You are very lucky to never have to struggle like others do with your same-sex attraction. Even in kindergarten, the cutest girl in class caught your attention. You didn’t recognise it then, of course, you only wanted her to like you. It happened again in primary school, then secondary school. You just couldn’t help but be attracted to cute girls. Being in same-sex schools gave you exposure to same-sex flirtations and senior ‘idol’ worship, so it wasn’t a huge taboo for you. Not even when the school found out about you and your girlfriend and sent you both to the counsellor, who tried to set you on the ‘natural’ path.
Deep down in your heart, it never felt wrong, because you know that you can’t be anything but true to yourself. You never understood how it was possible for people to hide their true selves, because you’re constantly trying to figure out what it means to be you. Having said that, you realized however, that society recognises same-sex attraction to be wrong. Then you started adopting a ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ strategy, even with family. Friends have generally accepted you. Those that couldn’t, you let them leave.
Ironically, the main struggle in your teenage years was not that you liked girls (you have already embraced it as naturally as breathing). It was that you also were attracted to guys, albeit in a much smaller proportion. Sexuality was painted in black and white terms and you felt confused (and slightly guilty) that you could never properly identify as lesbian.
But don’t worry! Years later, thanks to attending university lectures in sociology and sexuality [thank you very much for the enlightening classes, Dr Leong Wai Teng!], you’ll come to realize nothing in life is black and white. And especially not social constructions like sexuality. You’ll start to feel confident asserting your unique brand of sexuality as “89.37% attracted to girls”. You won’t give a shit about labels because they’ve never helped.
At the same time, always remind yourself to practice gratitude. Your family has fully accepted you, via a touching speech from your father when he was slightly inebriated. He says he knows you like girls and that you’ll always have his support no matter what. Not everyone has this kind of luck with families. In turn, pass the kindness and acceptance along. Remind others that they’ll always find love. That no matter how lonely they feel, someone still cares about them, without any judgments or conditions.
That someone could be you.
Read other letters from Singaporeans here:
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