The toughest moment
I finally found the time and inspiration to complete my writing. Supposedly this was to be published on Mother's Day in 2009. As life goes, I couldn't find the right piece in my heart that holds discipline to express my thoughts into words. Not really important though. This post is a random mixture of my understanding and perception to my mum whom I love so much.
Since her first encounter with KC, worsen by the phone conversation with his mum (when his mum told mine that KC's gay and warned my mum to be cautious), she had been suspecting and dropping hints. In my every attempt to meet my bf, be it KC or XB, there was need to create lies; white lies or bold-faced lies. All this, to convince her that I was about to meet my friends, to attend gatherings with classmates, more of sort to healthy activities - so that I would seem normal and not an orchestrated exit. Of course gatherings and reunions are bad lies. I can't be attending gatherings every day, right? That was when she started questioning my whereabouts; with who I went out with, how many people I was to meet, and also kept reminding me to come home early. She was a bit too much to call me every hours; with lame reasons each time. It's not something she would likely do in the past, but I can feel that my freedom was challenged.
I lied in everything she needs to know and never unravel the real 'who' I always went out with. Hanson? Ken? UTAR friends? U6BF? If she counted properly, I met Hanson and Ken 3 times a week, U6BF every week. I couldn't be sure if she never see through my blatant lies. But my mum was definitely not dumb to not suspect anything.
From Edwin and his family background, it implied that acknowledging a mum that her son is gay is similar to stabbing her in heart and stewing her liver. Although his story was encouraging, I couldn't gather enough courage to reveal myself. Not during the period I am dependent on her to live my life. I was in the middle of pursuing studies, you see. If I tell her now and so happen that we couldn't work it out, I will have to stop, everything goes to waste and I definitely didn't want that to happen. (Disclaimer: Now = that particular period of time, not now of the writing time) To tell her the truth is unnecessary. I "will" tell her everything in the future when my life is deemed stable. At least that was the plan.
But today (I mean that day), she hinted the clearest indication that she knows everything. Well ahead of the original schedule.
I still remember the previous day I brought him back home to pay my parents a visit and offered him my pillow for the night. I introduced him as Hanson's cousin. She'd been closely observing since the longest time and all the clues lead to the same conclusion. It had to be.
On the night of 16 February 2008 while sending Edwin back home, unpleasantly she called in urgency for my presence. There was something amiss here. She has always been a wise and gentle soul. It's safe to assume that something was wrong, probably she saw the websites I visited, or the movies that I secretly downloaded. But it's something more than those that led to everything exposed.
Upon reaching home I was dumbfounded by what she showed me (picture to the right) and sought my explanation. The surprise stunned me so long that the sound of silence in the room with only both of us could be heard clearly. Deep in my heart I felt angry 'coz she invaded my privacy by ransacking my files and pictures. On another side I was scared of what's about to happen next. Tried to choose the best words to cover up but could not tell out. Every time she stared at me, I looked away. The place felt like a tomb. Situation turned intense but I couldn't help to be total speechless.
"If you're not saying anything, I will start asking" and the next thing I remembered was she asked so many things and talked too much of which I couldn't recall all.
I've seen you doing this (picture above) long time ago. I've no idea to who you wanted to give but now I think I've known.
I could have denied any allegations, simply avoided all conflicts that might stir up unease. If I wanted to, I could deny that the present was for my other friends. But I chose a daring answer by a simple reply "Yes".
To be expected, her tone changed. Red in her eyes, there is long silence between each sentence...
Why are you so close to him?
You can't be meeting your friends everyday as you claimed. You were with him all time, weren't you? - I nodded
Son, are you gay? - I nodded
What are you doing? Why do you become like this?
Your relationship is not natural. It will lead you to a dead end.
There's no future. You can't get married.
A normal human is to find a woman, get married and have children.
You live in darkness.
He will cost you your life.
You will be infected by HIV and AIDS.
I have the responsibilities to bring you back to the right path. 'Coz I am your mother.
Do not see him anymore. - I stood fortified, "NO" was my answer
He is not helping you. He is the devil. He will destroy you. - Was she taunting me? From here on I couldn't concentrate 'coz I was raging
Have you ever dated any girls? - I nodded
She might not be a good one.
Why don't you find another one? How much do you know about girls?
Who knows the future girl is better than a boy?
Listen to me...
I am your mother.
Have I done anything bad to you before?
Everything I did is to make sure you grow correctly.
I have given you my best.
You have your responsibilities to the family.
Listen to me...
Change. And don't find him anymore.
Is there any mistakes in the way we raised you up?
Tell me where's wrong, so that we can correct ourselves.
Sadly, they were familiar to me on several levels. More or less the same I heard from stories by friends who first came out to parents. So much that I agree, deep inside I was angry at her negative stereotypes. A bolt of pain shot through my heart. I kept quiet during the whole monologue. Felt the boil in me but couldn't counter her claims - choked on my own words. It was so frustrating yet scary. Edwin kept texting me during the conversation but I couldn't reply. This is the toughest moment of a gay man's life.
