Friday, September 14, 2007

Being Gay: Myths & Facts.

I've always found it strange why I need to explain or write to justify my sexuality in particular and the strange, alien concept that homosexuality appears to be to a sizeable number of heterosexuals in general. After all, no one goes up to another person and asks so why are you straight anymore than one would ask why the sun rises in the east. But when a person's choice or perceived lifestyle is different from the norm, it is perhaps then that questions arise. Still sometimes the questions raised either display astounding naivety or stupidity or sometimes they just can't be answered. Take Sir Ian McKellan's (best known as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings triology) response when a reporter asked him when he first knew he was gay, "About the same time you knew you were straight."

So I am still unable to fathom the purported interest the fact that I am gay has aroused in law school both amongst juniors I never knew and amongst the same classmates. Perhaps a little background information is necessary for the non-law school readers. I studied law in NUS, enjoyed the life of a free-wheeling tertiary student where time was flexible and bountiful, graduated from law in 2007, started one month of pupillage at a respectable firm and now currently studying the compulsory post-grad PLC course. And I'm gay, but so what.

Nothing remarkable, nothing sensational. So what attracts such interest as to my identity or the need to confirm my sexuality? The fact that I'm gay? Like I said earlier, I'm not the only one in my year who is. The fact that I studied law and am studying to qualify as a lawyer? Can't be. The fact that you never suspected I'd be gay? Too bad. Or the fact that I happen to talk about sex when I feel like it? Couldn't care less. I suspect it's a little of everything where being different (in the law fraternity at least) is a news worthy item in itself and every little bit of 'difference' are viewed as juicy titbits and eagerly seized upon. Come on la, if you can gossip about a person's hairdo you can gossip about anything.

And like all juicy bits of gossips go, people normally want to ascertain the veracity of the fact for themselves. In an indirect manner of course. So now apparently some friends have been repeatedly hounded as to my sexuality and which way I swing. Which is unpleasant to put it very mildly. I know the feeling myself, being badgered as to whether X had done this or if it was true whether Y really slept around with Z, and not knowing what to say. I thought I'd settled this in the Smut Cut entry. Apparently not.

So I'll just state it once again for the record. Those visitors from law school should either strongly suspect if not already know my identity. I'm gay, it's fucking obvious from my blog unless you're totally blind. If for some obscure reason, you are still gripped by this burning desire to confirm my sexuality, ASK ME, NOT my friends. Not Aileen, not CS, not anyone else. If you have the guts to do so, come to me personally and ask. And if you aren't a bastard, I'll let you know.

On to the meat of the matter. It still never fails to surprise me whenever I learn of the absurdly wrong ideas and stereotypical mindsets that a majority of heterosexuals possess about homosexuals or gays in particular (you can be sure our lesbian friends are equally misunderstood, though I'm obviously less qualified to correct certain misconceptions about them). I read with some interest some time ago, a post on Jiahao's blog where he linked to me and wrote about his perspective on homosexuality. Sad to say, I have no recollection who he is even though according to him we did Reinsurance together. Though given the fact that I spent way more time out of school than in it probably didn't help either. If we did Regulating the Corporation together too, I might have an inkling, not that it really matters though.

His post was interesting in that while he certainly tried to adopt a fair and objective approach on the subject and gave his personal outlook, there were alas some misconceptions (no ill-intent whatsoever) which deserve to be mentioned and corrected here. The first very commonly held misconception is that gays are generally across the board effeminate in nature. That is about as true as saying that every male heterosexual is macho with decidedly manly hobbies and oozing sex appeal. Which is obviously crap.

While we certainly have our Queens, Sisters and Macho Marys who are more effeminate and like being that way which is perfectly fine, not all gays are effeminate. A sizeable majority are in fact what is ironically termed as 'Straight Acting'. Dan Savage, a queer sex columnist who gives advice to straights and gays alike in a weekly newspaper column, explains it best in this excerpt from his book 'Straight Answers from A Queer Sex Columnist' :" ...Once we(gay boys) become aware that we are different, we start observing straight people - gay people walk many miles in straight shoes; how many straights can say the same about gay shoes? Few straights were raised by gay couples, spend years believing they're gay, their adolescence praying to be gay, walking gay and talking gay, observe their moves for signs of 'straightness' that might give them away, and have gay sex, all in an absurd effort to make themselves gay. Well, gay boys do the reverse of all that to play it straight; we observe and mimic straights, try to pass ourselves off as straights, are hyperaware of what it means to be straight because we are so painfully aware that we are not straight, and will never be, and that this not-being-straight has serious consequences for us..."

