My coming out to selected friends (part II)
I recently came out to my technical school (TS) friends in our Facebook group. I wasn’t very close with most of them. There were almost 300 of us in the same batch and the Facebook group has 134. I know only some of them by name, even when all of them know me. I was pretty famous at school – a school prefect and a trouble-maker at the same time. So, everyone knew me.
After I posted my coming out, for 2 days, no activity. Then, 5 days later, a burst of activities. Most of them negative and laden with homophobic remarks. Some offered prayers which are actually insults in God’s name. However, in the many, many comments, 4 of my friends actually offered support. One friend sent a private message offering support and prayers, and chose not to comment in the post itself. FIVE of the 134.
And I just remembered today that my cousin is one of my classmates! Gah…!! How did I miss that minor detail??!
There you go! It has now reached a family member!
There is of course a stark contrast between my TESL friends and TS friends. After I posted on the blog about my coming out to my TESL friends, I was still getting support from them in the post or private messages. I’d say about half of them (60) have offered support and prayers. But, TS friends, so far, just 5.
I actually kind of expected it. I went to school with these people, and lived at the hostel with all the girls. With the boys (and true too with the girls), I remember our interaction was always “difficult” because I could sense most of them were traditional and a bit closed-minded, with the exception of very few. Most of them are Muslims too.
You see, this is where education and life experiences are very important. Most of my TS friends came from traditional and/or religious families. Their life experiences are limited to just what they want to tolerate. Things they don’t understand, they stay away from, instead of wanting to learn to understand. Most of their comments reflected this – lack of understanding. And of course, they would quote the Quran and Hadith as well, to remind me of hell fire. And one guy actually commented that we shouldn’t reveal to people of our own private sins. He’s missing the point of coming out.
Do you see the danger of their reaction? What if someone like me is trying to reach out for help? After seeing the reaction I got, perhaps he/she would change his/her mind. And as a result, suffer in silence if they don’t have anywhere else to go.
Why would we choose such a difficult life? We’ve been told very early that hell is indeed what’s waiting for us on the other side. But, you know, in my heart, I know God did not create me to sin for the rest of my life. There’s no way God is that merciless. God is Most Merciful and Most Beneficent. Surely people who believe know this.
I choose not to share my coming out post to my TS friends here. I don’t want to stain my blog with too much homophobia. It can induce suicide in the suicidals. I did not react to any of the negative comments. I only thanked the few friends who offered support in the comment section itself by tagging them. I hope the rest of them noticed that. And yes, my cousin “Liked” my comment.
If you’re thinking of coming out to a bunch of people you know in your heart to be homophobic, don’t be disheartened. Those who cannot accept you as who you truly are, don’t deserve to be a part of your fabulous life. We all know that people like us are always fabulous. There’s no way we’re having pizza at our weddings! Cakes, of course! A multi-tier one at that too!
Always surround yourself with positive people who love you unconditionally. Life is difficult already as it is. There are always lessons in life at every corner which we cannot escape. There are endless challenges in life. As we all know, life is a series of experiences and challenges. The highs are high and the lows can be pretty low.
So, don’t make your life journey more difficult by adding and keeping people who can’t appreciate your worth, who don’t want to understand your struggles (we’re not asking them to bear it with us, we just want them to be willing to understand), who have nothing to offer other than more criticism, who try to change who you are and what you are, who think you’re not trying hard enough to be better, who don’t know what’s in your heart but judge you anyway, who are creating negative images of you in your own head, who make you self-doubt, who find satisfaction in bringing you down and tearing you to pieces, and who drag you down to their low standard simply because they cannot (or would not) raise up to yours.
Life is too precious to spend it hating yourself.
Life is too priceless to not be true to your being.
Life is too short to let it pass you by.
Go and meet people in the field beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing.
Don’t let the barking dogs distract you.