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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Is it Disgusting When Two Guys Touch Each Other?

So yesterday, my mom, brother and I were having dinner together. A thought crept up from the back of my head as I decided to ask them casually.

The question was in response to my memory of a scene from the French gay movie: "Juste Une Question d'Amour", where one of the homophobic fathers said something like: "L'idée que deux hommes puissent se toucher comme ça... Je peux pas! Putain, ça me dégoute!". (The idea that two men can touch each other like that... Fuck, it disgusts me!)

So here goes the conversation.

Me: [attention to Mom and Brother]
"You know, I think the reason why you guys are still 'kind of okay' with me being... you know... 'ME'. Is because you don't actually see the full spectrum of what goes on between two gay guys."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean... "
"If you were to see two guys touching each other, how would you feel?"
"Okay! If it's ME touching another guy, would you fee-..."

She: [eyes closed, shakes head and waves hand]
"Oh no, leave me out of this."
"Please, spare me... I don't want to know."

"Okay. But can I just find out why?"
"Is it because it's gross?"
"It's that right? It's gross."

"No... Not because it's gross."
"It's not gross... "
"We're just... Not used to it."

Me: [neutral expression]
"Not used to it?"

[In My Head]
Not used to it? Well it IS true.
But doesn't that sound like a nicer way of saying it's gross?

At that moment, I realised what was going on. My poor mom certainly wasn't expecting this conversation, but yet she was trying her best to find the right words to go with the right reaction without sounding discriminatory.

"Yeah, it's actually 'that' Mom."
"Because it's gross."

"I think no matter how much one says they're okay with it, there's still going to be some sort of underlying judgement. Like the other day, when I told you a little bit about how this guy wanted to touch me in which I rejected, you were kinda disgusted with that thought and you couldn't take it."

She: [sighed]

"Actually we shouldn't Mom. We have to get rid of that."
"Even for me, I do get uncomfortable sometimes due to my internalised homophobia."
"But I'm working on it. I have to because I'm gay, and there's just no other way around it."

"And although I've mentioned before that I don't think I can get past PDA, but I'm not ruling out the possibility of one day touching and holding my boyfriend in public."

She: [sigh]
"Whatever it is, that's your private life. What you do with your partner is behind closed doors."
"People don't have to know."
"Why are you asking these questions all of a sudden?"

"I don't know..." 
"Just wondering I guess... Trying to understand the situation? "
"About how people generally feel when they see two guys touching each other."

"Well that is part of what being gay is all about isn't it? "
"If the world had absolutely no problem with two guys touching each other, then the problem of being gay, just wouldn't be a problem at all."

"Yeah! How true."

[shifting the attention to my brother]

"What about you?"

"If the guys are holding hands, it's fine. I don't feel anything."
"But kissing... I can't."
"I mean the thought of two male lips approaching each other, I... " (he couldn't finish the sentence as he gesticulated a shudder)

"Okay, okay."
"It's okay... "
"I understand."

On the way home, I find myself looking outside the car window in silence as tears welled up in my eyes. I felt so sad thinking about the conversation because I realised that no one is at fault here. There is no bad guy.

It's not my fault for turning out the way I am, but neither it is theirs for having to overcome their own repugnance towards homosexuality, she's only human. Throughout the car ride, I felt hurt thinking about the already existing hardships of my own journey, and despite walking my loved ones through my struggles, they're still finding it hard to come to terms with what being gay entails. Can I blame them?

In fact, sometimes you really can't blame people for being homophobic. It's just how the world is being programmed. If we're going to blame someone, blame the heavens for their lack of responsibility in shaping mankind. Why did you toy with some evolutionary homo sapien experiment and have ME live in this world as one of the unlucky outcomes of that unsuccessful experiment, through may I add, no fault of mine? Is that fair?

The Inner Voice: [interjects]
"NO! Don't go there!"
"Don't go there! Enough."
"It's okay..."
"Don't. Go. There!"

"It's okay. Just live your life and keep walking. They've accepted you, which is more than anything you could ever ask for. Respect them and reciprocate the same understanding because it's really unfair of you to have them dwell into sensitive discussions they can't handle. So leave them out of the 'guy-touching' conversation and just move on."

1 comment:

  1. Well sweetheart it's a lot simpler when it comes down to just your family.
    First of all, the steps are exactly the same as if you were straight and eventually took your girlfriend home. After all, it is your mother, you are not going to make out with your boyfriend in front of her.
    She does sound a bit too upset about it but that is to be expected. When you get a boyfriend and decide to take him home just follow the usual steps: let them know he is more than a friend, hold his hand, maybe a little peck on the lips to say goodbye, and most of all, keep it cool and respectfull. They are not going to start screaming when you take his hand, they care for you too much to do that.
    About PDA, things are more complicated, it depends a lot on where you are and who's around you. You would probably feel aweful having to hide your affection, but in some places it's for the best.
    Again, take it easy and everything will be alright.
    Take care.