HEARTBREAKS IN SILENCE
In response to all the homophobic Bernama articles out there telling me how evil it is being gay, and to prelude our upcoming Seksualiti Merdeka celebrations, I hereby offer this long post taken from my "personals" profile on www.guys4men.com, with which I break the hearts of the men of Malaysia, and then seduce them.
Amazingly, I had my first erection when I was 7. It came from like nowhere. Wah, I thought, a new toy! Like a transformer robot - from a little teapot into a space rocket! Papa! Mummy! Look at my transformer! "Ah boy, put away your toy, we have visitors."
I really didn't know how to play with my new toy until I was 12 when a classmate and I went went to the toilet behind school to compare sizes (wah, you so big; no lah, you bigger - bloody hell, it's a tie!). "Come," he said, "let's goncang together." What is goncang? I asked. "There you shake it like that." Oh, so that is what "goncang" means, I said. Um, I don't feel anything lah. "You just keep shaking. You will feel it." Eh, so boring, man, I see you back in class. In class, we continued comparing sizes under the table, right under the teacher's nose.
When I was 14, I left Malacca and studied in Singapore. I was living in a hostel, and I found a way to always end up sleeping in other boys' beds. They taught me to masturbate (ooh, so that's what happens when you keep shaking it!), or let me touch them while they pretended to sleep ("Hey, stop touching me please, and stop pretending to be asleep."). Well, I touched a few, and fell in love with many. But I never told anyone my feelings, and so in silence my heart broke over and over.
Who could I tell anyway? I was short and awkward and easy to bully. Are the guys in my batch so mean because I am ugly and stupid or because they know I am hopelessly in love with them and they find it funny? Is this going to be my life, heartbreaks in silence?
Frightened of the demons in me and feeling desperately alone, I ran to jesus and prayed to be normal. "Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me." For 12 years I wanted to be like all the rest of god's chosen ones, everyone so perfect, arms raised to heaven, secrets buried under their songs. I felt even more alone.
Unable to concentrate on my studies, I started skipping classes and going for movies at Orchard Road. At the movies, as in the novels, I found one thing: the world is full of loners. From The Last Emperor to the live poets of Dead Poets Society to the replicants in Blade Runner to the cuckoos in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. And of course, Yentl! Sometimes these loners are loved for who they are, sometimes they don't know it till it's too late. They discover that their truths are not the same as society's truths. And that it's okay. It's okay to be alone. Especially when society is not okay.
So it was a whole decade of trying to be straight and struggling with my "sins" before I finally asked myself the question without answer: What is so wrong with loving another man?
Pastor said, the bible says so. I said, yes, but why is the bible saying so without giving a goddam good reason?
Here we have spent all our lives curing our loneliness by joining different crowds -- at the church, the mosque, the malls, the clubs -- when ultimately the only way to deal with being alone is to be alone.
ALONE I LEARNED1. Alone, I learned that faith, identity and truth are all constructed in the mind - and they are largely determined by the crowds around us. History and geography and biology conspired to form our gods.
2. Here's what I believe: Whatever you believe becomes true to you. So you might as well believe in everything. Or nothing at all.
3. So it was my desire to be with another man that slowly lead me to think the unthinkable: What if we are truly alone in this universe? Our desires for connection are born not of that seed planted by god to lead us back to him, but of a genetic code that enables the species to survive. The species is the goal. I am not important. I will be forgotten. My aloneness is complete. No one else can live my life for me, die my death for me.
4. I alone must decide what this life means and keep searching. I came out at 26. I can now begin to like who I am. If guys like me for who I am, lucky me.
5. But for people who have a problem with who I am, I realise it is their problem, not mine. They should see a shrink.
6. Breeders and their children live to consume the earth's limited resources; so much misery born everyday, so many hungry mouths asking why -- why are we here? Why is the universe such a lonely place?
7. But me and my kind, we are just trying to spread some love around, make it beautiful while we are here. Laying in each other's arms, perhaps we will find our answers. Or we will find better questions. Perhaps the universe can wait. In the continuum of each other's arms, time holds us in a bubble even as we float towards the night's horizon. And if our bubble should burst, we still have our memories, and the ocean and the stars. One day, these too shall burst. All our efforts at procreation, survival, continuation, becomes pointless. And all the things that once seemed unproductive will become most meaningful.
8. I hope that one day we will learn to move beyond our fears. We shouldn't have to walk around with our parents and all the idiots of society sitting on our backs, making decisions for our lives. Life is short enough, don't live halfway. So go ahead. Grab his hand. Down that street. You know it can't be wrong.
9. If you believe that love is not a crime, don't act like a criminal. Don't hide. Don`t be ashamed of it, don`t pretend to be straight, don`t join in when idiots make jokes about gays, don`t dislike others for being chubby or skinny or campy or promiscuous, be proud of your friends for all their shapes and preferences, fight for diversity, fuck as much or as little as you want (but be careful with your heart, and the hearts of those who trust you). And most of all, don't be silent when you see injustice, when you see hate.
