God and Gay: We Think The Same

Dear Pastor Lawrence Khong,

When I read the statement that you had made at the Faith Community Baptist Church, where ESM Goh Chok Tong was your guest, I have to admit that I was initially upset, and even infuriated.

But then, I read through your statement carefully and I heard what you had wanted to say. I just want to let you know that we think the same. 

You had said that:

  1. One, we believe that the building of Singapore is an exciting enterprise.
  2. Two, we feel passionately that Singapore is a place worth fighting for!
  3. Three, we want to create a Singapore we are all proud of.

I think many Singaporeans will agree with that, whether we are straight or gay, Christian or not, etc. Like you:

  1. I believe in creating a Singapore which is equal, where our poor and elderly are able to have better livelihoods. Like you, I believe in building a Singapore together, where we can bring Singapore into the next stage.
  2. Like you, I feel passionately about Singapore and I want to do my part to fight for Singapore, and Singaporeans.
  3. Like you, I want to create a Singapore that we can all be proud of.

You see, we are very similar, Pastor Khong.

You had also said that, “Examples from around the world have shown that the repeal of similar laws have led to negative social changes, especially the breakdown of the family as a basic building block and foundation of the society. It takes away the rights of parents over what their children are taught in schools, especially sex education. It attacks religious freedom and eventually denies free speech to those who, because of their moral convictions, uphold a different view from that championed by increasingly aggressive homosexual activists. We love our nation. We sincerely pray for and look to the Government to provide moral leadership in preserving this basic building block and foundation of our society. And with that, to robustly protect our constitutional rights to free speech and religious liberty; so as to ensure that social cohesion and religious harmony are maintained in Singapore.”

Dear Pastor Khong, I would just like to highlight some phrases that you had made in the paragraph:

  1. It takes away the rights of parents over what their children are taught in schools, especially sex education.
  2. It attacks religious freedom and eventually denies free speech to those who, because of their moral convictions, uphold a different view from that championed by increasingly aggressive homosexual activists.
  3. We sincerely pray for and look to the Government to provide moral leadership in preserving this basic building block and foundation of our society.
  4. And with that, to robustly protect our constitutional rights to free speech and religious liberty; so as to ensure that social cohesion and religious harmony are maintained in Singapore.

Again, we have the same views on these issues, or rather, we have the same motivations. 

  1. You see, like you, I am also worried that we take away the rights of parents over what their children should be taught in school. I am also worried that the rights of our children will be taken away. There has been research that has shown that if we educate children on sexuality issues when they are young, and even before puberty, the likelihood of them engaging in premarital sex is lower and the likelihood of them delaying their age of sexual debut is higher. So, you see, we think the same. Also, if we educate them openly on sexuality issues, they will be more informed about what sexuality is and will make a choice that they will learn to respect of themselves.
  2. Like you, I am also worried that my freedom of speech will be denied, because of the views I hold about who I am, which is different from what others think about me. Like you, I only want to live my life and be able to have myself heard, so that I can continue to live a life that I can respect and continue to journey in. Our wants are not that different, and are in fact, the same.
  3. Like you, I constantly hope that the government will be bold, and do what is right – to protect the rights of all people in Singapore, and to ensure that everyone is free from discrimination. Like you, I believe we need to preserve the basic building block of our society – to protect the individual, and give him or her the space and freedom to grow and nurture as a healthy, happy individual.
  4. Like you, I believe that we need to “robustly protect our constitutional rights to free speech and religious liberty”, and precisely “to ensure that social cohesion and religious harmony”. And what I have learnt is this – when we engage in intellectual and thorough discussions about issues, such as this, that matter, we will be able to have a clearer and more empathetic understanding towards one another. We will learn to show compassion and love towards another, and embrace their being, regardless of who they are.

Dear Pastor Khong, we have very similar ideals and motivations. In fact, many Singaporeans do. I respect and admire that you are driven by such motivations, because you want to do good and achieve goodness in Singapore and this is truly and indeed admirable. 