Which is what 'Straight Acting' really is in a nutshell, so sometimes, somewhere in our journey we have tried very hard to blend in and 'be straight'. The baseline is, no one likes to be strait jacketed or cast into a particular role or character (unless they actually want to) any more than you, a straight guy, would like to be cast as macho, insensitive and totally clueless. So get that misconception out of your head.

Jiahao made a partially correct observation in that I would not tell my family that I am gay and choose to hide it. Believe me when I say that if I could 'come out' to the Family, I would. Sadly, the entire family are devout charismatic (the class, not any particular characteristic) Christians with a totally analistic outlook on homosexuality. They would sooner attempt to exorcise me or commit me to IMH (Institute of Mental Health) than ever willingly accept the fact that I am gay. So for the sake of my sanity, I have no intention of telling them even though it might eventually come to light after Sean and I get a place and we move out. For now, like CS puts it, it's good to be Zen about the whole affair.

Jiahao's other observation though was mistaken. Just because I don't let my family know that I'm gay or go around announcing it to every Tom, Dick or Harry I meet, doesn't mean I can't and don't express the 'real me' in real life, having instead to resort to the cyber world to open up as it were. Apart from the fact that it certainly makes me sound like some sad introverted nutcase, which thankfully I'm not, the fact that I'm gay, while an integral part of my life, has no bearing whatsoever on my character or my ability to express myself. I still express myself the same way both to friends who know I'm gay and to people who don't. My character doesn't change. True I might have less to offer and talk about on the subject of boobs and soccer balls but that's simply because I don't know much about them. Simply put, my sexuality does not affect my character nor my ability to express myself.

Regarding Jiahao's take on Christianity the religion, those are his views and my own are very clear on this matter. No offense meant to any Christians reading this and any taken will be disregarded. I remain totally apathetic to religion. It's hard not to become disillusioned with a religion and totally reject it when it totally rejects you and regards your lifestyle and very person as an abominable sin with nowhere to go but hellfire and eternal damnation. And no don't bother trying to get me back, as far as I'm concerned, religion and christianity in particular is something I can do without.

Third misconception: Gays are the reason why AIDS is so prevalent and gays are making out everywhere. Ok, the first one is really more of a social issue, while it is true the HIV virus and aids was first transmitted from human to human by male homosexuals, blaming gays for the spread of AIDS today is like the bogeyman everyone loves to whack. HIV transmission between heterosexuals far far outstrips homosexual HIV transmission rates and there's been a lot of studies on this. At the end of the day, better education and greater access to affordable medication should be focused upon and not blaming gays for spreading AIDS.

But it is really the second misconception that puzzles me more. Gays are making out everywhere? Hello where? You show me ok. Everyday you get on the train or walk around the mall, you see heterosexual couples snogging and making out like nobody's business. But no one complains. Why? Normal what. Have two homosexuals do it (for some strange reason, we gays envy our lesbian friends, two girls can make out and no one bats an eyelid, even holding hands and strolling down the street is acceptable, you'll never find two Singaporean gay guys strolling down Orchard road on a normal day at a normal time, holding hands. Never.) and it 'threatens the moral fibre of our society'. People write in to the forums and newspapers to complain.

Hey we live in Singapore, we know the kind of society it is and we adapt accordingly even if we aren't thrilled. So you'll be extremely hard pressed to find gays making out in public. Those cases of the sorry sods that get caught in public be it in the public toilets or other innovative locations are not the norm, they let their dicks get the better of them for a variety of reasons. And if they do get caught in public, they deserve it, just like any straight couple making out in public would too.

Fourth misconception: The environment and 'Nurture' idea that gays can become gays as a result of the environment they are placed in and other external factors. I am sad to tell you that really, this has always been the biggest crapload of utter bullshit I've ever heard. We don't turn gay because of some external factor being present or whatnot. We've always been gay, it's just that some of us seem to take a very much longer time to be aware that we are gay. After all, we do live in a decidedly straight culture where we are constantly indoctrinated with the idea that straight= normal and good. We don't become gay as a result of certain factors being introduced to us at an impressionable age, it's just a matter of when we become aware. And such external factors may serve to awaken the slower ones amongst us who haven't already realised they are gay.