10. There are many idiots in this life. They are idiots because idiots like us allow them to make life difficult for us. Don`t let them. You are who you are. But don't worry if who you are now is not yet who you want to be. There's a transformer in all of us, with the capacity to learn, and evolve, and be extraordinary.
11. Love yourself. You are alright, babe.
12. And yes, I have a boyfriend now. It's been three amazing years. We complement each other's aloneness. Life is short, people can't be owned, and love has to be shared. So talk to me, babe. :)
...................................Pang KHEE Teik from his facebook notes here.
After reading all the comments that came in for this particular post I thought that you all might find the following essay an interesting read...
Buggered by the Victorians
By Farish A. Noor
Malaysias political climate has become somewhat predictable of late, and the seasons come and go with yawn-inducing regularity: Once in a while we will have the amok season when tempers are raised and emotions flare; then to be overtaken by the Who Buggered My Arse season which can be likewise amusing. It is only a matter of time before Malaysia as a nation is filed under the category of exotic and incomprehensible of the index of failed postcolonial states, and I for one, hope to be happily decamped in some hot humid steamy jungle retreat living in a treehouse surrounded by babes in sarongs and an orangutan as my butler/batsman/driver and doorman...
Until that day comes however it would be nice to take a break from the madness that passes itself as Malaysian politics to consider the historical paths that were taken which led us to this sordid mess we see in our country today.
Lets start with buggery, which is a pleasant enough topic for dinnertime conversation with friends and enemies alike.
Now as we all know Malaysians are a lot of randy bum-bandits and pillow-chewers. This is true for those who have been following our politics and politicians over the past couple of weeks and who have not been able to secure a private bunker for themselves to escape the crass puerile drivel that is sold as news in this country. Ol Anwar has been accused of sodomy again, or in this case sodomising. In the counter-allegations against his nemesis in UMNO, arse-raiding was likewise mentioned along with other allegations including murder and fraud.
Now why is it that Malaysians have become so paranoid about the very simple, and dare I posit, universal phenomenon of butt-humping? Where does this fear come from and how has it become so sedimented in our collective national consciousness?
Lets not waste time to talk about moral values, religion, holy commandments etc as we all know that this is part of a wider and more serious political contest that is being played out before the public eye. Yet allegations of corruption, abuse of power, meddling with the institutions of the state or even cavorting with bomohs and witchdoctors do not elicit the same sort of Victorian response we see from the Malaysian public today. And indeed, Victorian values are precisely part of the problem.
Taking time to walk down our countrys tortured historical path brings us to the less than pleasant period of nasty colonial rule. Now the colonialists who ruled over us did not simply build towns and bridges. For those colonial towns - like Georgetown, Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur - were also racially segregated enclaves where the logic of racialised capitalism was put to work; hence the creation of racialised ghettoes like Chinatown, Little India, Kampung Melayu, etc.
Part and parcel of this process of colonisation was the ideological and cultural reconstruction of the native other as that barbaric, lewd and randy Asian native who had to be kept at bay. Thrown into the Orientalist mentalscape were a host of other native pathologies that were thought to account for why the Asian colonial subjects were so odd and inferior: The pathologisation of the phenomenon of amok was one such case, where the Malays in particular were cast as an unstable and dangerous lot.
Linked to this was the late Victorian prudish mindset that regarded sex and sexuality as a necessary evil at best - and often messy too - or worse, something downright decadent, indecent and a threat to Western civilisation. Much of the Orientalist nonsense that came from the pens of Orientalist writers like Florence Caddy and Anna Leonowens then cast the Asians as a degenerate, over-sexed and over-heated lot of perverts, sodomites and womanisers. The uptight and anal temper of the Victorian mind, transplanted from the insipid climes of Blighty onto the humid and fluid terrain of a verdant Asia, allowed this imaginary to literally run riot.
This accounts for the many rules and laws, both written and unwritten, that governed race relations between the white colonisers and the Asian natives then. The laws against sodomy and other things fun and fantastic like rimming, blowjobs, etc. came at a time when Western Europeans were themselves deeply frustrated and anxious about their place in the global racialised hierarchy of power and dominance. To lose control of their libido in front of the natives was simply not on, not a thing to do when Abu the butler was meant to be serving you Gin stengahs in your white linen pants on the verandah.
Oddly enough, this Victorian mindset has prevailed in many of the postcolonial states like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Singapore even long after the sun of the Empire has set and the former colonial masters have kicked the bucket. Western Europeans today look back at their prudish ancestors with amusement and curiousity, and happily bugger the night away in the safe comfort that love and lovemaking are, after all, private matters that do not concern the state.
It is we postcolonial pseudo-independent subjects, however, who seem to have internalised the Victorian morals and mores deeper than anyone, and even without the benefit of the obligatory pipe and monocle, seem happy to prattle on about moral decay and the collapse of civilisation; despite the fact that the politics of the developing world hardly passes as civilised by any standards. So what on earth has happened and why do we maintain these laws that were an anomaly in the first place, and patently historically outdated today? Are we still mentally captive to the morality of the late Victorians of the 19th century that we cannot even see that what passes as the moral laws of the third world today happen to be the very same laws of the age of Empire?
...............Dr. Farish A. Noor