Pastor Khong, I’ve also learnt to understand this:

  1. All of us have different understandings and ideas about what life should be. To you, being gay might not be appropriate, and I understand why you would think so, for you are not gay. But I am gay, and to me, I live my life as a gay person everyday. In fact, being gay is just a small part of me. I continue to want to do things that can help improve the rights of others, and I continue to speak up for what I believe in. And like you, I want to take a stand in what I believe passionately and am committed to fight and protect for. We might come from different vantage points in life, but who is to say that either one of us is right or wrong? For, how can I say that you are wrong, when I have not lived the life you have and understood the learning that you experience. And how would you be able to say that I am wrong, if you have not had the chance to live my life, or even understand the struggles that I had to go through to become the stronger and happier person that I am now. We do not understand each other, or have an appreciation of each other’s life – not yet, at least. So, I understand why you would find it challenging to understand the life that I live and go through.
  2. I understand when you say you want to be free because that is essentially what everyone wants – to live a life as true as they can, to believe in themselves and live a life that they are meant to lead, and to serve god. I think the same. I might not call him god in the same way that you call him, but isn’t living our lives a calling that all of us believe in and aspire to do our best in? I believe in freeing people and I believe in helping them see the truth. I know this is what you want as well. How I do this is by sharing with others more about my life, about what I go through and I reach out to others to raise the awareness among them of the lives of gay individuals, like me. I hope that by doing so, that they will learn to understand what I go through, to empathise with me, and eventually to accept me for who I am.
  3. But I have learnt that even if people choose not to accept me, it’s fine, because it’s a journey towards understanding that all of us go through. Does it matter that people accept? It doesn’t, because just as it would take time to understand the lives of someone who has cancer, or someone who has to live in a small hut in a place of poverty, I cannot expect someone to imagine how it is like for me to be gay, not having lived the past 31 years of my life, and the discrimination, hurt and struggles that I had to go through, and how I had to eventually learnt to love myself, and be stronger, so that I can continue living a life that I can be proud of. Like you, Pastor Khong, I just want to live a life that I can be proud of, for myself. 
  4. Sometimes, it still saddens me to know that there are others who wish that I should not be allowed a right to live my life. And like I say, I understand why. I’ve learnt too that when people take issues against me, it’s because they haven’t had a chance to get to know me and to interact with me. They haven’t had a chance to realise that other than being gay – and I have stopped allowing myself to be defined by my being gay – I am really someone just like anyone else, who wants to do good, contribute to society, share what I have with others, help others learn, raise awareness and someone who wants to continue to learn and to grow, and to fulfil my potential as a human person. That’s all I want, and I really hope that people can see that. 

Dear Pastor Khong, I guess eventually, everyone of us comes from different vantage points. We live different lives but sometimes we share similar experiences. What is it that splits us, but all the same, what is it that bind us? As much as we might be uncomfortable, it might or might not god’s plan that there is diversity in this world and we live in a world where there are straight and gay people, where there are people with different physical and intellectual functionalities and where we look, think, believe and behave different. But yet we are all different and all the same at the same time. People can choose to look at the differences and choose to draw us apart, or we can choose to see the similarities that we have and learn to embrace one another. I can see the similarities that you and I have, and so can many of us.

Let’s not let the fears that we have used to guide us and to protect us prevent us from truly seeing beyond these fears, to see the possibilities that bind us. I will be willing to learn from you, and to know more about your perspectives, if you would as well allow me to enter into your life and share in the opportunity to learn more about one another. I envision and endeavour a day when we will be able to embrace each other’s differences, acknowledge the beauty and diversity of them and live in the harmony that we both envision and desire. 

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A Singaporean Gay Man Speaks: Get to Know Me, and You Will See That I Am Just Like You

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Law K Shanmugam had “recently met up with some activists from Sayoni, a Singapore-based platform for lesbian, bisexual and transsexual Asian women.” He said that he had “found the discussion useful” and posted the link of Sayoni’s blog of their discussion on his Facebook page.

