Archive for April 2012

We’ve Got Power!

Okay, this is going to be a little related to politics. Before you roll your eyes on this 'blog post about politics', let's face it: being in a country with an established political system, everything in your lives is about politics. Your education, employment, salary, the place you live in (cukai pintu, cukai tanah etc.), the fast food you eat (service tax etc.), and even the water you drink (water supply) and air you breath in (law enforcement of air pollution prevention etc.) are all about politics. There's no way you can run away from politics. It affects every aspect of your life, probably negatively if you do not pay attention closely enough to safeguard your rights. Don't live thinking to stay away from politics because it is dirty, complicated and dramatic—it will hit you someday in some way.

Anyway, I'm trying my best to write this blog post more as an LGBT issue than as a political issue.

Malaysia has been well known for going against LGBT. From censoring Lady Gaga's song for its lyrics voicing support for LGBT people, to the suggestion to set up a camp to correct the behaviour of effeminate boys and the 180-degree change of the stance, banning of an annual sexuality rights festival which has been held without problem since 2008, to a protest for the 'rights' of Muslim to be against homosexuality and rally against 'unacceptable lifestyle' of LGBT people.

If you look at each one of them more carefully, they only became issues in recent years, not quite before the political tsunami of 2008. From this, anyone with a little understanding on Malaysian political landscape and a little common sense can easily tell that they are at least partially (if not wholly) cooked up by some politicians to gain cheap publicity. I don't think I should explain too much on how LGBT issues can help certain politicians garner more votes. But if you really need further elaborations, I will be glad to explain to you via emails.

In 2008, the alliance of the long standing incumbent parties Barisan Nasional (the National Front) won the election by a close margin over the alliance of three major opposition parties named Pakatan Rakyat (the People's Alliance). According to politics observers, the upcoming election will be another fierce fight between the two parties, and it's estimated that the winning margin is about 3% to 10%, which means 3% to 10% of the voters will decide which party gets to form the cabinet. 3% to 10% of the people is easily about the estimated size of LGBT people in Malaysia! In other words, if all of us register ourselves as voters, our demands (for basic human rights) will be heard and most likely be answered too!

Pang, the founder of Seksualiti Merdeka (and no, it does not mean seks bebas, it means freedom to choose the gender of our lover), wrote a very insightful blog post on what the Members of Parliament should do to get our support, which can be translated into what kind of MPs we should vote for.

I urge all of us to register ourselves as voters (it might be too late already if the election is held in June as rumoured, but we never really know when it will be held! It may be as late as 2013). Try to register as a voter in your hometowns, if possible—there may be hassles going back to your hometowns to vote but analysts say one vote in a suburban or rural constituency can be equivalent to 6 votes in an urban constituency. So your votes in Klang Valley is not as precious and as powerful as those in your hometowns.

And for those of you who are currently overseas, you may be eligible to vote too. But you need to register yourselves via the Embassy or High Commission of Malaysia in your respective country of residence. Even if you're considering to immigrate some time later, I know it's your right to choose to immigrate but I urge you to register and vote too. You are probably unhappy with this country to consider immigration but before you leave, please think of the plight of the rest of Malaysians who can't afford to immigrate. Your votes count.

Whether or not we can make a perception shift in Malaysians towards LGBT this time probably depends on how well we voice ourselves. Please voice your support on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networks you're in. Let the politicians hear us and make them know WE are the ones deciding who will be in the Parliament and so they better treat us well.

Really, now minority like us LGBT people have the real power of voting. Let's make use of this golden opportunity to demand for the basic human rights we have been deprived of.

Racial Preference

Do you have a special preference on what race your ideal partner should be?

I thought being a very 'Chinese' person, I would only be able to accept a Chinese guy, too. I was quite against interracial relationship for myself due to cultural difference. But it turns out race doesn't really matter to me. What I mean is, if I fall in love with a Malay guy, it will be no different from falling for a Chinese guy. I still get the same lovey feeling, except when we go into a relationship, I might have to change my diet and lifestyle a bit. Other than that, love is still love, there's no such thing as Chinese love or Malay love or Indian love. (Okay-lah if you're more into sex, the same goes, too—there's no Chinese sex, Malay sex or Indian sex.)

I think it's okay to have a preference on the race you would like to be in a relationship with. Some guys even have a special fetish on a certain race other than their own. I know a Malay guy who prefers Chinese guys. When I asked for further explanation (because I couldn't comprehend why), he told me that he's fond of the 'scent' or pheromone of Chinese guys. I still don't really understand, especially when I don't even know if I can smell pheromones, but I accepted his explanation and respect his preference.

What I disagree with is to base our preferences merely on the prejudice we've got for other races. And unfortunately that happens to Chinese in Malaysia a lot, according to what I've seen. There's a fallacy among many (but not all) Chinese that Chinese is more superior than other races in Malaysia. What is it based on? Nothing, other than the prejudice against other races that they were less hardworking, less smart etc. As Chinese, while I'm proud of my heritage and culture, I often feel ashamed by this notion among the Chinese people. That opinion itself is exactly the thing that makes us less superior than other races IMO.

