Christan Sow’s Story

Christan Sow Gay Asian Female (forever 25)

How out are you? Out enough to display my real name

Where did you come out? Singapore

Have you got a URL to share? http://www.twitter.com/natsirhc but it’s hardly gay-skewed

What’s your story like?
Three times the charm. Or so it seemed in my coming out.

But first, a little history.

I grew up with a male cousin 2 years my junior, playing wrestle and pretending to be soldiers, policemen and firefighters. I enjoyed our fun but one thing used to bug me. For some weird reasons, our family liked to make us take pictures holding hands. I remember feeling awkward. The bad awkward.

My childhood was spent with boys, mainly cousins, until I was whisked off to a convent school. There I realised that girls are soft and tender and love to cry a great deal. By 12, the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling I never once felt with boys soon came to overwhelm. I blame that on puberty.

I found myself to be pretty popular with my schoolmates. I was chatting on the phone with different girls all the time, each of them sending flutters and quickened heartbeats to my teenage heart. Also, I stopped hanging out with my cousins so much and turned my attention to the girls. Lots of girls.
And the lesbian Casanova was made.

Countless girlfriends later, I decided to bring one home thinking she was The One. I was 18 then, any relationship more than half a year old was considered serious.

Her stayovers became frequent. As you can imagine, my mother blew her top. Why is this girl coming over to our house so often? Why must you close the door each time she’s here? Why are you sleeping together on the same bed?

No. I didn’t come out then. I moved out.

My relationship with my mum soon deteriorated. When I broke up with The One No. 1, my mother sent me to a psychiatrist. Not to nurse my heartbroken soul, but to seek “the cure” to my homosexuality. I retaliated by moving to Australia for further studies.

Rainbow Flag, Castro & Market, 9/17/09
Image by strangedejim via Flickr

The first time I came out to my mother was in Melbourne when she came for my convocation. I put it as plainly as I could, in Mandarin no less, that I am and have been for the longest time attracted to women. I also told her something else that I’ve kept hidden for many years. I was molested by her father.

Her long silence, as I remembered, was disconcerting. She cried. I cried. Then she said I was lying. She alluded my coming out to my penchant for theatrics as an arts student and my “artist’s temperament”. She packed her bags for Singapore and we never spoke of it again.

Until The One No. 2 came along. You could call me persistent, or just plain stubborn, because I started bringing her back home. The same drama happened. I moved out yet again and didn’t return until my then girlfriend begged me to.

When I reluctantly went home, my mother slammed the doors on me and vowed to disown me if I didn’t find a man to marry. I slammed the doors twice as hard and screamed I would rather die than marry a guy I have no absolute interest in. We lived in days of screams and shouts for a while and neither of us would back down. No. 2 and my mother’s boyfriend found ways to unite us only to meet our wrath.

I forgot when our anger simmered and soon my mother and I were talking again. No. 2 and I broke up and I moved on to more girlfriends, all the while hoping I’ll get to The One.

The third time I came out to my mother, I was single. This time, it was peaceful and calm. No yelling. No drama. I poured everything out. How I detest being intimate with a man. How the same sex interests me more. How I will never marry. Or at least to a guy. She listened. She teared. We hugged and made up.

These days, she still tries to drop hints on her ultimate albeit futile hopes of a son-in-law and grandchildren. But she has also accepted the fact that the person I bring home isn’t ever going to be equipped with testicles.

I am happily attached now and have since given up on my flirtatious ways. My current girlfriend comes over every weekend and my mother is friendly with her. She cooks for us, makes her tonics and has even gotten my partner a special toothbrush holder. Small gestures that tell me my mother is letting it go. Reluctantly, but purely out of love and respect for her only daughter.

I know not everyone is as lucky as me. But patience pays. And if your coming out isn’t satisfactory the first time round. Try and try again. For all you know, three times may do it for you too.

Approximately what year did you come out? 1999, 2002, 2005

Submitted: March 2010

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