A discussion had ensued on his Facebook page. I had commented on the page and decided to post it on this blog:

*****

Hi guys,

This is coming from a personal perspective. I am gay.

I have come to realise that whether a person would be accepting towards someone who is gay – this is a very personal journey that a person goes through. I am disappointed when people would discriminate against me, but I have understood that I am in no position to judge their journeys. If I do not believe that they should judge mine, who am I to judge their journeys? Is it fair?

People have asked me the exact same questions that are being asked here. If we give gay people rights, this will be society’s demise because there will be more and more gay people, and we won’t have any more babies. What research has shown is that in any society, there is less than 10%, or even 5%, of any population which is exclusively gay. Gay people cannot take over the planet. If so, our world won’t be undergoing overpopulation and the exhaustion of resources at this current point in time. The world’s population has grown and exploded since Industrialisation. If we could have prevented births, the population would have been decimated long ago and we wouldn’t be having this conversation on Facebook – which by the way, one of the founders is gay.

But of course, we might then say, but there weren’t so many people who were gay in the past. But do you know that homosexuality was prevalent and widely accepted in the most part of humanity’s history, except in recent time. I quote a report from China Daily: “While translating British psychologist Havelock Ellis’ groundbreaking Psychology of Sex in the 1930s, Pan was inspired to search through historical documents for credible clues of the existence of homosexuality throughout Chinese history.And he found plenty.”

But enough of the intellectual discourse. If you look at the fundamental reason as to why people discriminate, it has very little to do with the person they discriminate. Many times, we have to ask ourselves – when we are uncomfortable with someone else, why? And if we look deep enough, we realise that it’s because of our own fears or our own thinking that we might not be good enough, or am unable to match up, and that’s why we externalise our fears onto someone else.

Throughout history, we have seen many groups of people who were prosecuted. In the past, women weren’t treated as equal beings. Women were not allowed rights to vote. They were even considered as ‘property’ of men. Even in Singapore at present time, women are not paid equal wages, and find it difficult to be promoted to leadership roles. Among the blacks,they had a long hard fight before they were given back their rights in the 1960s onwards. Even among singles, people frowned on singles for a long time, before they realised that we had to respect the lifestyles of singles. Why is it that even now, single mothers who give birth are not given maternity benefits by the government?

You see, challenges that people face will always happen in society, because we allow some people’s beliefs to override others. Eventually, the fundamental question is this – should we be protecting the rights of individuals, or should we be marginalising the rights of others? We haven’t had an open enough debate about this issue. Because if we do, we can reshape the discourse in the law and how laws are made. But are we intellectually prepared to do this? For this means, we have to think beyond ourselves, to think intellectually, and to have the broadness of mind to empathise and see into the lives of others.

If you are a woman, a single person, a person of a race considered to be a minority, a disabled person, a person who has had to face discrimination of some form of another, I ask of you – what do you think of the discrimination that gay people face? Can you identify with it? The reason why I stop looking at people in terms of gender, colour, etc is precisely because of this – I understand how it feels to be discriminated and I have come to understand that sometimes, people discriminate because they don’t understand. They don’t understand who I am and what my life is like, and before they understand, they might judge and create their own ideas to judge me. But many times now, when someone finally gets to know me, things change. They learn to accept and embrace me for who I am. This is what I know and what I have seen.

I have learnt to empathise with the discrimination that others face and I know, that this isn’t an issue about homosexuality. It is after all, an issue about learning, understanding and finally accepting, if we can get to that stage.

I welcome anyone who would like to get to know me better so that you can come and understand that I am someone who wants to do good for society, and someone who cares as well. I care deeply about the issues about our country. I might be gay but it no longer features as a predominant feature in my life.

Ironically, I no longer think being gay is something I need to shout about, but it is the people who discriminate against me, who make it their issue to do so. But why should it even be an issue to anyone when it’s no longer one to me? I want to live my life, to help others, and like anyone else, to continue to be happy and to live a life that I can be happy with for myself.

