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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A Battle With Self Acceptance

One of my close friends from high school is of a darker skin race. Living in a world where subtle racism is still present towards people of her ethnicity, she recounted how her primary school years have played an important role in the development of her self acceptance. While she was at school, classmates that came into physical contact with her irrespective of intention or accident would immediately proceed to wipe their hands on their pants. Such atrocious gestures that could only stem from the ignorant behaviour on the part of younger generations, degraded her self-worth because she felt horrible for being in her own skin. It was then that she determinedly held on to the belief that one day when she's older, things would change and that her skin colour was going to lighten, dissipating with it all discriminatory qualities that fell on her shoulders.

Then came a point during the later years where it hit her hard that nothing was going to change and that she was actually going to remain the same for the rest of her life. It was a difficult moment of realisation and a harsh wake-up call, but she took it in her stride and accepted herself. Gradually as the years go by, she blossomed into an intelligent, attractive girl with a unique personality who has never been prouder of being herself. I am still to this very day, impressed and in awe of how things seem to have fallen into place for her.

Listening to this story made me realise that although the context of my situation might differ to a certain extend, but I am indeed going through a similar moment of truth, with the exception of being able to accept myself. When I was growing up, I've always felt different and unattractive. Even while looking at reflections or at pictures of myself, I've always sensed that something was off-key or lacking. I've always felt secondary, insecure and inferior towards others. I deeply envy my friends for never having to constantly re-evaluate who they are in life or the way they were born. The girls were charismatic, beautiful, intelligent, easy-going and themselves. The guys around me were always tall, well-built, secure, masculine and confident achievers who looked-good. 

My height, my built and my looks have always been my main concern as I've always felt secondary in comparison to the other guys. Feeling left out and with a determined heart, I too brainwashed myself into believing that one day, when I'm well in my twenties, "things will turn around for me" and I will stop feeling inadequate. I'm going to catch up with everybody else and maybe even surpass them. I'm going to be taller, I'm going to have a nice built and I'm going to be better-looking, if not hot. After all, why else would I be worse than everyone else at this age?

Unfortunately, I am now hit with the reality of being in my twenties, still never having grown into that physically ideal image I had of myself when I was young. Despite the recent years of discovering that I am a late-developer, but the chances of it being the real reason for why things haven't change on my side doesn't seem to be very probable. I feel so crushed! 

To rub salt to the wound, my homosexuality never "went away" and followed me right through to adulthood. In the gay world, I am then confronted with the harsh realities of being a gay guy, where masculinity and physical attractiveness is priority number one. Don't ask why, but it's something that comes with being a guy and being gay. Without it, you're left to fend for yourself. Ever since my admittance, I find myself helplessly trapped in a cruel cycle that I too am partially responsible for, because all guys only want attractive guys. Even though I might have grown and looked better, but it still wasn't good enough by gay standards. In fact, it feels much worse than while I was trying to fit in with my straight peers. This is the breaking point in which I find myself questioning the higher power, why me? Why did you make me the way I am and have me walk life as a gay person? Did I really do something wrong in my past life to deserve such a difficult one in the present?

Analysing my situation as a whole, I couldn't help but notice that my river of life since its inception, has been partially destined to meander through 'secondary terrains', creating 'unmanly bends' while carving an undesirable course out of 'insecure forests' and 'inferior settlements', just to eventually fan out at an 'average water source' without an 'attractive delta'. In other words, I guess I am embarrassed by how I seem to have been put on earth with flawed circumstances that conveniently culminate with me being an under average gay person. 

"The Ugly Duckling" story has always shared a special place in my heart because I optimistically believed that my life story was somehow going to emulate it. That at the end of the day, despite all of the inadequacies that I've felt, I was actually swan material. Unfortunately in the face of reality, having to accept that I may not be one of the lucky ones who will enjoy this fantasy denouement is difficult, but it really is time to wake up. It's like asking to one day finally be "physically hot and also sexually straightened", how ludicrous?

