Archive for May 2012

Starting Anew

In another few days, I'm going to relocate myself to KL again. I'm quite excited for the move. The first thing is of course I can start anew—new place, new housemates, new company, new colleagues, new friends.

I haven't told any of my existing friends on my move (except those that I have no choice but to let them know). Partially because I want to experiment and simulate living in a completely new place, without any friends and family.

Another part of it is that I'm planning to live openly as a gay guy—not having to hide my sexuality. IMO, letting newly known people know that I'm gay should be easier than coming out to existing friends. That's because we have established relationships with existing friends, so we are more afraid of losing existing friends than of losing someone we just get to know. That's why I've decided that for me, I should come out to my new friends first.

I haven't planned exactly how I'm going to come out to my new friends, and I probably won't plan anything in an actionable manner. To me, too much planning on certain matters sometimes will eventually cause more disappointment. Usually when we plan on something, we are putting expectations on how it should work. The more we plan, the higher we expect, and the higher we expect, the more we feel disappointed when things don't go according to our plans. So to avoid the disappointments and whatnots, I'm not going to plan anything specific. Planning to come out to new friends before existing friends is probably the most specific I can plan already.

Of course I don't think I can hide my whereabouts from my existing friends for long. The area where I'm going to live and work at is just around the area where I used to live. I may bump into my existing friends anytime. When the time comes, that's probably the time I need to start preparing to come out to (or even to be found out as gay by) my existing friends already. That can be in a few months, or a few years. For that I will let my fate to decide.

Sounds like a challenging plan, and I'm not sure if I can handle it. But I guess it's about time I do something about my closeted self, because I might not be able to get a better opportunity to do something about it in the future.


The word 'otaku' is from Japanese language which means a homebody who often with an obsession about something (usually anime, manga, games or other indoor hobbies). The original meaning of otaku means 'home' or 'you', written as お宅 in Japanese. But later, the meaning extended to its current modern slang form and written in hiragana おたく or katagana オタク to be distinguished from the original meaning.

In Japanese language, the word often carries negative meaning, but when used in a specific context, it can be an equivalent to 'geek', most of time it means an anime or manga fan, not necessarily with social ineptness.

In Chinese language, the word 宅, which is a valid Chinese character, is taken directly to mean the otaku-ness, or as an adjective of being an otaku (despite its original meaning in Chinese language which also means home). A male otaku in Chinese is called a 宅男, whereas the female equivalent is 腐女 (lit. rotten female).

Despite its loan nature from Japanese language, the word 宅男, when being used in Chinese language, is generally understood as a homebody, without the specific obsession part in the more often usage of otaku.

This song with the title '宅' by Leo Ku uses a very smart play of the word. The theme of the song is about a lonely guy who became a homebody due to being single (implying that he ended a relationship). The lyricist uses the word 宅 to replace all occurrences of 在 in this song for their similar pronunciation, and verbalises the word 宅, effectively emphasises the theme and the title of the song. Creative. I haven't seen this kind of wordplay in other songs.

That being said, I really like this song for its creative value, and also the relevance of its lyrics to me.

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How is it like being a Chinese gay guy?

I tweeted about my curiosity on how is it like being a Malay, Muslim and gay at the same time. The reason being, I see more Chinese gay guys than Malay or Indian gay guys on Grindr. That makes me wonder, could it be because of cultural difference that makes more Chinese gay guys? And Muslim's religious views seem to be very much against homosexuality, while that's not in the case of Buddhism, Taoisim, Hindusim or Sikhism (at least not that I know of any absolutely opposing views from them).

soul232 took care to answer my queries.

But on second thought, I think I should probably write a post about how is it like being an almost free-thinking Chinese gay guy like me. I think it's good for us gay guys to understand each other who are from different cultural and religious backgrounds in the context of homosexuality.

I can't exactly speak for Chinese, and I doubt I know enough other Chinese gay guys to have a representative view on this. But at least for my case, homosexuality is not something that can openly discussed in my family. Not that my family is blatantly against it, but rather, I don't dare to talk about it with my family for the fear of disappointment of my parent. I doubt my family will disown me over this though.

Being born in a Chinese-Buddhist + Taoist family, I've never heard of anything from my religions and beliefs that have anything against homosexuality. In Taoism, we have Pangu who was said to have created the Heaven and Earth, Nuwa who was said to have created humans from clay, but I doubt any Chinese of today still think they are true. We are very much inclined to think of them as mythologies and believe a more scientific explanation of human evolution.