Roy

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A Singaporean Living With HIV: Avin, A Real Friend Who Continues To Inspire

Yesterday, the 2nd person in Singapore shared with Singaporeans that he is HIV positive.

The last time someone living with HIV came out openly to let Singaporeans know that he was HIV positive, that was 15 years ago.

Today, at the 8th Singapore AIDS Conference, the second ever Singaporean shared with Singaporeans that he was HIV positive.

This was especially important and meaningful to me, because Avin is a very, very close and dear friend of mine. Avin is someone I love and treasure. He is someone who has been there with me in each step of my journey to learning and he is someone who continue to bring cheer and joy in my life. With or without HIV, Avin is someone that means a lot to me and someone whom I’ve learnt to rely on, trust and place my confidence in.

Avin shared at the conference today that he is a person living with HIV. You can read more and see the video on his sharing here.

Many times, when we talk about people living with HIV, we talk about sufferers and victims. We call them patients. But Avin is so much more than that. In fact, people living with HIV are so much more than that. There are many people living with HIV who continue to live dynamic lives, who continue to pursue their dreams and passions. But yet, we continue to call them sufferers or victims.

One thing you need to know is this – with current advances in medication, if a person living with HIV takes his medication regularly, he will continue to live a normal life span. This means that Avin might continue to live a longer life than I do. Avin will continue to plan for his future, continue to pursue them and continue to plan for the next 10, 20, even 40 or 50 years or more. He has a long life ahead of him, just like any of us do.

Read more here.

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Racism within the Singapore Gay Community

There are some people who do not want to date people of the other races. Some Chinese guys do not want to date Malay or Indian guys.

I want to talk about one reason why this could be the case. For some gay people, we feel that as a gay person, we feel lesser of ourselves – because we cannot accept ourselves or yet to fully accept ourselves. And when that happens, we will do things which will compensate for that.

As I’ve discussed before, one way we do it is to associate ourselves with certain people who we think have certain ‘status’ – or so we think – within the gay community, and so by associating ourselves with them, we feel that our ‘status’ is uplifted, and this makes us feel more accepted of ourselves – we use external factors to resolve the inner lower acceptance levels that we have towards ourselves. Of course, there are some people who choose to not involve themselves within the gay community but associate themselves with the ‘straight’ community, with the thinking that by doing so, we can disassociate ourselves from the side of us which is gay, so that we do not have to delve into it further, but this is another story.

And so, in the same logic, for some Chinese guys, they would not want to associate themselves with other Malay or Indian guys because they feel that, if Malays or Indians are already discriminated in society, by associating with them, this makes my ‘status’ lesser. By all means, this does not apply to all Chinese people. And this does also happen the other way around.

But what’s truly happening here? For some gay people, they might not be able to come to terms with themselves and this is a strong self-stigma that they perpetuate on themselves. Any other perceived discrimination that they feel society might enact on them will much further accentuate this self-stigma that they already has. And thus, they feel that, by association, associating with people who they feel face discrimination, means also bringing on this discrimination that others face onto themselves, which means deepening the lack of acceptance for themselves. In effect, they are trying to reduce their lower acceptance levels for themselves by associating with people of higher ‘status’ and by disassociating from others who are perceived as facing other forms of stigma, this will prevent them from facing further stresses.

Unfortunately, our fellow Malay and Indian gay people have to face this added stigma – in part due to the coping mechanisms of others that they have subconsciously devised to deal with the low self acceptance levels.

What this also shows is the larger form of discrimination that exists in society. I was discussing with an Indian friend today. A Chinese guy had told him that Indians are “smelly”, “do not care about their hygiene” etc. I know this is not true because I’ve met some really hot Indian men, but if this people I had met had appeared in any colour, they would still be hot.

