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Monday, 16 July 2012

So, You're Different And One Of Them?

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and somehow we ended up talking about her family. Coming from a strict household, she told me about her attempt to reinstate a sense of comfort to her worrying parents of high expectations.

"Come to think of it, my parents are very lucky to have me and my brothers as kids."
"In fact, I actually told them how lucky they were the other day when they were having a worried discussion about their children."

Me: [smile]
"Why do you say that?"

"Well... Firstly, because none of their kids are involve in self-destructive problems such as drugs or substance abuse." 
"Secondly, none of their kids turned out to be gay or lesbian because they (parents) would have disowned us."
"So I think that my parents did in a way, raised successful children and are very lucky in some sense."

Me: [long silence]

Although I kept a smooth face because it still wasn't time for her to know that I'm gay, but the unexpected second point certainly pinched my heart a little as I remember the situation I am in. A majority of people never had to go through this "difference", but I do. Some parents never have to deal with their child being gay, but unfortunately mine does. Call it guilt, call it self-pity, it is what it is and regardless of the immutable circumstances, I should put a stop to letting it affect me.

As I reflect on the journey that I've taken in the past few months, I am glad to have initiated the truthful discussion with my loved ones and finally move on to putting it all behind me. The prize consolation was that I could be honest with my family and still have them in my life on the grounds of unconditional love. At least I'll always have that, even if my gay life doesn't turn out to be a fulfilling one. Right? (This part certainly needs more reassurance than I thought...)

The higher power seems to work in a mischievous but clever way in which I'll never understand. Had I been born into another context, would I have had it easier or harder? I really don't know.

I relate this topic so much to several plots from X-Men, when members of a family struggle to handle and accept the fact that one of their pubescent child is discovered to have the "X-gene" that causes them to be born a mutant and to being "different". The mutant child is then burdened with the challenges of society and having to accept their difference. They proceed to discover the sudden changes that come with having to be categorised as "mutants", and also having to associate and integrate themselves into the "mutant community" with similar individuals when none of their biological siblings or family members are a part of. It's a harsh world, but at least mutants have superpowers to play with. What can I do or look forward to?

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