An Open Letter: How It Felt To Lose You To Your Homophobic Parents

Subject: An Open Letter: How It Felt To Lose You To Your Homophobic Parents
From: Keay Nigel
Date: 20 Oct 2015

You don’t deserve me.

Because you hadn’t fought for me like how I would have for you. Not hard enough, at least.

Because you never really stood up for us in the face of your menacing parents when they found out about our relationship.

When your mother chased me out of the house, you didn’t mutter a word. You didn’t even try to stop her. You didn’t stand up for me like I expected you to. It was all too disappointing.

There I was, like a roach swept out of the house, in the silence of the other roach who claimed to love me more than himself. There, you allowed their intolerance towards the idea of a same-sex couple tear us apart. You allowed their ignorance toward one modern-day version of love shoot me down. In my head I was screaming like Cristina Yang in Grey’s anatomy. Be my person, Owen. BE MY FREAKIN’ PERSON! But, you chose to be the ‘good’ son for them instead of a fighter for me.

I never understood how you could stand that suffocating stench of homophobia floating around in your household, the very force that looks down upon your own true self. In the end you let it poison the loving (though underground) relationship that we’d built over the two years we had known each other since we were freshmen.

I had pictured the two of us, happy at our graduation ceremony, where we celebrate the end of our college life in oversized, dark-blue graduation gowns and a mortarboard on our heads. There and then, we would also be celebrating the fact that we’d survived four years of loving and fighting with and for each other — protecting our love against the non-believers who had looked down on what they deemed as deviant, just because they couldn’t understand anything that falls outside of their normal, mediocre lives.

I’d thought our love was great enough to fend off any arrow, dart or bullet that flies our way. I’d thought that your love for me was without boundaries, and that you loved me with your all.

I’d believed you, with all my heart and soul when you said to me, You are the important thing in my life, because you’re the one whom I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Now it all seems to me like a big, fat joke. You and I, hiding our relationship from everyone we knew, even those who were close to us, those whom we loved? How could I not have sensed right from the beginning that something’s not quite right with this arrangement?

We were supposedly best friends in front of your friends and family, but then when we retreated back into your room, under the covers, we became wild lovers, unleashed of every restrain. There, pinned down on bed, forgetting about all the pretense that we put up in front of people, I thought to myself, this is all that matters, this is all that I need — you. But it’s not true. I needed more. But for you, I had compromised and settled for less.

When you called for the breakup, it had felt like spit in my face — your parents’ spit, only delivered by you. Like they have won, somewhat. Now, six months after the breakup, I still feel slightly angry whenever I think back about this wretched relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I am not renouncing all the very beautiful and lovely memories we had together. Neither am I denying all the countless sacrifices that you had done for me over the past two and a half years.

I am writing this now because I realized the need to confront the trauma. The trauma of having to fight for someone I love against his parents (and then losing it all). Because now I have a new person in my life, and when he told me he was going to share with his parents about us, my face turned white with fear. Perplexed by this sudden bout of jitter rising from my gut to my chest, I asked myself, what’s wrong?

Then I realized it’s because I was afraid that history might repeat itself. That even if I’m ready to fight for whatever that’s right, the other party might cower in the face of parental objection, leaving me stranded in the battlefield by myself. Again.

I was afraid — that love just isn’t enough.

But then I reassured myself that it is not true. And I must not allow the ghost of my past relationship haunt my new. He is not you, and his family is not yours. I should stop dragging this corpse of my ex-relationship around with me. It’s time to let go.

An old Chinese proverb reads, Be rid of the old else the new never comes. It’s true. It takes time, though. To renew my mind and slay the demons in my head one by one.

Nonetheless, I want to thank you for showing me the true meaning of “it takes two hands to clap.” That love needs not just mutual understanding, but also mutual cooperation. That love’s beauty does not only reside in the sweet whispers in bed and the passionate kisses behind closed doors, but also the two lovers’ determination to fight for each other when their castle of love is under threat.

True enough, in life, some castles stand strong in the face of the fiercest storm, others collapse into a pile of sand upon the slightest drop of rain.