Truth is, in our society, there is discrimination enacted in the form of colour. There are many reasons why this is so. I will quickly bring up some but this isn’t the purpose of this article – like how we enact judgment onto others (not just in terms of colour), it’s because we do not understand enough about others. We do not know enough about the lives to understand why they do what they do and thus we carry on judgments that others have about them, and assume them to be true. For gay people, we would understand how it feels – because others already have preconceived notions of what a gay person is, instead of giving themselves a chance to understand us for who we are, they might enact judgment on us instead. If we know this, we would know how people of other ‘races’ feel and we would know how not to enact judgment on them, wouldn’t we?

Of course, this is a larger structural issue. The lack of discourse about racial and religious issues, because the government had constrained such discussion means that even though on the surface, we are seemingly agreeable with one another, they are underlying unease that we perceive of one another.

But question is – so what if I bring this up? What can we do? So what if there are gay people who discriminate against others by virtue of their colour? Sometimes, I find this disappointing because if we are in a position where we know how it feels to be discriminated, all the more we should know not to discriminate against others. But this isn’t the case for some – if we are yet to be able to come to terms with ourselves, we will seek out other sources of affirmation for ourselves (by seeking out people ‘of status’) and reduce our association with others whom are perceived as discriminated.

If this is something that’s happening to you, what can you do? If you understand that some people might disassociate themselves from you because of their discomfort with themselves, you know that it’s not something that they are doing because of you. It’s something that they need to overcome. So don’t let it affect you. Understand that they need their time to find out more about themselves and come to terms with themselves. It’s not that they cannot accept who you are. It’s because they cannot accept who they are. So you have to respect that they are in their journey towards finding out more about themselves and you need to give them that time and space to grow.

But if we are unhappy still, then it says more about us. If we are unhappy that someone cannot accept us, then we need to understand and think about this – is there something we cannot accept about ourselves? Because if we believe in ourselves, we would know that if others cannot accept us, we would understand and know our worth to believe and have faith in when we are, and know not to allow the judgment of others to affect us.

What of those who judge – or actually, those of us who are unable to accept ourselves? Then, we need to understand how we use the distinction that we make among people, to define who we are, and how we use these external influences to cater for an inner need that we have. We need to understand this because it has implications on how we react towards others, and how we might cause hurt towards them by our sometimes subconscious thoughts and actions. Then, we need to learn to look within ourselves to understand why we are unable to accept ourselves and work around our internal feelings, so as to truly understand and gain acceptance towards ourselves.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone. Some of us might have simply have cultural preferences. Some people might feel more comfortable getting to know someone of the same cultural background, only because they are used to growing up within a cultural pattern and want to continue in that. The key is – if we are aware that we are making a choice not out of the denial of who others are but because we believe in doing something without having to hurt others, and we have the awareness and authenticity to understand our thoughts and actions, then at least we are being responsible. So, this means being aware and having the clarity of what we are doing.

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Sex: ‘Cos You Are Horny, Or Fulfilling An Inner Need?

Gay people are all about sex.

Really? Is that all you want to give yourself credit for? That you are all about sex, and nothing else?

Do we choose to forget the loving person that we are? The person who would do romantic things and who would cherish love and relationships, and who would go all out for another friend? Have we chosen to forget these things about us?

And choose to think gay people are all about sex? Really?

Let’s stop for a moment and think about this. Whenever you have sex, are you really a lustful promiscuous person who doesn’t know what love is? Do you completely give up on love because you truly know deep within your heart that it’s not possible? Do you really want to give up all that who you truly are?

*****

I used to wonder – why do I just look for sex? Why are gay people only looking for sex? Is the gay community so wasted and so hopeless? Should I really give up on gay people? Should I really give up on us? On myself?

But deep inside, I know whatever I feel isn’t what I truly know. I know I want to love, to be loved, and I know we live to love and we live to be who we are, and be proud of it.

But be proud that we have sex? Be proud that sex is what makes us?

But as I learnt, I realise I’ve allowed myself to be sucked in to the thoughts of everyone else, and I’ve not learnt how to look within myself.

