by Theia Nyx
13 was when I first learnt about other sexualities.
Sure, I’ve heard of the non-hetero sexualities, but my exposure to them was mostly limited to the very eloquent “you’re gay/your mom’s gay” from the rowdy prepubescent boys in school. “Gay” was a word thrown around as an insult.None of my teachers did anything about it, so I thought it was fine. I remember a classmate, being the troublemaker he is, loudly declaring that he’s gay and following up with other not-so-PG stuff about homosexuality. Everyone laughed, but what really stuck with me was how my teacher looked at him in contempt and said “Why would you ever say that? Don’t go around saying such nonsense anymore”.
14 was when I actively went to read up on what “gay” meant.
Thinking back, maybe Tumblr wasn’t exactly the best site to educate myself but I don’t regret it. Looking past some of the questionable content, Tumblr has actually taught me more things about life and about myself than the education system (and my traditional Asian parents) ever did.
It was also around then that I started questioning myself. Thinking back at the girls who I remember strongly liking (as pals, ha!) but yet never dared to strike a conversation with. As forthe girls who I was friends with, I distinctly remember wanting something more. I just didn’t know what ‘more’ was. I spent two whole years questioning my sexuality because I know people will brush any non-hetero sexuality off as “just a phase”. I didn’t want to give them (and myself) that possibility. Maybe it really was just a phase and I’m just confused and it’s all just puberty. Spoiler: I’m 21 and still bi.
16 was when I finally came out to myself.
A month later, I came out to my best friend, who was like “Congrats! But yeah, it’s kinda obvious.”My best friend promptly continued to talk shit about her lecturer. Coming out was a little underwhelming, but I realised it’s fine because being bisexual is really not a big deal. Along the way, I slowly came out to my close friends, who were all super accepting.
Glad to know I keep good company.
Coming out is a never-ending process. It has been years and I still have to tell (or remind) people that I’m not straight, but it definitely got easier as I became more secure in my sexuality. I’m openly bi and I also encourage open discussions about sexuality, because I realised that that helped not only me but my peers with the concept of sexuality too. I mean… it’s not like we have open discussions about sexuality in school or anything, right… Why would teenagers, going through puberty and dealing with all the hormones, have any questions about sex and sexuality? Pfft!
I really wish our education system helped more during my confusing questioning years. There was zero education or exposure (of any sort) about non-hetero sexualities in school, I couldn’t find any other accessible content about LGBTQ+ (besides Tumblr) and I was so afraid to ask my teachers out of fear that they will judge and belittle my feelings.
If only we had access to such a vibrant community and its resources through our education. I really could have used that additional support system and that would have saved me (and many other teens in the same situation) so much time, pain, and confusion.
That would have also been a great way to educate straight people too, who are most definitely also part of the pain and confusion.
With all that said, do better, Singapore.
Being Queer in School is a series of community submissions that seek to explore what it means to be queer in the Singapore education system. If you have anything to share with us, submit to us through e-mail.