On the side note, I don't consider myself a Buddhist nor a Taoist, but I don't think this part of me makes me have different views on sexuality from a, say, practiced Buddhist/Taoist Chinese gay guy. Our religions have rules but it's up to us the believers to adopt it up to any level we want. I don't believe in religions but I believe in morality, ethics and philosophies. I believe the philosophical part of Taoism but I don't practice the rituals.

I have a conservative view on sexual activity and ideally, it should only be done between married couples, or couples who are sure to marry each other. In a gay context, to me ideally, it should only be done between very stable couples even since they can't get married in front of law and in a ceremony in Malaysia. But this is a very different view from most other Chinese gay guys who simply don't care.

Probably that's also because I'm a good boy. =P I don't drink and I don't smoke, too.

With regards to the process of coming out, I didn't realised that I'm not quite the same as others until when I was in high school. I accepted the fact that I'm gay when I was in university, but I decided to stay in the closet. And I fully stayed in the closet for about 5 years. It only takes me about two years from a fully closeted guy to someone who is starting to come out. But I guess those are more of my character than my cultural background.

How is it like being a gay like you with your religion and cultural background? I would love to know about anything, even if you're of the same cultural background as me. Link to this blog post if you're writing in your blog so that Blogger can automatically post a pingback in the comments and notify me (I think it does), or click the 'Create a Link' at the bottom of this page to post to your blog directly and notify my blog at the same time.

Hundred Schools of Thoughts

There was a time when the Central Plain was in chaos. The feudal system started to dissolve as the king lost his power over his nobles. Five of the states rose to power. Historians call this period the Spring and Autumn Period.

The condition worsened when the smaller states were absorbed by the larger ones, and then the larger states started to fight each other over the smaller ones. The five superpowers became seven. Historians call this period of time the Warring States Period.

The constant warfare of those times bred the rise of scholars. They thought the society was ill, and it needs a good ideology to treat its illness. So they came out with various philosophies encompass a broad range of disciplines including ethics and morality, sociology, politics, military, culture and religion etc. They voiced and published their ideas and thoughts, debated them and preached for the adoption of their philosophies by various states to end the warfare. The amount of philosophers was so many that the time was called a time of Hundred Schools of Thoughts.

I think the state of Malaysia now, although not in warfare like those times, has a lot in common with the times. Many knowledgable and patriotic people of all walks of life rise to speak their minds. Views and opinions are aplenty and in varieties, but injustice and misconducts are not uncommon, too. Associating our times with the times of Hundred Schools of Thoughts may be too much of flattering to ourselves, but there are definitely a lot of things we can learn from the history and wisdom of the ancient people.

Homophobic Housemates

With the plan to move back to KL, I need to look for a room to rent.

When I lived in KL last time, my housemates were not exactly homophobic. But their occasional disrespectful jokes about gay and homosexuality made me feel a little uncomfortable, even though I was still in the closet that time.

And there was once they suspected me for being gay and hinted and tested me in various ways. Being fully in the closet that time, I wasn't ready to be out nor have this secret of mine be disclosed and so I felt uneasy and a little scared to be exposed.

Thanks to my moving back to my hometown, I get a lot of time to rethink on everything about myself, including my sexuality. And I slowly come out of closet to become who I am now. I think being in a new environment gave me the courage to slowly come out (not yet to my family though). If I were to continue staying in KL that time, I doubt I will start coming out as quickly as I am now.

In a way, I'm viewing my move to KL this time another stage of my coming out. I want to live more openly gay, so having non-homophobic housemates are important to me. Even though I'm more ready to be out to my friends now, I'd still prefer to have housemates who are sensitive about homosexuality, for at least they don't crack inappropriate jokes about gay.

And of course I don't want housemates with obnoxious living habits, too.

So I'm trying to look for a room via Grindr. I'm not sure if this is a good idea, but at least I can be quite sure that my housemates won't be homophobic.

Anyone with homophobic housemates wants to move?

Small Talk

In Malaysia, I'm not sure what's the right answer for questions like "how are you" or "how's your day". I think Westerners see them as a form of small talk, so the answer is always 'good' or 'fine'. They only expect a reply, but they don't care what you answer. Just like how we are taught in schools, for "How are you?", the reply is always "I'm fine. Thank you."

But many Malaysians see it like a real question and answer it by telling how they have not been good, how they've been busy etc. The grammar nazi in me feels like standing out to correct them, but I always brush it off. And it's become so common among the people I talk to to the point that my responses like "I'm fine" are odd to them.

But surely I owe you an accurate answer! –

I'm still undecided whether this should be considered a register or simply bad command of English among the people I talk to, but I'll just stick with "I'm fine, thank you."