We have not learnt to look within ourselves, and thus we judge ourselves and we make ourselves the hopeless people we’ve allowed ourselves to think, or actually – not to have thought carefully about.

*****

The real question we need to ask is not why gay people are hopeless – because this means we’ve already allowed ourselves to judge ourselves without actually understanding ourselves.

The real question we need to ask ourselves is this – why do we have sex?

Now, take a journey back to the first few times you had sex. Some of us were curious. Sometimes, it just happened – perhaps we felt a feeling for one another and wanted to express it. Sometimes we meet someone for the first time and we haven’t had the feeling of being with someone before, and we might want to start kissing the person, and we might want to move on to doing a bit more.

Would you judge me as promiscuous if I did these? If you had done this? Think a bit about it. When you have sex for the first time, sometimes it’s because you’ve been longing to be with someone for a long time and when you meet someone whom you think you could have something going with, you might want to hold the person, to feel loved and to love. Then we proceed to unbuttoning his shirt, to feel his chest and to feel him. And things unravel from there, literally and figuratively. Is this just lust?

Sometimes, we become curious and we start touching each other. What does this feel like? What does the other physical body feels like? Is this just lust?

Think about it. Is this just lust? Thing is, we’ve been told over and over again that men are lustful, that we only want sex and just because we have a protruding sexual organ which gets hard at the very instance we see someone attractive, it means we are lustful and that’s all we have on our minds – that we are brainless fucks who would just want to jack off, without emotions and feelings – that we are selfish bastards. Sure, sometimes we are – horny, I mean. But all the time? Do you truly want to give yourself that little credit to think that the person that you are is determined by the sex you do every time you are with another guy?

*****

I’ve thought for a long time about this. This is what’s going on – when we have sex many times, it’s not just because we are lustful disgusting creatures who just want sex. If you think a bit more deeply about your feelings and thoughts, you will understand that sometimes we have sex because we want to feel loved, or that we might be lonely, or sometimes we simply want to be intimate with someone. Being intimate sometimes makes us feel close to another, and somehow assures us of our value and our worth. I’m not saying whether these things that we do are the best way to do things, but this is what we do – sometimes we have sex because we are fulfilling an inner need within us.

But you might ask, why then do we think that we are just lustful creatures, instead of the emotional people that we are?

  1. First, society tells that to us – society says that if you have sex, you should be judged, that you are someone who has loose morals and principles. And we believe in this, we take on these ideas and when we do have sex, we judge ourselves based on these ideas – we think we have loose morals and are less than respectable because of that. But then, stop for a moment. If we put aside what society says, and if we truly look within ourselves – what was the real reason why we had sex? Because? Because we want love? We want to be treasured? What is it? We’ve learnt to so easily take on what society thinks and give up our right to think for ourselves. We’ve given up our belief and awareness of ourselves, simply because we allow ourselves to be part of society. Why? We do so because humans are group animals – we want to belong to a group of people and so whatever thoughts they hold, we want to hold so that we can belong. But the other truth is we sometimes don’t bother to think enough of ourselves – we give up our right to think for ourselves, and we give up our right to be who we are.
  2. Second, the reason why we think when we have sex, that we might be lustful creatures is because sex is the most obvious product of the interaction we have with each other. After sex, we cum and that’s what we see. Our mind empties itself as our penis do and that’s all we see and feel after the euphoria – what did I just do? Then, we start feeling the embarrassment and we start feeling ashamed. Then, we start to judge ourselves – I am horny and I allowed myself to let go without control. I am so wrong. I should judge myself. But, what actually did happen? At one fell swoop, we discredit ourselves for the complete person that we are and narrow down we we are to this – a horny uncontrolled person. Truth is, sometimes when we have sex with someone, it’s not just our dicks and balls that’s making the decision to want to have sex – that’s giving our sperm too much credit. What really happens is that emotionally, we feel certain feelings coming up within us, and because of them, we feel the need to express them, by saying nice things about the person, by smiling at the person, by glancing at the person shyly then looking away, by touching the person’s hand to let them know you feel the same, by locking your lips with the person, embracing and letting your emotions flow through the body. Is this just your balls talking? I don’t quite think so.