Other than that, we ourselves as gay have been discriminated enough, why discriminate others too? We all know how it feels, right? Having prejudice against other races is a form of discrimination. Same goes to discrimination against effeminate guys or transexual people. We can disagree with the way they behave physically, or the way they dress up, but we should not judge them by those. We may prefer people of our own race due to cultural similarity, but not because we feel our race is more superior without any other further reasons.

Anyway, everyone is entitled to their opinion. As much as I'm against having sex with someone you don't love, I can't stop you from doing it. Same thing goes to this case. While I disagree with the preferences that are based on prejudice, the people with this kind of preferences can still keep them. The most I can do is only to advise and advocate on getting rid of the prejudice and prejudice-based preferences, but I can't force you to submit to my opinion on this matter. It's the very same human right concept that LGBT people have been fighting for, "self-determination"—everyone has their right to have the autonomy on their own matters, including but not limited to deciding who they are, how they live their lives, and what they think and do.

Of Serendipity

For two people to fall in love with each other and be in a relationship needs a lot more than the chemistry between the two. Being able to meet and get to know a person is serendipity. If both have the feelings for each other, it's also serendipity. If everything is fine for the two to move on to a relationship, it's also serendipity. To me, every part of it is about serendipity or yuanfen or fate, or whatever you want to call it.

Let's say two people are fond of each other and both want to move into a relationship. But if one of them cannot spare sufficient time or effort to the relationship, I don't think it will work out, no matter how right they feel for each other. The time is not in favour of them, which for me, I will conclude it as there's not enough serendipity.

Likewise, if the two are willing to spare the time to ensure a relationship work out, but one of them doesn't have enough chemistry on the other, things are unlikely to work well too. We can't force a person to like us, and the same applies to the first case, too, we can't force a person to spare enough time or effort to build a relationship.

But for me, serendipity is pretty 'magical'. In the first case, the two may not have time for each other right now, but they may have it in the future. If both are single and still have the feelings for each other, then things may turn out well between them too. Likewise, in the second case, one of them may not have the feelings for the other right now, but he may have it in the future.

I have come to realise that there's no need to cling to a person to beg for his time or effort to build a relationship. If he's not free, it means he's either not keen enough to spare a bit more time or effort, or simply he's not ready in terms of time. In any case, there isn't enough serendipity between us. The best thing I can do for myself is only to move on, on my own.

P.S.: I'm now on Twitter, too! Follow me there!

Giving In

A close friend from high school drove 2.5 hours to my town to meet me. Partly because he's free and also because he's leaving Malaysia for further studies. Anyway, that's so kind of him to come to see me on this special day of mine. Probably he knew I have been lonely and I need someone to talk to.

I haven't been speaking my mind to anyone for such a long time. I think the last time was also when he visited, probably 8 months ago.

All this while, I thought my mental power was strong enough to keep everything in myself. But I'm starting to realise that's not true. Especially after meeting my friend today, whatever that's been in me for the past few months were all out at once. I needed someone to speak my mind to so badly, but I didn't realise it until my mind flushed almost everything out to him before I knew it.

I don't know how I've lived for the past one year. Not only I don't have a close friend to speak my mind to, I don't even have friends that I can meet and hang out with. In fact, I don't even see anyone other than my family, not even my neighbours.

Suddenly I feel it's time for me to give in to reality, stop all the day-dreaming, stop all my 'temporary' freelancing for achieving what I dream about, look for a 'proper' job, working from 8 to 5, get a stable income and live a normal life.

Dreams and ambitions are probably not for a person like me.

I feel the urge to move back to KL.

I should let all the thoughts settle down a bit before I make a decision and tell anyone about it. I have to constantly remind myself not to make any impulse decisions.
















It feels stupid. I know how to give advice to people on their problems but I can't solve mine.


What exactly do I want?

Damn, I hate myself.

Sorry, I can no longer hold myself from posting this.

Straight Spouse

I recently came across the phrase 同妻 (lit. "a gay man's wife") which means straight spouse. It refers to the women who are married to gay men.

A Chinese news channel had a cover story on these straight spouses recently.

Guardian UK also had an article dated years ago on the marriages between a straight and a homosexual person and the coming out of the homosexual spouses. The straight spouses were generally supportive of their homosexual spouses when they came out even though they have divorced.

But that's not the case for those straight spouses in the Chinese programme. Probably due to the norm of the society, the circumstances of the wives of homosexual husbands are usually not as optimistic as the ones from UK.

A rough estimate of the total number of straight spouses in China is said to be more than 10 million. That's easily two times the population of the entire Singapore.

The plight of these Chinese straight spouses include unhappy family lives, domestic violence, higher risk of HIV, pressure of public opinion and gossips, pressure from family to have children, depression etc. I guess the most direct one is that how can a person be happy to marry someone that does not love him or her? And I can hardly imagine how devastating it is for a woman to find out that the man that promised her happiness and stability for the rest of her life is gay.

Quoting from another Chinese TV programme that made the coverage on this issue, 'due to the ignorance of the traditional society, under the pressure from public opinion, 90 percent of gay man in China choose marriage, but most of their spouses know nothing about it.'

The keyword here is ignorance. Doesn't that sound similar to the Malaysian society?

The ignorance causes the heartbreaking stories and perturbing plight of the straight spouses. By making the society more homophobic, we will only produce more of these straight spouses in distress. Do we really want this in Malaysia?

So don't try to marry a girl when you know or even suspect you're gay.