Walking Across The Bridge

Few weeks ago I was invited by a good friend of mine to go for his birthday treat. It was a good dinner gathering with 13 people, including myself. There were 3 straight women and 10 gay men. Yes, my good friend is also a gay and that night, he was celebrating his birthday and also his partner’s birthday (their dates only separated a few days away).

The night was good, we talked and shared a lot, and also laughed a lot. At first, we thought that night would be just fine, until we started to order the meals. The waiter was taking our order halfheartedly. How do we know? From the way he looked at us. He gave the guys such a sharp look, while to the women, he didn’t show such a sharp look. Whenever we ask them to order some more food or ask them to bring the birthday cake out, we need to ask them several times, before finally the order came.

With my straight eyes, I could see that being a gay man is not an easy matter. People still look at them differently. Even though the gay men are now more open and most people are more liberal, it doesn’t mean that the discrimination has gone. It is still there. Ideally, the discrimination should not go further than making sharp look or mean face!But it is now going brutal and worse. The story of gay killing such as the 13-year-old Sean Walsh or Matthew Shepard – really breaks my heart, because I believe that no matter sexual preferences that they found (not choose), they still bear the image of our Creator.

Maybe all that we need to do is to walk across the bridge. Walk the distance that we’ve been built between heterosexuals and homosexuals. By doing so, I believe that we can find a different new meaning about gay and lesbian. I am not saying that we have to agree with their sexual actions, because there is a huge difference between sexual preferences and sexual actions.

Let me close this article with a short reflection given by Father Dennis Rochford MSC, on our weekly bible study back to 2004. He said that, even though homosexuality is morally wrong, does not mean that we can’t love them. So, walk across the bridge, before you judge too much on what may be there … across the bridge.

Happiness: Gay Perspective

I just had a long chat with my gay best friend.

I don’t know why my life is surrounded by them, gay and lesbian. Lately, it becomes more and more absurd for me. I heard his story of living a double life, because he just can’t walk out and be himself. Because most of the community will condemn him and hate him to death. Because his parents are ashamed of having a son like him. Because he just couldn’t be himself …

Then, a question crossed my mind. So, what is the meaning of happiness for him – and the rest of the homosexuals in this world? I guess the answer is varies!

I found a lot of gay people who decided to conform with the community by getting married and build a what-so-called family. They seem happy. But we never know what is going on inside their mind. I remember my classmate in junior high, who had a gay father. Her father left when she and her sister were just young children. They did not know anything about their father – the hidden truth. Later on, she found out that her father was a gay and left her for another guy. I don’t think my friend’s father is happy with his decision.

Or a story of a young man who decided to marry someone that he barely knows because he does that in the name of certain religion, in which they suggest their young people to marry their partner first and start to know each other well in the marriage. He is also a gay. Will he be happy? It depends ….

Or a story of my best friend’s uncle. He is a well known professor in a well known university, who happened to marry a beautiful and hard working lady. They only had their sexual encounter once! And it turned out bad. He’s a gay … do they happy with their marriage? We never know.

But …. When I had a talk with another good friend of mine, she had a different point of view. She told me that my encounter with so many gay people is not merely coincidence. God wants me to do something with them – which I don’t know what. She said that if God wants a straight person to marry a gay man, then God himself will put Eros in his heart (I know it sounds absurd and not right!). She said that nothing is impossible, for God love all of us. Deep down I know that God is a super and almighty God, who can do whatever He wants, without any difficulties of making it comes true. But still, I don’t know …

What I know is God wants us – not just me –  to love gay and lesbian people as He loves them. I got this brilliant insight when we had an exclusive meeting with Bo Sanchez, a few years back in Perth, WA.

I wish they can be happy …

The Colours of My Friends

Today, I had a long conversation with my mother and sister-in-law during our lunch time. I started the opening by telling them stories of my best friends who are gay and lesbian, about how hard is it for them to fight against the stream and keep on living their daily life. The story went on as my mom and sister-in-law asked me questions on how do they strive for living, what do they do to themselves and how do their family accept them at last.

Then, my sister-in-law said something that makes me realize how rich I am as a person. She said that since she got married to my brother and stayed at the same house, she started to know the reality of human lives (do I sound too much?). She started to learn that human have their own colors and sometimes they want to show it off. I have numbers of friends who failed in their relationships and ended it just a moment before their wedding day. I have a friend who has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. To make the list longer, my sister-in-law took no time to mention them out.

with my friends - Singapore 2009

After having my lunch, I was thinking to myself and it made me realized of how rich I am as a person. I have so many friends from so many different backgrounds. I’ve met so many people with their own dreams, stories, hope and tears. I’ve talked to so many people who can’t wait to share their happiness, sorrow and tragedy.

A good friend just told me her story of aborting her baby because she couldn’t help to raise another baby. She has two young children to be taken care of and also, she has to think of her unfaithful husband. At the same time, another good friend cracked open his hidden identity as a gay (I have another gay friend). Another good friend of mine, who is happen to be a brother at one monastery also had a problem. His superior (whatever you named it) asked him to leave outside the monastery while still holding onto his eternal vow. At last, he will be able to decide whether he will still be a priest, or he will live as a layman.

I think I have to be thankful to meet those extraordinary people, who enrich me through their stories and share their wisdom to me. Even though they have their own tragic stories and unhappy ending, they still the colours of my life!