Truth is, when we have sex, there are so many reasons why we do it, but we don’t realise it. We’ve learnt to think that if you have sex, you are just thinking with the dick. When you have sex, it means you are just thinking of one thing – sex and cumming. But as we’ve discussed, there are many reasons why we feel motivated to have sex – and if you think carefully, much of it is driven by the emotions we feel. But we think that as men, we cannot think about our emotions – it’s not the man thing to do – so we’ve brushed off our emotions and we’ve decided to think that we’ve allowed our dicks to control us. See, we take on the whole society group think into us – men are sexual beings. Period. Men do not have emotions. Period.

No. Period. No more group think. That’s lazy and irresponsible to ourselves. It’s time we acknowledge it and be clear about it – sometimes we have sex because our the emotions we feel make us feel like having sex. We need to acknowledge this and understand this, because having an awareness of this will allow us to stop judging ourselves negatively, and stop our spiral into an abyss of disbelief in the gay community, and in ourselves.

*****

But then, why can the straight people control themselves? Why don’t they all have sex like we do?

  1. First, really, you think they don’t have sex like we do? They do – they just don’t talk about it. We’ll explore this in a bit.
  2. Second, we think that it’s because they are women and women are more emotional than sexual, so they don’t have sex as quickly because they don’t want to, or need to. Really?

As we’ve explored just, society says men are all sexual creatures, and on the other hand, they’ve assigned the role as women as being only emotional. We’ve dichotomised the roles of men as sexual and physical and women as emotional, so that we can have clear distinct roles. The question we need to ask is this – are these roles real? There are many theories but I won’t dwell on them here – one reason is that the association of emotions has been popularised as being weak, so we need to assign emotions to women, since men should be in power – men should rule, so let’s make men all about being not emotional. We are rational, not emotional. Then, yet, we are also sexual, power-driven, conquering, mighty, and so on. The whole discourse of men as masculine and women as feminine – and emotional – is a discourse created to control and divide.

So, for gay men, we’ve learnt to take on these roles too. But we are starting to understand that we don’t have to take on these roles. If you look around you, you realise that gay men don’t choose to subscribe to either a masculine or feminine role as much now, as we might in the past. We don’t think that there needs to be someone in the power to take care and someone in the position to be submissive. We are beginning to realise that the very fact that we don’t belong to the social norms and dichotomy of a male-female hegemonic propaganda, that we don’t have to assume such dichotomised roles – we can be ourselves.

If you can follow through the thinking so far, you would understand this as well – the reason why it looks like straight couples are more controlled and not sexually as free is because of this – there are social norms and rules which govern the straight people. I’m not saying that these rules are natural or good. But they exist. And because of this, the straight people play by those rules. As a woman, I shouldn’t have sex with you and I should “preserve” myself because if I do, there are social judgments that people will laden on me. They will call me a loose woman and I will be ashamed, and it would be difficult for someone else to love me then. And so, when men date women, the both of them understand these social rules that they have to operate within, and so, they do not have sex as readily.

It’s not because women are emotional and men are sexual, and which is why they don’t have sex as frequently – it’s because there are social rules which they feel they have to abide by, but understand that these social rules change over time and are continuously redefined.

So, the reason why gay men have sex, as compared, in a less restrained way, is because, we do not have the rules that the straight people operate within. This is because it’s always easier to develop rules for a group of people who are the majority in society. And truth is that the beauty of the fluidity of the gay people means we get to set our own rules and choose whether to follow it or not.

But at this point in time, we don’t realise it. We follow the judgments that the straight people have on themselves when they have sex, and we assume the judgment on ourselves.

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What I hope to say is this – We have sex for many reasons, and as I’ve described, many times, it’s because of an inner emotional need that we want to fulfil.