Unconvinced? Take a simple example: You dump a straight guy, like yourself, into a boys only school, you only interact with guys, no girls (assuming you're a total dork without irc, etc). What are the chances of you suddenly turning gay, of your heart and mind changing, simply because of your external environment and perceived impressions? Zilch. Let's ramp it up even more. Assume you, a straight guy, only got provided with barbies and polly pocket play sets when young, get dumped into a all boys school where there are surreptitious displays of boys making out, would that make you a straight guy suddenly feel like joining in the making out sessions and deciding you like guys or would you junk those barbies in favour of Transformers and get turned off by the displays, wishing you had a girl/woman instead? Much more likely the second.

So just as you a straight guy would not turn gay because of the environment, I, a gay guy would not have become gay due to the environment I was in or other external factors. Sexuality, unlike what some would love to have us believe, is not something you can turn on and off. Unless you happen to be bisexual which is totally different. So no, the fact that I was in an all boys school really had absolutely nothing to do with me being gay today. I would have looked at guys and probably lusted after a select few in a co-ed (mixed) school all the same, my biggest crush was definitely in NJC. Army was certainly no instigating or encouraging factor too.

It's strange isn't it, one would think being surrounded by guys in army, gays would be in seventh heaven. Well for the overwhelming majority of time (ie: 99.99%), we aren't. Half the time, you're too shag from the exercises when training to give a damn about naked guys in the shower. The other half, the guys you're in contact with are generally bunk or campmates who are totally unattractive and people you see every day (and night as most NSFs are stay ins). But this army and environment thing does seem to be a widely held misconception.

Over MSN, I showed the Beng, my bunkmate buddy who slept in the bed beside mine in camp, Jiahao's post and asked him what he thought about the becoming gay due to the environment and perhaps being in an all boys school and army part. To which he replied in his usual manner, "Ya Fuck, when you first told me you were gay after army, I thought it must be all the nights that I mount you and humped you that made you gay. Ha ha kns must be my big dick right!" So it is a common misconception. A little explanation is necessary in order to correct any misconception arising from the Beng's statement.

The Beng is a true blue beng with the credentials to back it up. That said, while he is a very jiang yi qi kind of guy (loosely translated as one who values honour and will stick with friends) he can be very different and brash in a unique way. He's infinitely proud of his manhood, that curved phallus he would expose in all its extended glory after waking up or after returning from the shower. He'd then proceed to strut around the bunk, cigarette in hand, buck naked without a care in the world. Which naturally shocked some of the xinjiao ('new birds' - term for junior soldiers) in our bunk who would stare, mouths agape before hurriedly looking away. William would groan and ask him to put something on for god's sake, while the card players (Tim, Envin and I) would usually sigh and curse at him to hurry up and play his hand, instead of shaking his snake.

So anyway regarding the night 'humping' sessions, the Beng would sometimes for the kick of it, while I was already sound asleep, nicely snuggled under that discoloured SAF shit green blanket, mini fan on the cabinet set at high; mount me while clad in nothing but his underwear and hump me while clutching me tightly and making panting noises. Upon which I'd cuss and try to shove him off, usually after some violent struggling cause he's a strong one. And no in case, you were wondering, he's as straight as an arrow. I had great difficulty turning down his offers to bring me to those KTV nightclubs for a night of girls and booze with extra service, plus his girlfriend (then) was a cute waif type Ah-lian, though everytime I saw her, I just couldn't get the mental picture of the Beng screwing her on her window sill, her upper body hanging out, thanks to the very vivid recounting of his sexcapade with her to us, his poor listeners.

Only straight guys (and I am totally serious) would be able to mount such hanky panky and not bat an eyelid about it. Gay guys would never for the life of them, do something like that, simply because while to straight guys, it's just horseplay, to us it's a whole shit load more. That's akin to like wanting to get it on with the other person. (IE: Think of you grabbing a woman's ass or horror of horrors, attempting to mount her like the Beng did me, same thing, same effect.) As with regards to his 'big dick' I think I can safely say (without him murdering me cause he doesn't read my blog or any blog for that matter) that it was 'average', I've certainly seen my fair share to recognise a whammer when I see one. ^^.

