Tag Archives: gay

Norwich Pride And A Lesson About Tolerance

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We went to gay pride again. I love going there because it gives me the sense of acceptance, tolerance, and even belonging. It is great to be surrounded by people, who embrace difference and for once after so many weeks of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, I felt wonderful. I dressed up, and dolled up, –and with my lovely open minded wonderful husband– went to Norwich city centre.

Alle mƶglichen Leute waren da.

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The sun was up, but not for long. Soon enough the cloud took over and a bit of drizzle sprinkled the sky with cooling spray. None of those stopped us from being… well… gay šŸ˜€ We’re marching from the Forum to Chapelfield garden — this is new because usually we walked from Chapelfield Garden to the Forum.

This is when things got more interesting.

Every year, when we’re parading, there would be someone holding an anti-gay poster on the route. Usually only four or five people gathering while waving us the posters, and in return the paraders would cheered back at them.

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Cheered. Not jeered.

It was a “Wooohoooo!!” and lots of clapping, instead of a massive “Booo!!”.

Yes.

Nobody went to attack anyone, verbally nor physically. It mad me think… how the hell this could happen here, but not in my homeland in Indonesia? When I came home that day I found that some Buddhist temples in the town of Tanjung Balai, Sumatra were attacked, damaged, and even burned down — because allegedly ones voiced their concerns about the loudness of the Muslim’s call for prayer there.

Then I realised… Here in Norwich, we are playing the same game, and obeying the same rule. We believe that everybody could have their opinion without being physically or verbally abused. We know that the authorities would police the regulation, and make sure everybody has that right to voice their thought as long as it is not abusive.

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Like those people with anti gay posters in the gay parade.

Like that woman in hijab who took photo in the anti muslim rally.

In Indonesia? If voicing a concern about a loud speaker from a mosque ended up in the burning of seven Buddhist temples… Imagine what would happen to a gay man carrying a beautiful rainbow flag in front of FPI rally? Do you think the Indonesian police officers would protect his right to voice his opinion? Do you think FPI would cheered his bravery for coming out? Nope… he would either ended up in the hospital or even… six feet under.

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Now you think…

Prost!

What Would You Do If Your Child Is Gay?

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We have had this conversation a long time ago when I was still hanging out with Onyed’s friends. It was almost ten years ago, can you believe that? So when the question was raised again not so long time ago, on one of my acquaintances on their facebook status. Basically these people are questioning the paternal instinct of people who are supporting LGBT in Indonesia.

I couldn’t and wouldn’t screenshot their status, nor link you back to them, because I don’t want them to go viral. I am with “don’t make stupid people popular” thing, so you should — unfortunately, take it from me or leave it šŸ™‚

Basically they’re saying that they believe that human rights shouldn’t cover being gay or lesbian. They believe that it has gone too far. And to be fair, I don’t care of what they are believing in — it is their human rights after all to have faith in something. But then in the end of their argument they’re asking this:

“To people who are supporting LGBT, what would you feel if it is your child that is gay?”

Ten years ago, I thought it would be fine. Of course. It would be okay to have a gay child. But now I start to question my answer. Do I really want to have a gay child in Indonesia — where they would be persecuted by being themselves? Would I have the heart to let them be bullied by these bigots? If I have a gay child, my problem would not be the fact that they are gay, but the fact that they will have a difficult life in Indonesia.

But what would I feel?

I would feel the same. I would love them all the same. I would support them, and help them to find their true happiness. I would do what I think a parent should do for their children, after making them suffer enough by being born to this world.

I shouldn’t think differently.

Wait… wait… What’s that? Oh! I can hear some of you say: “You are not a parent, and you don’t want to have children anyway… you wouldn’t know how it feels to have a gay child.”

Of course.Ā Well then…

My question is, what would THEY (these idiots) do if they have gay children?

Persecute them? Beat them up until they “repent”? Disown them? Lock them up in their room to straighten them up? Or like my parents — bring them to a psychiatrist who drug them with zoloft to “cure” their gayness?

Don’t you think it sounds like an abuse? Maybe… maybe you’re the one who shouldn’t have a child, just in case you might abuse them in the future…

 

This Is My Rainbow…

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I am so sorry that I haven’t written much lately. There wasĀ not enough time or things to say, but today, I feel compelledĀ to write this.

