- Community Ambassador alumni
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- a lover of tea, cats, and musicals, but not the musical Cats

Message to Readers

It's been a while since I wrote. I was grocery shopping with my mom when I got this idea for a line that got cut out ("I'm tired of the conversations we will never have") and then I started getting weirdly emotional composing this piece in my head (ack hormones) and had to blink back tears because I was out in public and couldn't explain to my mom why I was crying (for obvious reasons).
Anyhow, feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Dear Mom: Unsent Letters of One Angsty Queer Child

July 10, 2020

Dear Mom,
What are your hopes and dreams for me? 
You’ve worked so hard to start build a life in a new country - you've started business, learned English, and worked 365 days a year to support the life you built for me. I know you expect some returns for all the time, money and effort you invested in me. I suppose that’s expected, with you being a businesswoman and all. I know you would be proud if I became a doctor or lawyer. Imagine being able to flaunt that to your friends! But I know you would be equally proud if I pursued something of my own choosing. You've always support my whispered dreams of becoming a writer and allowed me to explore my interests. When it comes to mothers, I’ve won a lottery of sorts. No matter what I do, I know you would want me to be happy. 
But what if what makes me happy causes you pain?

Dear Mom, 
Remember the time we saw Billy Porter doing the pre-Academy Awards interviews on TV? You know him as the “Black gay guy in the golden dress”. You scoffed at his choice of clothing and mocked his voice. I could only stare with envy at his dress and the way he pulled it off. If my existence was to be a defiance of social norms, I wanted to do it in style. 
Pointing to the screen, I asked you what the Chinese word for gay was. Then I asked you what the word for bisexual was. Figured it might be useful for later on. 

Dear Mom,
Do you wonder what I daydream of? You always tell me to pay attention to the road, and I try, I really do. But fantasy is so much better than reality. Whenever the car is filled with the sounds of microaggressions escalating into fights, I slip off into the world of my own creation. Over there, I’m a better version of myself. I’m confident, witty and able to live as my best self.
One time, I tried imagining what it would be like if I came out to you, and you were okay with it. My mind drew a blank. 
Somehow, a daydream of me riding a dragon, saving a kingdom and marrying the crown princess was more realistic than imagining a world where you accepted me unconditionally. 

Dear Mom,
Just so you know, I tried being straight for as long as I could. I told myself that it was perfectly normal for straight girls to question their sexuality, to imagine kissing their female friends. I told myself that all I felt was intense “sisterly love”. If it came to it, I thought I could live out my gayness in secret during my twenties and then settle down with a nice, well-off Chinese boy when the time comes. Heck, maybe that’s what I’ll do. I don’t care if I’m “living a lie”, if this means that I will have a family to turn to at the end of the day, I’ll do it. I might even fall for this guy. I am bisexual, after all. Who’s to say?

Dear Mom,
You say that I should always be prepared. That’s why I come up with worst-case scenarios in my head so I know what to do when the time comes. If things go bad, I plan to turn to either Uncle Kevin or Mary. While Uncle is a bit homophobic, he’s always taken care of me. Mary is probably the safer option, her being my cousin and a generation removed of our parents; therefore, likely more accepting of me. However, I can’t imagine living out these situations permanently. 
I’m genuinely scared that my backup plans will fail and I will be met with nothing but cold shoulders and closed doors. I’m falling, Mom. Who will be there to catch me?

Dear Mom,
How many times will I have to come out to you for you to understand? Personally, I think it will take more than three times. Once to introduce the idea to you. Twice to confirm that this isn’t a phase. Three times to get you to understand that I don’t need therapy or anyone to “fix” me. By then, who will you blame for how I turned out? My “bad” friends? Gay representation in media? Western society for enforcing the idea of being gay is okay? 
Will you mourn for the destruction of traditional values? Will you mourn for the grandchildren you might never have? 

Dear Mom,
Do you know that I will love you no matter what? Even if you disowned me and threw me on the streets, a part of me will still yearn for the mother I knew. You're the woman who has raised me to become a person I can be proud of, instilled your trademark self-confidence and determination in me and championed my dreams. You are the world to me because you brought me into this world. 
When you say “I love you” now for a smile I've grown fond of, I wonder if that will still hold up if you knew the truth. Perhaps that’s why I find it so hard to sincerely say “I love you” back. Because it hurts loving someone who you know won’t, no, can’t love you.

Dear Mom,
Will I still be able to call you that? Will I still be your daughter? 


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  • Paisley Blue

    This is amazing. I have dealt with a lot of the same feelings, especially the "intense sisterly love" ones. I came out to my mom and she surprised me by not being all that upset. I'm lucky. This is really wonderful writing, though. Nice job <3

    5 months ago
  • crow_e

    this is heartbreaking, especially the second to last letter. you are valid and you are loved <3

    5 months ago
  • Lone-writer

    i loved this it was beautifully written

    5 months ago
  • nadiakhan

    This is really beautifully written and wonderfully evocative. Seriously well done, you managed to make my eyes well up. Best of luck!

    5 months ago