Alright, a bit of a digression there but to sum up. Being Gay only means our sexuality and choice of the sex of our partners is different from Straights. We remain the same in so many other ways, we think, we laugh, we love, we hurt too. Being Gay, unfortunately also means being different in the sense that we are not straight. And being in the minority, it appears unfortunately to be up to us to correct certain misconceptions the straight majority perceive to be true for your average gay guy.

Not all gays are effeminate, being Gay does not affect our ability to express ourselves nor does it mean that we indulge/engage in sex to 'express' ourselves (we do it cause we like/want to - dun need to analyse so much, it's exactly the same reason why straights do it), Gay guys don't make out everywhere in public, those who do (in terms of sex) deserve to get caught and lastly 'Nuture' and environmental influences are a load of crap, we don't become gay as a result of our environment or upbringing, we are gay, it's just a matter of when we become aware that we are gay.

And that in a nutshell is what being Gay is about.

22 comments:

Suzie Wong said...

Er....so....are you gay?

lol! ok sorry sorry, just being naughty are 2am in the morning...because your post so long I can't read everthing mah.

But Aelg, no need to explain so much. If you are gay (as in happy) being gay, then that's what matters right?

Aelgtoer said...

Ha ha no just because you asked, I'm straight. ;)

Night Owl too ah you, ya you shouldn't plow through this at 2 am, go and sleep!

And yep I was just clarifying some misconceptions but you are totally right, if one is happy, that's all that matters. Btw your butter cream cake looks good. ^^

sinlady said...

U so erudite at 2.30 in the morning! haha

GENIE said...

huh? you are straight? ok, now im confused.. haha... my gay friends all have something to say along those lines as you've blogged. very interesting insight! ;)

Aelgtoer said...

Sinlady: Heh where got erudite, I guess when you feel strongly about a certain subject it doesn't really matter what time it is, I bet you'd do the same for belly dancing! Heh heh:)

Genie: No la, I'm gay. I was just joking with Ming (Suzie). Yep I think what I wrote about is basically stuff we wished our straight friends or compatriots really knew. :P

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Very well written, esp now when there is so much hype over the accidental ousting of that ri teacher. U shld see all those negative comments blabbered by imbecile parents, like affecting their child's orientation. Wtf how can anyone affect the way u swing. Anyway great job dude, haha i like the part on plu "making out" everywhere.

D

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog. You always have such witty comments to make about the things you see, hear and whatnots.

^_^

Ganbatte!!

Anon

Aelgtoer said...

Anonymous 1: Really? I didn't know there was an incident about an RI teacher getting outed. But that's precisely the bigoted prejudicial reaction, most PLUs face, especially in professions like that.

I have a number of gay and lesbian friends who are teachers and are careful to keep their sexuality hidden or ambiguous, not because they are ashamed or anything but because of the whole ruckus it will inevitably kick up.

But it would be nice if everyone would be more open-minded and level-headed.

Anonymous 2: Thanks:)

strghtlawjunr said...

i loved this post. :)

wildgoose said...

hmm... that would help to clear up a lot of misconceptions if only the bigots would read this.
I'm not sure if it's so clearcut that if you're gay, you're gay and it's a only a matter of becoming aware. I know friends who have dated same gender frens only to go back to being heterosexual, and some who just remained "flexible", i.e. swings both ways. I think environment makes a difference in that it throws open possibilities, but not to the extent that the conservatives claimed - as if the rest of the heterosexual public is spineless and can't think and feel for themselves.

Aelgtoer said...

Wildgoose: Well I think just the title of my blog is enough to make the bigots avoid it like the plague. ^^. I understand what you mean which was why I said it doesn't apply to bisexuals. I have friends who swing both ways and have had successful relationships with both sexes. They have absolutely no qualms about their bisexuality and that's good.

When I talk about gay and straight people I'm referring to those who are absolutely certain of their sexual preferences (ie: that they are either attracted to members of the same or opposite sex, no mix and match). Not those 'confused', uncertain or plainly bisexual.