The reason why I changed my facebook profile photo with rainbow.

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After the USA legalised gay marriage, Facebook celebrates and supports this event by featuring an app that can change your profile photo to a rainbow. Yeah, that one. You know what I am talking about.

Initially, I did not want to change my photo. I do not like to be carried out in a wave or mainstream trends, and I think the rainbow looks a bit tacky. After all, I believed that I have purged and filtered through my friendlist and was quite sure that I only have gay friendly people in my list. So, I thought I did not have to make an open statement any more.

I thought I have passed that.

No I haven’t.

Three days after the celebrations, the bigots started to fire back. Some of my friends started to post anti-gay articles. From the subtle “do you really know what facebook ‘rainbow’ means?” to the more open “you exist because your parents were straight”. Then, the wave of people posting status with hashtag straightpride (I don’t want to hashtag it properly because I don’t want to help makeĀ it bloody popular) started flooding my feed.

I was gob smacked.

Ten years ago when the first time I dropped the bombshell to my friends, I could understand that it was a bit too soon for them to accept the concept of equality. It was 2005 Indonesia, you could not expect much. But this is 2015. You idolised Neil Patrick Harris, you adored Sir Ian McKellen, you cheered Ellen and thought that she and Portia makes a cute couple.Ā BUT YOU OPPOSE GAY MARRIAGE?

.:Taken from BBC America:. Squeal, X-Neto shippers! Squeal!!

Then I thought about my own marriage. My own wedding, and people’s reaction when I told them that I was getting married to someone who was happened to be Mr. Fix-it — the wonderful male person. The reaction varied from “you’re settling down??!!” or “woohoo… so happy for you”, to “found a man that cured your lesbianity, haven’t you?”

When I remembered that, I realised that my so called open minded friends, were not really the most well informed ones. I appreciated they efforts to try. Even so, when they spouted out remarks such as “it’s just a phase”, “you haven’t tried enough”, “find the right manĀ to straighten up the lesbian in you”, or even “we’re glad you found the right path”, it still stings a bit.

It is offensive, it is uneducated, it is ignorant, and rude. It is not only an insult to me and my sexuality, but also to my husband as a human being. It degraded Mr. Fix-It, from a wonderful intelligent funny and kind human being that I love, respect and want to be with into… an XY chromosome. It insulted our marriage.

 

So I looked up at the facebook rainbow thingy again, and made up my mind. I changed my profile photo, not because it was a trend, but to make a personal statement. Loud and clear.

To Be Or Not To Be… Married… That Is The Question

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I have been thinking about posting this article few weeks ago, but I thought it would be a brilliant idea to post it on the celebration of Kartini Day.

It has been awhile since I posted anything about Kartini or anything related to Kartini Day as it coincided with Chika’s and also Superbyq’s birthday. But anyway…*moving swiftly on* marriage. Yes…

Growing up, I did not have many female friends. I did not have enough social skill to put up with their gossips and whines, and their constant reminder that every teenage girls need make up and diet. It was not easy sometimes, but then I began to have some female friends. Of course, it was never easy to have female friends, I still do not have the extra patience to the gossips and whines, and their constant reminder that every adult women need marriageĀ and children. But I got better at ignoring these remarks.

Up until few weeks ago, when two of my female friends, who seemed to be coming from two different planets, talked about one same thing. Marriage.

One of them, was my childhood friends. It was one rare occasion that I maintained friendship for so long. Just call her Minnie Mouse, not because of her having a squeaky voice, and definitely not because she looks like a rat, but because of her disney crush to Mickey Mouse. Minnie Mouse, was about to get engaged when she told me that she finally broke up with her boyfriend. Well, he was a tw*t, so I did not feel sorry that she broke up with him. I felt sorry because she was sad and broken hearted as she did not want to break up with the dickhead.

She has been in the quest, of finding a husband, because she believes her clock is ticking and she wanted to have a family, and children. She is a typical traditional Asian woman, whose — despite her bright future in her career, her financial stability, her high profile family background, and also her promising degree in engineering– sole lifetime objective is to get married and breed. She has told me again and again that she is not getting younger, and all of our friends have already had kids (she forgot about me), and some of them has even had their third. And she wants it.

