Dear Straight People,
In light of the upcoming Chinese New Year festivities, we collaborated with Otto Fong to produce a CNY themed comic series based on a true story!
Inspired by the real life account of a Malaysian youth kicked out of his home after coming out to his parents, we hope this heartwarming tale moves you as much as it moved us.
I’ve always looked forward to Chinese New Year. And not just because of all the ang baos.
From the festive music to the delectable snacks, Chinese New Year has always been one of my favourite times of the year.
This year however, was different.
For the first time in my life, I’ll be spending Chinese New Year alone.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
For the longest time, I kept my sexuality from my family. Being their only son, I knew my parents wouldn’t be able to take the blow.
But at the same time, I felt like they had the right to know. So on a seemingly ordinary night in August, I made the life-changing decision to come out to mum and dad.
As expected, my parents couldn’t handle my truth. In a fit of rage, they threw me out of the house.
Thankfully, I had already anticipated this and moved in with a friend.
As the days went by, I grew used to the reality that my family had cut me off. But as Chinese New Year loomed nearer, the thought of spending Chinese New Year alone made me somewhat depressed.
I got the shock of my life when I received a call from my grandfather on the eve of Chinese New Year.
A retired colonel, my grandfather was highly respected in the family.
Ye Ye: What is this about my only grandson not attending the reunion tonight?
Me: I no longer live with Mum and Dad.
Ye Ye: So?
Me: Well… (don’t recall exactly how it went, but I told him the truth, and about how I got kicked out).
He just said “Very well” and informed me that he would still be expecting me at the reunion tonight.
At the reunion, the entire house went quiet when I stepped in.
My relatives greeted me with disgusted looks and I could hear them whispering furiously among themselves.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ye Ye sitting at the dinner table.
What my Ye Ye said next, moved me to tears.
“This is XXXX. My grandson. Some of you think he is not fit to be part of this family home simply because he is attracted to men instead of women. Shame on you! If he leaves, I will too, and FUCK anyone who dares to tell me otherwise!”
The entire house went silent with shock.
Ye Ye then apologised for not taking action earlier, as he only found out today about my situation when he was informed that I was not coming for the reunion dinner.
After dinner, I went to his room and begged for forgiveness for bringing shame to the family.
But my Ye Ye, a military veteran, told me sharply that I had nothing to apologise for. He praised me for not living a double life, and commended me for my courage in coming out.
While he did concede that he was disappointed that he would never get to carry any great grandchildren from me, he resigned himself to the fact that some things in life are ‘just not meant to be’.
God bless you Ye Ye!
Based on a true story I read years ago on GLBT Voices, this heartwarming tale moved me so much that I still remember it up till today.
Thanks to the help of renowned gay comic artist Otto Fong, I was able to bring this story to life and I hope it inspires you as much as it once inspired me.
Here’s wishing everyone a prosperous and happy Chinese New Year!
if you see value in the work that Dear Straight People has been doing, do support us on Patreon so that we can continue producing LGBT centric content for the community: bit.ly/PatreonDSP
Sean Foo – Dear Straight People