Yet, because society says it’s wrong to have sex and if you have sex, it means you are a horny person without thoughts and you should be judged, labelled and shame for doing so. And because of this, we forget that the real reason why we have sex, and we assume the judgement of society and shame ourselves.

Then we go into this downward spiral – why is everyone I meet just having sex? It’s wrong to just have sex (because society says so) , why don’t they see that? Yet, we continue having sex – because the real reason we do is because we have an inner emotional need. So, we are trapped within an inner need to feel loved and thus we have sex, and the social judgment that we assume onto ourselves. But, society’s judgment wins out and we forgot to think about our own inner need.

And we start judging one another – so and so just has sex. He’s disgusting. We’ve learnt to judge others based on societal beliefs and continue to have sex based on our individual inner needs, then judge ourselves with societal beliefs. Can you see where this is going now?

And when we go to a club, we gossip about this person who just has sex and how he’s so promiscuous, because we enact social judgment onto him. Yet, we have sex ourselves but we won’t enact the same judgment on ourselves – because it is us we are talking about.

At some point, we decide that love isn’t possible in the gay community since everyone is just having sex. We don’t realise that we when we have sex, we are trying to fulfil an inner desire. And when this doesn’t get fulfilled, we keep looking for it – a fulfilment of our inner desire. Yet, to do so, we have sex with more people. At some point, we become blind to the fact that we have this inner desire that we are using sex to fulfil, and we think that all we are looking for is sex – when what we are really looking for is a fulfilment of our inner desires.

Do you see where I’m going with this? Are gay people just really all about sex? When we have sex, are we just horny people who have no emotions?

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In a way, the straight people have social rules to police their behaviours. The inadvertent effect is that this forces them to think about their actions and to understand their actions. If they want to move on further with someone – to have sex – they are made to reflect on their true feelings to one another. They are made to be responsible towards themselves, and to others.

For the gay community, we might not have the same rules that we have to operate by. It confuses us, of course. We don’t realise that we are just like the straight people – that we have emotional needs too, and sex is a way of addressing that. We don’t have the time lapse, created by social rules, to have to think through carefully about our feelings. And because there aren’t any rules, our feelings get enmeshed with our sexual behaviour and we aren’t able to have a clear understanding of ourselves. Instead, we draw on societal beliefs – sex means we have loose morals – to judge our behaviours which is yet not bound by societal rules.

Within the straight community, they’ve created a set of rules and a set of judgment around that – so that’s how the whole package works. But for us, we cannot choose to not take on the rules but take on the judgement – then we are only giving ourselves the short end of the stick. We are beating ourselves unnecessarily.

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I want to talk about this because of this:

  1. First, it’s high time the gay community stop beating ourselves. We beat ourselves and we look down on ourselves. It isn’t helpful for our own personal growth, and it isn’t helpful for the gay youths who are learning to grow up being gay, and who are also beaten by our own self-beating.
  2. Second, we are also people with respectable feelings and emotions, who similarly want love and want to be with someone. And we’ve got to recognise this – because as a gay person, we can find love and we can be with someone as long as we understand ourselves, what we are doing and responsibly find a way to achieve this.

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What does this mean for us then?

It means this – if we are aware of what we are using sex for, then it means we can be more aware of how we manage ourselves. If we know that when we meet someone, we might allow our emotions to get the better of us where we might then have sex with the person, we can seek to understand our emotions and to be responsible in how we express them. We might not have sex with someone so easily, if we want to be responsible to ourselves and to the other person.

As time goes on, when we can be responsible to ourselves, we will become responsible to others. We will then be a gay community which respects the rights of others and our fellow gay people and help us grow in a way that gives us pride to be who we are, who we can be and allow us to guide our gay youths towards a path of hope, self-belief, possibilities and a new sense of self-worth, respect and pride to being gay.

All we need is an awareness of ourselves and what we are doing, and an awareness of how we can act in a more responsible manner, in understanding our beliefs and towards another person.

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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.

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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.

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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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