Sketchy Sketches #9 – There’s Something About Me

Completed on 16 October 2013

When I was a boy, I was really shy.
I’d see a camera, and I’d hide and cry. 
It wasn’t the flash, it wasn’t the click.
It was the photos.
I hated the photos. Those ugly photos.
That ugly face.
My ugly face.
There’s something about me that made me feel that way.

When I was in primary school, I was bullied. It wasn’t physical bullying, just names. It wasn’t so bad, really. And it wasn’t as if I didn’t have friends; I just had difficulties interacting with the other guys in my class. It wasn’t so bad, really. But I became aware. At the age of 11, I knew that there was something about me that made me different from the other boys.

When I left primary school for secondary school, I was quite a different person. I’ve learnt the way to survive, to avoid the names and the sneers. I have buried my body, and I have hidden the spade. I’ve placed a huge stone on top of my grave. I’ve made sure that that part of me would never come out into sight again. I’ve made up my mind. There’s something about me that I’ll bring to my grave.

In secondary school, I feared the fear. I turned the tables and played the game. I became the bully. I called the names and gave the sneers. I said things that I shouldn’t have said. I had a friend that I pushed away. The harder I pushed, the safer I felt. But deep down I knew that all I wanted was to push myself further and further and further away from my own dark secret. The harder I pushed, the safer I felt. There’s something about me that I had to get rid of.

All along while I was growing up, I was scared. I didn’t want to face the questions. I didn’t want to face the truth. I didn’t want to lie, but I knew I had to. I was afraid. I didn’t want to grow up. No, at least not like that. There’s something about me that I knew was wrong.

When I entered JC, I made some awesome friends. They were different. They were more fun, more friendly, more liberal. But we were never close enough. Well, at least that’s what I felt. There were still secrets. There were still fears. There were still topics that I had to avoid. There’s a gap that still couldn’t be bridged. There’s something about me that I’m not ready to face.

When I was 20, I fell in love for the first time. It was sweet but mostly bitter, and it got nowhere. There were heartbeats and butterflies. There was hope and despair. There were signs that it was not meant to be. But above all these, I felt the chains loosening. I felt the earth trembling. I felt the stone tumbling. There was a part of me that was reaching out from the ground below. And then I thought. And then I realised. How can something as beautiful as love ever be wrong? I stared at the moon as the moon stared back. There’s something about me I was beginning to accept.

When I turned 21, I made up my mind. It wouldn’t be easy, but things just have to be done. There may be obstacles, and I may get bruised. There may be tears, but there will be truth. There will be secrets that will be spilled. There will be gaps that will be bridged. There will be fears that will be faced. There will be friends that will be made. There will be love, and love is enough. I’ve made up my mind. There’s something about me that I started to confess.

Today, I turn 22. I’ve come a long way, but I’m coming out more. There’s something about me you’ve not known before. There’s something about me that I’ve hidden from sight. There’s something about me that I’ve yet to confide. There’s something about me that I didn’t embrace. Today, it’s my birthday, and I’m feeling a little brave. There’s something about me. There’s something about me that I’d like you to know.

I’m gay. I like guys. I only like guys.

***

Those who are closest to me already know this. But there are many others who don’t. To those of you who don’t know yet, I hope this doesn’t change anything. I’m not going to be any different from the person that you’ve already known. I’m not going to start kissing or making out with other guys in public. I’m not going to turn you gay. I’m just going to stop lying.

Have a good day. =)

P.S.: To those of you who have unconditionally loved and accepted me for who I am (my closest friends, my mother, and obviously, my beloved twin brother who’s gay too), thank you. You guys have made me feel normal again, after almost two decades of self-loath. You guys have made it easier for me to accept myself. You guys have made me realise that it’s ok to love myself.

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2 thoughts on “Sketchy Sketches #9 – There’s Something About Me

  1. Can I say that both you and your twin brother are incredibly, *tremendously* brave and inspiring in undertaking this revelatory (i.e., “coming-out”) exercise. A little about myself: you’ll be surprised to know that you and I attend the same programme on campus – not sure whether you two stay on campus any longer though. We’ve never spoken or interacted in any manner before, though we’ve been in the same elevator ride – anyway, the point is (no, that wasn’t a pick-up attempt >_<) in life you encounter certain random people whose lives are seemingly of zero connection/link to yours; but in one way or another, through some simple deeds you have done, you have touched them immensely. So I thank you very much for this blogpost, as much as I know it is hardly dedicated to me. I wish you and your twin all the best in your future endeavours. 🙂 Cheers!

    • Hi Jared, thanks for your message! It’s great to know that our stories can touch the lives of others around us =). And I really get what you mean; sometimes in life there are people who come into our lives so very briefly, but manage to change it so fundamentally. I was lucky to have met a few people like that, and I can only feel honoured to have impacted you, even if it’s only in a very, very small way. All the best to you too! =)

      Yu Sheng

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