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I just want what everyone else already has

on . Posted in Coming Out.


A couple of weekends ago we celebrated my Aunt and Uncle’s silver wedding anniversary. It was a grand affair, 12 tables in a smart ballroom, dress code: Formal. There was a live band playing throughout dinner. A pastor family-friend said grace, and blessed my aunt, uncle and cousin. The emcee for the evening was their old friend who had also been the emcee at their wedding dinner, 25 years ago. 1 lady-friend gave a rendition of love songs, and 1 brother-in-law sang 2 love songs in Chinese! My uncle gave a speech, and my cousin gave a speech too…

There was a cheery buzz in the air. Everyone was celebrating my Aunt and Uncle being married for 25 years. More than that, they were celebrating the principles of love, commitment, and the covenant between two people who chose to spend the rest of their lives together. It was so touching and heartwarming, them being surrounded by all their family and friends honouring their marriage and commitment to each other for the past 25 years.

I sent a sms to my girlfriend asking her “Do you think we will some day celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary too?” And she replied “Of course” And when that day comes, this will be my Wish List. I want us to be celebrating with all our friends and families. Everyone joyous, and not simply acknowledging, but honouring, our silver anniversary. I want people to congratulate us as they arrive for the party. I want them to have marked the date in their diaries months in advance. I want them to put the effort into dressing up, and to ponder what gifts would be most appropriate on such a happy and significant occasion. A Wish List for me, but I merely want what every straight couple is now entitled to.

True, not every straight couple would choose to have a 12-table dinner function to commemorate their wedding anniversary, but some of them sure do, and it doens’t surprise anyone. And those who celebrate in a more low-key manner choose to do so for their own reasons. I just want to be able to have the same options as everyone else when it comes to my turn. This is more than out and proud. This is just not having any difference between in and out. After all, my partner and I also stand for the same principles of love, commitment, and spending the rest of our lives together.

But while all this fantasy was going through my head, at the dinner the sad fact was also facing me. The table I was seated at was composed of the others from my generation. My sister, my cousins, and other cousins from my aunt’s family. My sister’s boyfriend had been invited, and also the boyfriend of another cousin. Needless to say I felt the unfairness of my girlfriend not having been invited. Of course it was not a shock to me to find other people’s boyfriends and girlfriends there; it was not a surprise at all that my girlfriend had not been invited in the first place. But just because a situation occurs just as one has expected it to, it doesn’t help quell the feelings of unfairness, jealousy, frustration. I think it is blatant discrimination from society, and yes, my family and all the surrounding friends is part of this conspiracy.

Deep inside I wanted to say “What’s wrong with my partnership that everyone pretends my girlfriend doesn’t exist? Are we inferior?” But it wasn’t just during that big dinner bash. It is every day. It is just how it is. I have an invisible partner, no one asks about her, no one invites her, no one asks how we’re doing and if we’re happy. And as I get older, I will be typecast in the role of Eccentric-Spinster-Older-Sister-Who-Never-Found-A-Man-To-Marry.

And the stark 180-degree difference between the Fantasy and Reality is so painful. But that’s not all. The mere fact that there exists such a difference is all the more painful. Because the fantasy listed in my 3rd paragraph above doesn’t have to be just fantasy. My Wish List is only described as one because it is so far from coming true.

Ah well, small steps, I guess. I do have a handful of relatives who are fine with me being gay. It did take my sister a while to get used to it, but now she knows that my relationships are just like anyone else’s. Her boyfriend is OK with it, and he has even told his sister about it, and she doesn’t treat me any different from any normal person.

I believe that we will one day reach the stage of not having a difference between gay and straight. That is the cause that we are all fighting for in our big and small ways.



# Mier 2010-02-02 00:08

Mier said,

May 2, 2006 at 11:30 pm

I am waiting for an invitation card to your silver wedding anniversary (25 years to wait). And i promise to ponder carefully what i will bring as a gift. ;>
# pleinelunee 2010-02-02 00:08

pleinelune said,

May 2, 2006 at 11:36 pm

Yeah! Invite me to that one too! If you don’t, I’ll just invite myself. :P

Yes, it is sad to think about it. I do want to get married(one day, far in the future), and stay with that one person for a long time. And if it happens to be a woman, I want everyone to give equal consideration as if it happened to be a man – I would want them to respect my committment to her as well… not just, as you said, be the spinster-who-never-found-a-man.
# onekell 2010-02-02 00:08

onekell said,

May 4, 2006 at 10:45 am

Perhaps you could talk to them about inviting your gf to future family events?
# Amajor 2010-02-02 00:08

Amajor said,

May 4, 2006 at 2:19 pm

Gee. I will look forward to that day too! Invite me as well!!

That aside, I told my good friend before that if I ever get attached (if anyone ever wants me, that is), I will bring her to all my family dinners/ gatherings, and my class reunions and whatsoever. I will bring her to my JC and secondary school’s alumni dinners and introduce her to my teachers and old schoolmates.

My good friend said: “The society needs to be more mature. And you can play a good role in that.”

I love him for that amazing support. =)

The thing is we often hesitate in doing so, for fear of hurting people we care for. But we shouldn’t give up the chance to help the society to be more mature.
# Sayoni Speak 2010-02-02 00:08

Sayoni Speak » PPC re-launch party and Community Fair said,

May 10, 2006 at 1:40 pm

[...] As the queer cause has floated over the years, so has the community, symbolically. What cause, you may wonder, when it involves things we would rather take for granted – having our partners included in family events, asking friends for a perspective on dating or relationship issues, feeling safe where we have lived most of our life, supporting our partners through sickness and death – in essence, to live and love without guilt, anger and social rejection. Do cowgirls dream of tropical rainbows? [...]

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