this is a photoset of me and one of my best friends at a queer awards/community event this past weekend.
she’s a genderqueer pan filipinx [left] and i’m a bi/pan (cis) queerean [right].
my bestie and i were one of the youngest (if not the youngest, minus the bbs) in a room full of lots of 30-40+ queer asians. and it was so uplifting cause i don’t know about you guys but we weren’t exposed to queersians let alone older queersians growing up. and there we were, in a room of all different kinds of queersians. families, friends, fellow activists, and some allies. it was incredibly heartwarming and all kinds of amazing.
so this goes out to all of the fellow queer asians. especially those of us who face added erasure (whether it be cause your polysexual, trans, or whatever). especially youth. and especially to those of you who are still in the closet.
i didn’t ‘come out’ until about two years ago. before that it was one part confusion, two parts self-loathing/shame, and three parts unbelievable denial. there was a time not too long ago that i believed that i could never tell anyone about my sexuality. i felt fake, phony, and irrelevant. i also felt as if i wasn’t 'queer’ enough. i had heard all of these 'coming out’ stories and most of them were of people who came out years before me. or had this queerpiphany in their pre-prepubescent years. even my best friend first came out in middle school (to some). i felt as if i didn’t fit in. but gradually i became more comfortable in my sexuality and i met others who supported me. with that support, i came out to more and more people. in fact, this past winter, i came out to my younger brothers. and guess what? they came out to me as well! (queerean siblings anyone?) and then after summoning every ounce of courage i had, i came out to my mama. it was emotional and incredibly nervewracking but i did it. and i survived. i’m still not out to the rest of my parents or fam but i’m getting there (after all, we all know that 'coming out’ is not a once and done kind of deal). i’ve never been more confident in my sexuality let alone open. i mean just yesterday, i was at a queersian event where one of the orgs i’m a part of cohosted a screening of the queer fresh off the boat episode as well as a panel at stonewall inn (talk about historical relevance). i am at a place i never thought was possible. i am surrounded by loving and supportive friends and have built a network of amazing qtpoc activists who not only are there to support me but also raise me up. it wasn’t easy getting here and i still have a long ways to go, but i got here.
now the point of me sharing all of this with you was to let you know that there is no one way or 'right’ way to be queer. there are as many different kinds of queersians as there are asians and whoever you are, you are important. your identity is valid and your experiences are something that no one can dismiss or take away from you. and as cliché as it sounds, it gets better. it may get worse before it gets better or you may get a bigger shovel only to end up with an even bigger pile of shit, but it gets better. and you’ll find others.
i want you to know that you are not alone. that faces like mine, my best friend’s, and yours exists out there. you’re existence alone is a testament to your strength and resilience. and if no one has told you yet, let me be the first to say that i am incredibly proud of you.
we are here, we are queer, and we are here to stay.