Being Gay

Me and treeI first encountered the word “homosexuality” in my second year in Wuhan University when I was looking up the world of “honesty” in my English-English dictionary. There were people who loved those of the same sex! I was reminded of my past attraction and sexual encounters with other boys and I suspected that I was one of these people.

But the Chinese government denied that homosexuals existed in China and called them decadent products of the Western capitalist society. I tried for years to change myself to become attracted to girls in vain. The nature force inside me demanded that I exist sexually and romantically. I relentlessly applied to graduate studies in the West and finally succeeded in coming to Canada.

The shame of being gay was so deeply rooted inside me that I tried to be a heterosexual again in Canada. After having a brief sexual relationship with a woman, I finally stopped trying and completely accepted myself.Baba and me

My father passed away in 1991 to cancer without knowing that I was gay. During his 12 years fight with cancer, he had repeatedly expressed his hope to see me get married and have children before he would die. I could only jokingly tell him that I would never marry so he would never die, which made him laugh.

I wanted to have a more truthful relationship with my mother without hiding this important aspect of my life from her. I wrote and recorded the song “Mama” and mailed her a cassette copy. In the song I told her that “I don’t want to marry and have children, just want to find a life partner.” Then I flew to China to come out to her in 1995.

Mama and meWith love and sorrow, my mother accepted me. Years later I asked her if it would have been better for her to not know the truth and hence to avoid so much sadness she had experienced in the process of completely accepting my sexual orientation, she replied that she preferred what I had done. “It has brought us closer together,” she said.

I appreciate the gay-positive environment in Canada. I have had a long-term relationship. I am hopeful for an even better relationship.