Friday, August 8, 2008

If and When

Wow.

I hope I am either the first or second one you've told, same goes for your mother.

It won't change a thing we think about you. And I hope it doesn't make you see us differently either.

It is good you tell us, because this is a place where we can be at home with one another.

I worry for you because other people will not accept you for who you are. Worse still, they are not obliged to do so.

I hope you will be respectful to yourself and not F around. Be an honest, gracious and loving person and we are more than proud.

I hope you will also find others to love and be loved, because we all won't be around forever to ensure that happens. But at in this home, you don't have to worry about loving or being loved.

What is more important for all of us is that you are healthy and happy.

- - - - -

I will probably say at least half of the stuff above if I found out my kid was queer.

Having attended one event at Indignation which dealt, rather poignantly, with the issue of one coming out to one's parents and the subsequent struggles to acceptance and for support.

I got the vibes from the session that sons and daughters who have come out, seem to view parents as inadequate, ill-adjusted and ill-equipped, that they do not understand and lack a sufficient level of love and empathy when their kids come out to them.

I believe while one cannot choose one's parents, one can make the right decisions, choose the rightful beliefs, and lead a happy life.

Dissecting the parent does little to help. You may diagnose the problem as a mum's want to "save face", or a dad's staunch religiosity, or parents who are generally narrow-minded and/or old-fashioned.

In the end, it is all about the development and esteem of the son/daughter concerned.

The parents we know are mostly the products of their parents' parenting and various forms of socialisation. We children were never there to socialise our mums and dads when they were young. They have learned in their own way.

Maybe I'm idealistic, but I believe the best a parent(s) can do is to create an environment where the child feels at home, feels loved and always feel free to love.

To me, a family should at least have this function, nevermind its form (although the government would encourage a certain form that would benefit the whole economic process).

I think if parents are encouraging and supportive of their child at most times, it does not really matter whether their child is of a different sexual orientation or has a different gender identity.

Any how, the past week has been an interesting one. I am quite happy to have completed the event organised by the Singapore Queer-Straight Alliance (SinQSA), and there were lots to take home from the audience participation. I will have to work on the points and suggestions put forth by them and see how SinQSA can benefit and improve.

Also started my first week as a graduate student, doing nothing much other than basic administrative procedures as well as deciding on what I was going to do for my Masters Thesis. The topic of course would be sexual minority-focused media studies, but am deciding whether to go the social science way, the humanities way or the hybrid (which was used in my Honours Thesis).

I cannot wait to get into the routine of learning all over again. This time, there are some teaching duties, as part of the obligation of a research scholar.

You have to teach what you know (that's the assumption).

Some teach what they love.

For myself I never fancied teaching, because the lure of being a student, on the receiving end of an education, is too great. There is always an investment in another person when you teach. I believe we should invest in ourselves first before we can invest in others.

I have my anxieties. The results of the Diagnostic English Test is around the corner. Did not feel very confident doing it. I think it is because I have never fancied an examination setting where you have to churn out a piece of work within a specified time.

I'm very proud to say that I have generally done very well in most of my term essays, relative to that of the exams. For my thesis, I spent almost a year writing it (and researching), compared to others who have done it in less than 5 months. This strength is also a weakness, if given the same short amount of time to write an essay, I will probably be less than mediocre.

I have also finally settled my HDB flat recess area purchase, after being stalled for more than a month. There has been a gulf in communications and expectations between HDB and the Town Council. The loser is the resident. Very relieved this is over and we can move on (I sound like Wong Kan Seng).

I realised I am very lucky and privileged to have been granted the scholarship to pursue my Masters degree. Some have worked to save up for their further studies, while others have taken loans (like a large portion of undergraduates). I could never have imagined being in their position. I always worry about the future more than I care about it, but at least for now, there is one less thing to worry about.

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