So while environment may play a part in quickening the awakening of a gay person to his sexuality (take Sean for instance, typical 'straight' guy, did all the guy stuff, dated and had a girlfriend then realised he wasn't straight.), it would not make a straight person gay or vice versa.

Yep and we certainly don't view all Straights negatively (the bigots will always be bigots), a majority of my friends are after all Heterosexuals, great people who know, understand and accept that a person's sexuality does not change the fact that a person, gay, bisexual or straight, remains the person he or she was.

Applaude said...

I've just recently come across yr blog and find it very interesting and entertaining. I applaude your honesty, openness and the directness of your writing; especially enjoyed reading about yr relationship with yr beloved. It makes me want to cheer you on. ^^

GENIE said...

hey, no worries... i know! ;)

SGDaily said...

Hi aelgtoer,

You have been featured in The Singapore Daily. Thank you for your support!

The Singapore Daily Team
singaporedaily.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

could I ask a question about gay sex? Is the anal sex thing a common thing amongst Gays, or are there some gays who also cannot stand the hurt (like some hetero), would never do anal and do it other ways. Thanks. (PS - I am just curious)

Aelgtoer said...

Hello Curious,

Yes anal sex is definitely common and predominant amongst us but ultimately it is a matter of preference. You can do it or you can choose not to. Usually those who don't are those who haven't dared to try it or just don't like it. There's always the good ole' blowjob.

JemandAusDeutschland said...

Hello Aelgtoer

I just happened to come across your blog while surfing for blog entries on CEP(current estimated potential). That search led me to fools progress, which led me to your blog.

It is very enlightening to know of a gay like you who can articulate views intelligently. While I was in sec3 (i am 24 this year), I used the IRC heavily to get in contact with other gays. I must say, the irc-world has since then been filled by more and more chatters who are just hungry for sex, and it is very difficult to find someone who can converse at the same intellectual level. (not that I am very intelligent la)

I wish I could be daring enough and be open about my sexuality, so that I am able to find someone alot more easily. Somehow studying in a european country doesnt help, because most of them are still not very comfortable with homosexuals, contrary to popular belief. It is hard to reveal my sexuality to everyone.

Alright...well done, carry on blogging. Perhaps one day I could start an anonymous blog to share my homosexual feelings/experiences to everyone. Then it wont be so tough always keeping my emotions to myself.

just for the record, i was from nj too...ooh...was from 00S-something. who was ur crush back then by the way..haha

Aelgtoer said...

Hi Jemand,

you certainly sound rather articulate yourself but yes I get what you mean about the irc, it's not exactly the best place to find someone and sometimes all the chatters really want is just sex.

Hmmm the part about them not being comfortable bit comes as a little bit of a surprise to me, I mean you would expect a place where it is legal (at least) to be more tolerant. But perhaps that culture is only confined to the very very liberal and open Dutch. ^^

Wah, I presume you're studying in Germany, not bad make full use of your time their and go check out the gay bars. Though i guess it may be hard without friends around but hey make the best of your circumstances.

About the socialising bit, I always believe quality is better than quantity so don't worry if you have a few close friends (straight or not) that you trust and are comfortable with, you can come out to them. Don't keep everything to yourself but don't expect to remain anonymous. Be confident of yourself and your stand.

Lastly, wah nj too! 00S- eh that makes you my junior by one year, well i was in the 99 S combi too the one with econs, phy, chem and d maths. My crush ah, cannot say la but had some standing then lol. Want more info you can contact me via my spare mail at aelgtoer82-dispose@yahoo.com.sg

TheReaper9000 said...

Gay people are the horniest...
NO Strate people are the horniest...But u wana know a secret Bi people are the horniest becus we love it all!!!

All is well as long as u never let the nay sayers bring you down, remember be gay

Great read man!

ThouShallNotJudgeOthers said...

I'm a Christian and I'm against homosexuality.

However, I'm not against homosexuals unless they harass me (I have never encountered harassing from any homosexual before though) because Jesus had taught that "thou shall not judge others"

No man is sinless. Only God is sinless and has the right to judge others.

Christians, who overdo certain things and lose track of the teachings of Jesus along the way, are probably in for some trouble at the end of the road.

ThouShallNotJudge said...

I'm from NJ too. I just read the comments as I scrolled down a few seconds ago.

Killa B said...

Interesting post bro...