We are young people from the Feast Queer Youth Drop In Space. We know quite a bit about journeys and migrations. There are some journeys we’ve already completed. Others that we are still on. Some we are just beginning …
An ethical and philosophical journey
Some of us are on ethical journeys. My mum has stage 4 terminal breast cancer. She’s in hospital right now and I don’t know whether to come out to her or not. I don’t know if I should tell her I am queer. She is about to undergo surgery that will be life-threatening. Earlier in the year she was facing a similar situation and I decided then that I wouldn’t come out to her at that time because I didn’t want it to be about me.
But it’s complicated. I’d never use the word lesbian, because my mum says such negative things about lesbians. Hurtful homophobic jokes. Those jokes have made the word lesbian seem so negative that I don’t use it. I use the word queer instead.
These tears are about wanting to make the right decisions on this ethical journey. Is it right to come out to my mum at this time or not? There’s no simple answer. It seems like life is an ongoing ethical and philosophical journey. I am out at university. I’m involved in supporting other young people.
I could choose to be straight, but I choose happiness. Being queer is happiness.
My message to other travellers
I’m from a very traditional Chinese family. There are a lot of expectations to get married, have kids, a picket fence. And also very clear ideas about what makes a successful life. I’m also asexual. The view of a successful married life with kids that my parents have, is not the vision I have for my life. I’ve had to face a lot of obstacles but there’s one cousin who supports me, who has stood up for me. When people in my family are pressuring me to be in a relationship, she says I’m in a relationship with food :). Sometimes I say I’m married to the sea – it’s a tumultuous relationship … lots of ups and downs :). My message to other travellers is: ‘Don’t succumb to peer pressure. Just hang on.’
Gender questioning as a research quest
When you realise that your genitals don’t match your gender, you have to start researching. Why is it like this? Can you be one gender and have different genitals? I remember in about year 10, I saw online that a man had become pregnant. Wow! This changed things for me. That’s when my research quest took a different shape. I had a new research question. I want to be a guy. I don’t have a penis. So how do I become a guy? This is a continuing journey. I use male pronouns now. I’m on a gender questioning research quest!
Helping each other
From a really young age I knew I liked boys, but I was quite scared of gay people or being gay. In fact, from Year 3 to Year 6 I really picked on this guy, James. He was one year older than me. I was relentless. I called him the F word. I harassed him over and over again. I still feel horrible about this. By the time we got to Year 6, he told people he didn’t care what other people said. I learned a lot from that. I learned a lot from him. For the way he stood up for himself. By Year 7, I apologised to him. Then I apologised to him again, and again, and again, for being so nasty. I came out in Year 9, but James wasn’t out. James still wasn’t out in Year 11 when he talked with me. He said he wanted to come out but asked, ‘how did you get ready to come out? How did you do it?’ I told him, ‘It was you who helped me get ready’. And he said, ‘Okay well now you’ve helped me’.
We’re still friends now.