We stayed in the room for an indeterminate amount of time. In the end of the last line she rose to her feet and we got ourselves buried our heads in the pillows, drifting to sleep. Too emotional and we couldn't move forward. Wrong words are often said in desperation. But I know you couldn't rest well. If not with everything that happened earlier, you could probably sleep soundly. She should be aching all over. I am weak in dealing with pain. So I prescribed time for her.
Ever since you forced my closet door open, I've been getting occasional outburst followed by silent treatments, more frequent overtime. I'd been ignoring her and avoided verbal contact as much possible. Arguments of big or small are spoil the day. There were times I wished she would leave me alone. But I know this was bringing us nowhere. For every argument we had will lead us back to square 1 - I am still gay. I wouldn't have came out to her if she didn't demand the truth. Now she discovered the truth not to her please and then she's been acting like that. She's so distant at times. Many said that ignorance at this point was bliss. It's better to leave her alone than to confront her at square 1.
But I think in long run, we need to solve our conflict anyhow. The truth that I am gay, the fact that I am his boyfriend, the reality that I love him. No more hiding, no more lies, no more excuses. I did not want to see us collapse. I took up my courage to initiate a constructive talk with her during one of the days before my 3rd sem finals. To understand the situation, to use proper words, to analyze at her expression, to time each word correctly, I channeled all my beliefs and ideas of what I had, in hope that she could absorb and digest bit by bit, slowly if not everything at once. With the help of google, these are the words that I gambled my life for. More or less.
I didn't choose to be gay. If I have a choice, I would want not hurt you.
He is not a bad guy.
My sexuality is not resulted from mixing the wrong crowd.
We both know of how much you have sacrificed to raise me up.
I understand homosexual is deem sinful and criticized in your era.
I am aware that you are trying to protect me.
I can feel you.
I want you to know I still can live a bliss life.
But I don't guarantee anything.
I never think of my sexuality as something disastrous.
But I will prove to you that gays will have good outcome too.
Gay relationship is not as complicated as you think it is.
We are the same as you and dad.
Just that we are boys.
I am fully aware of the uncertainties with the path we choose.
Yet I had readily braced myself for the challenges.
It's your call to walk with me or not.
Dating him will not affect my studies.
Instead we will help each other more often.
Why can't you treat him as another son instead to lose a son?
I am your son. I will not abandon you who raised me well for 23 years.
Your son did not grow as a robber or politician to rob and cheat.
Your son do not do drugs.
Your son is not an alien with green feelers and tentacles.
I am still a human.
More importantly, I am your son.
Why do you treat me with such awkwardness?
So what if my friends know?
If they are my friends, they will be as understanding as you to accept who I am.
Even if they don't, I hope you are not one of them.
I am not asking you to accept him as part of our family.
I am asking your kindness to see us and accept us the same as you treat others.
The society has been open minded.
They start seeing things from different lights.
We're no longer in dark ages.
They don't think the way you are thinking now.
So should you.
I know that you worry but the risks of AIDS are always there.
Do you think I won't get infected if I sleep around with girls?
Chances are the same. Homo. Hetero.
Believe me, I know more than you. I am a Science student.
I won't leave him. He's the one I love.
We're serious in this.
Yes I am selfish.
But I hope that you can bless us and approve us.
'Coz I don't want to let him go.
Please don't force us a life that you know well that I won't be happy with.
If you think we disgrace you, fell free to kick me out.
But I will still prove to you, me and him can still do it together.
I am sorry that the truth has to be cruel.
But it doesn't look like I have a choice.
The fact that I don't like girls is not my choice.
But I am not hurt 'coz this is my nature.
I promise, he is my last.
Only death can separate us apart and I shall prove with time.
Why be sad over unchangeable fact despite having a choice to smile that we are still a family?
If you happen to threaten me with your life, this is my last act as your son.
I really thank you for not doing so 'coz you will really put me in guilt.
No matter how you think, no matter what you do.
I still love you.
Perhaps we had allowed each other enough time to rationalize. That all flowed smoothly. The conversation we had stained upon my life greatly.
She read up materials on net on my suggestion regarding that. She did try exploring our world with intention to understand her son. With my brother's help, she's back to herself. Not only we're in good talking terms again, she started giving signs of acceptance and tolerance. We had lunches and vacations together on occasion. She was supportive which was evidenced by when new bf travelled to Thailand and Taiwan with me. And also his sleep over on occasion in her house. I don't expect more from her anymore. It's not her responsibility to do that. She's kind enough to accept me and not alienate our relationship. I am thankful that she really gave her best for me. You are my best mother I can hope for. To be your son, I am forever proud of.
Happy Mother's Day.
[Jino] - A man's not a man unless he knows how to shoot