Dear Closeted Art,
I know you’re still young, shy and have no idea how enormous the world is. You may find it difficult for you to grow up as your parents are divorced. You’re a very quiet boy living in fear of being bullied at school or of disappointing your family.
You may think that pretending to fancy what or who you actually don’t will help you survive each day. But deep down you’re feeling uncomfortable, aren’t you? You know what, one day you’ll learn that your future will, in fact, be much more vibrant than you think. If you let loose a little or live a little, you’ll come across many more fabulous things in your present life.
In 2004, you’ll have the chance to travel abroad for the first time for an English Language summer course in London. That trip will be the start of your identity exploration. You’ll be eager to enter the gay scene and discover things on your own.
Once you’re back in Bangkok, you’ll still be in the closet but you’ll learn how to love and to let go of what doesn’t work. It will take a long time and you will feel very uncomfortable. You will drive yourself crazy a lot. Don’t blame it on yourself because you are young and still lack experience. Don’t let TV dramas and films romanticise your life too much. You’ll learn that it’s such a waste of time to be sobbing for uncertain things in reality.
Love is not as horrendous as you think. You’ll learn that love comes in many diverse forms. Many people care about you and support you more than you think. Don’t think that you’re all alone, you silly little lad. You have to love yourself before you can love others. You have your family and your beloved friends to love too and that comes before romantic love.
In your third year of university, you will get to know many wonderful friends through the advent of digital social networks. You may feel that you have no one to listen to you because you’re still in the closet and scared that they will fade away. You may not feel like you have someone to talk to about your personal matters. Fortunately, you’ll get to know a lot of like-minded gay friends whom you’ll share things and traits in common with. Thanks to that, you will learn and you will grow both as a person and as a gay man.
You’ll meet your best friends and you’ll also start hanging out with boys like yourself. Can you believe it? You won’t feel embarrassed being seen in the gay scene because the environment is so welcoming and inclusive that you’ll start enjoying it. Once you’ve accepted yourself, you’ll feel confident enough to come out to your friends at university and that will be how you finally get the weight off your chest.
You will get to know as many people as you can. On the other hand, time will prove who are fit for you, and who will stay in your life. You’ll be back in the UK for your graduate studies. This will be another challenging time for you. You’ll enjoy your gay life a lot.
You’ll learn to be free, to feel bliss, and also to feel hurt and disappointment. There will be ups and downs – that’s how you mature, and that’s what makes your life amazingly dynamic. Friendship, romance and change will lead you to be very proud of who you are and who you’ve become. And when that day finally arrives, you’ll be brave enough to call your mum saying ‘Hi mum, I’m gay and I have a boyfriend.’
You’ll realise how lucky you are that no matter when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, you have the best mum in the world who will always listen to you and support you. Above all, I want to thank you for being you. There wouldn’t be me today without you.
Read other letters from Thais here:
Por Surayot – Letter To My Closet
V-Rasak Pitaktrairong – Letter To My Closet
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