Ben’s Story

Ben Gay Asian Male (28)

How out are you? Partially

Where did you come out? Malaysia

What’s your story like?
Hi, I am Ben and I’m 28. I grew up in a small town and lived half of my life in a community that live extremely orthodox to almost everything in life.

Those days, the term “Gay” was very alien to everyone and even to myself, and from where I came, “Pondan” was a common term to use. I wasn’t exposed to this kind of culture but I was certain for one thing, anything that came against the normal human life was all unacceptable. My parents were ignorance and I don’t think they would even believe that there would be guys into another guys. Even if I hit Mariah Carey’s top note for her song Music Box in the shower, my dad would probably ask me to try Whitney’s “Didn’t We Almost Have it All” or anything from his 60’s oldies collection. My parents never had a clue that I could probably be the only gay in the village. I recall the time when my parents first sent me to the airport, my dad whispered to my ears “don’t mess up with the girls!”. I couldn’t help but laughed. I was making my way to bring back a degree for my parents and as I passed the checking point and headed to the departure’s gate, I looked back only to see the tears on my mom’s cheek. Despite the joy of freedom awaited me at the other side of the world, I knew it was a tough journey to take. I shared my journey with my cousin who was offered to enroll on a course from the same college.

Shower integrated in bathroom. The shower is s...
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Life in college was indeed challenging. I learned to know that singing Mariah’s and Whitney’s in the shower wasn’t that entertaining to all. I stopped singing and since then I developed the interest of staring the reflection of the person beside the cubicle on the floor. I knew I was a little special even before I came into the college world, but enjoying those beautiful reflections I knew that I was all correct about myself. I was gay and alone… it was an indescribable feeling of loneliness. I could not share and I could not tell but continue to live a pretentious life. During this excruciating moment of my life, I get to know a boy who surprisingly happened to be gay. He stayed in just a couple of rooms away from me. I couldn’t really recall how everything turned out to be so well that we decided to go for a serious relationship. I came out with a big surprise to only one person. I was so excited that I texted my cousin “Guess What!.. I have a boyfriend” and came a reply to my phone “I knew it!!”. She accepted me well, although, it took her about a month to do that.

Consequently, I encountered a few more incidents. Like the holiday I had with my sister and her boyfriend. The boyfriend alerted me when there was a bunch of Korean girls came out from the chalet next to ours. I was about to say something before my sister stormed with a remark “They’re not his type”. There was another one time when my younger sister came to pay a visit at my place, when at the same time; a group of my gay friends came. My sister acted so cool with them. I have to admit, knowing all these happened did not really help me to ease the fear. I was still living in the closet and tried as much as I could not to tell.

It was a semester break and I spent the whole 1 month with my parents. I didn’t really go out and meet up friends in town. I missed going back college and party again. The day came and I was done packing my stuff and head to the Airport. My brother drove me and my parents to the airport. We went through the same process, we hugged and my dad quietly handed a few hundred ringgits to my hand although my mom already did that through the bank.

Just before I made a step to the departure hall, my dad whispered to my ears “Now you take it easy, young boy! Don’t mess up with the boys too much”. I was shocked and speechless before my brother took my bag and led me to the hall. He looked at me and said “Pondan!! Faster, this is the final call”… another shock-like-electric passed through my vein.

I hurried to the checking point and looked back.. my parents were giggling and waving their hands to me and I found it strange. I never actually came out to them and I was sure that my cousin wouldn’t be the one telling them or could it be because of the singing in the shower??…..

Approximately what year did you come out? 1991

Posted: July 2010