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traditional family ideal

Too bad she ended up with wrong guys every time.

While the other friend, is someone coming from a closer planet than mine. I have known her for few years, never actually met her in person. She is a blogger too, and if she read this she will know that I am talking about her (or so I hope). Like me, she left Indonesia for study — but while I went north, my friend went down south. Let’s call her the Aussie Badass Chick.

Yes, she might be a couple of years younger than I am, and she kind of reminded me of what I wanted to be when I was her age. Independent, tough, badass. And she posted about marriage too, but from a completely different point of view: she said she does not want to get married. And I believe her.

This is the thing.

I did not want to get married either. I never thought that marriage institution is as important as what is perceived by many people. It is probably promoted in the first place as a population control, and helped with the gene pool. But when people are more educated like now, it is not more than tradition. If you just want to live with the person that you love for the rest of your life, just do it… you can live together in a house, sign the house certificate together if you want to protect yourself from being screwed around, and so on and so forth.

Well, logically speaking, there are some benefits of being married; and they are totally unromantic.Ā First one is social standings. Especially in Asian family, being married means you are given so much more trust as a person, and finally considered as an adult by your parents. You are no longer the child — the lower rank member of the family, but you are the queen of your own sovereign. Your parents would be seen as successful for being able to marry you off, not only congratulated for being able to get rid of you. Your opinion would started to be considered in the family meetings, and you suddenly have the rights, and even encouraged to be a bitch.

The next one is the more important one for me: the legal status. Not for your children, but for you. It doesĀ not only mean that you can sue the shit of them if they are cheating on you. It is not only about the financial security either. It is about how the law in the country see you as a family. If one of you are in the hospital, they cannot visit, or take decision for you if they are not legally registered as your family/partner. If you adopt children together, only one of you can be their parent, because you are not legally a family, and a child cannot legally registered to two guardian family (and if you split up, one of you will definitely lose the custody).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/2962449/Star-Trek-actor-George-Takei-weds.html

George Takei (Sulu) and Brad Altman wedding… After 20+ years in relationship

And this is why the LGBT group wants the gay marriage to be legalised — just to answer people who insisted that if gay people wants to live together they could just… do.

And the third one… is freedom.

Majority of people would not see marriage as freedom. Instead, they believe that being married means you are being chained to a rigid institution and shit. I agree with them too, but I must point out the other side that they failed to see.

Women from eastern culture are tied down to her parents (her parents’ house, her parents’ family, etc.) until they are married, and have her own family. For some people, marriage is a way out from their parents’ house. Like Kartini (now you see why I chose this topic to be posted today, yes?) who agreed to marry a man who was way older than she was, just so that she could get out from her father — who denied her education because she was a girl. And use her new social standing as a married woman to do what she wanted to do — build friendships with foreign correspondence (hence her letters were made as a book), and got educated.

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Kartini with Djojodiningrat “Raden Adjeng Kartini” by Original uploader was Meursault2004 at id.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Ennio morricone at id.wikipedia. – Transferred from id.wikipedia; transferred to Commons by User:Manuguf using CommonsHelper.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Raden_Adjeng_Kartini.jpg#/media/File:Raden_Adjeng_Kartini.jpg

If anyone ask me if they have to get married, my answer is “definitely not”. No one can tell you to or not to marry anyone, if you want or do not want. The pressure, the thought of you are getting into the age you would no longer marriageable, would make you jump to the first person come to you, which lead you to the date wrong person… again and again. Have you not learn anything from How I Met Your Mother?

If anyone asked me if they need to get married, I would ask them why. Why do you want to get married? Do you think you cannot have sex if you are not married? Well, you can. If you feel guilty, ask forgiveness. If god is so forgiving he would absolve whatever sin you did or will do in the future.

If you think you cannot have children without being married, you are wrong. In fact you can have children any time you want: pick one from the foster houses.

Basically, the traditional justification of marriage is not applicable for me. But, if you want the benefits of marriage I just mentioned above, go for it. It came with responsibilities too: means they can sue the shit out of you if you cheated, means you might have to face the custody battle if you split up, means you would no longer receive red envelopes full of money from your parents during the Chinese New Year *broken inside*.

So,

Happy Kartini Day, my dear friends.

Cheers…