some point, we have to stop following what everyone else is doing because that’s the cool thing to do. We have to decide for ourselves that we believe in ourselves and we will do things because we respect ourselves, and we know that what we do will enrich us further. We would know that there are friends, whom we call them as, who might not have the best interests for us at heart, not because they are not true, but because they are not aware, and while we give them the time to learn, we have to allow ourselves to move on with ours and live the life that we want – one that can be proud of and be true to ourselves with.

At some point, we need to be who we are. And be true to ourselves.

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