I'm trying to find solace in the saying that goes: "God is not changing your situation, because he wants to change your heart". But it's harder than I thought because I've always known to be my own worst enemy and it's a tough battle with my stubborn self.


  1. Hi my name is Phillip and I'm from South Africa just wanted to let you know that I like you're blog and find it very clean and honest with posed questions and observations I myself plague my mind with. I found that by not expressing myself truthfully on even just little parts of myself I might as well have taken a rubber and started to slowly erase myself so being true to yourself and expressing it like you're blog is definitely key to the process. Good luck with you're journey ahead you seem to be an insightful and intelligent man just don't stand in you're own way.


  2. Hey Phillip,
    Nice location! And I never thought that there are people out there who can actually relate to what I'm writing, so thanks for stopping by. My mailbox is always available should you need someone to write/talk to.

    Take care!

  3. I can assure you that you are NOT the only who feels the way you do right now. In fact, I can be pretty sure every person, whether straight or gay, have gone through an "ugly duckling" phase. Some people grow out of it quickly, while others might take a little bit longer. However, how you see yourself is how others see you.

    Its been said, one of the most attractive features of a person is not physical in nature, but rather its his/her confidence. If you feel good about yourself, others will see it, eventually.

    I know it is easier said then done to make yourself feel attractive, but start small. Pick one feature about yourself that you find is attractive. It doesn't have to be a physical feature, it could be your sense of humor or your ability to be a good listener. Then learn to appreciate this feature about yourself.

    Just think, how many beautiful celebrities are married to average people. You know what makes these average people so attractive? Mainly it is their personalities and intangible qualities. So the next time you look in the mirror, find one thing, just start off with one feature, that is attractive about yourself.

    You know what's most attractive on a person, a simple smile. Smile at yourself each time you look in the mirror and your attractiveness easily goes up exponentially. Try it out! When you start smiling to everyone, even people you don't know, you'll notice they are going to be more attracted towards you. It'll make them wonder, "Hey, why is he smiling?" This might start a conversation that can lead to endless possibilities.

    Remember to smile.

  4. Hey there,
    Thank you so much for the nice comment. I'll be sure to keep your encouragement in mind!

  5. I was actually a bit opposite in that when I was young, I thought I was the bee's knees (hot shit). Well, not that hot, but certainly attractive enough to pick and choose. It was only when I got to my twenties and started "seriously" gay dating that I realized I'm more of a duckling than a swan. Go figure.

    So for me, it's this weird blend of knowing and confidence in myself with a subtle shades of low self-esteem, almost like a crack in the David. Not that I have the body of the David or anything, lol. Far from it!

    It's cynical and totally bitter to think about it this way, no one stays beautiful forever, that even all this swans walking around will get wrinkly and unattractive, and whatever I'm (you) are feeling now, they'll soon feel as well. --- Insert Evil Laughter Here --- And they too, we'll have to get over themselves and what they think they used to be.

    Once they're over the hurdle, the world is our oyster. =)

    And about the ugly duckling, instead of the duckling turning into a swan which sends absolutely the wrong message, I heard from a talk show that really, it should be the rest of the world appreciate the duckling for its imperfections. So there you have it!

    One day, you (and I) will find someone (or be found) who sees our little webbed feet as the bee's knees (where did this phrase come from and how does it mean "the best?") and all of this emotions and loneliness and unhappiness, is nothing more than a bad story to scare little kids.

    1. Hey there, first of all thank you so much for the trail of comments. I couldn't keep track of them, lol. Rather than responding all over the other posts, I'll reply you here all right?

      I think gay guys are capable of judging themselves pretty much accurately. So if you can see yourself as "a crack in the David", you're actually not bad at all. In fact, why am I sensing that your self-assurance is so much higher than the precarious state you project it to be? Your faith and determination seems unscathed, despite going through rough patches yourself. Which I think is such a positive thing to have and will take you far.

      You've been blogging for a while now and in your opinion, did things change for the better ever since you started? (Yes, I do read your posts occasionally.)

      Take care man. :)