Openly Straight

23 08 2014

A review I left on the VPL page for Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg:

As a teen reading this, this would’ve been a breath of fresh air to have a narrator who isn’t struggling with his sexuality, and where the romance feels realistic and genuine. As an adult reading this (which I am), I can see all the issues Konigsberg is tackles: what it’s like to be gay in a changing and progressing society, the conflict to be open vs. being seen and labeled as “the gay”, friendship. The other thing about Konigsberg’s writing is that his characters (including his previous novel, Out of the Pocket) are well-defined and rounded, even the minor ones. Fantastic writing and great story.

One of my favourites I’ve read this year!


Can’t come out

2 04 2014

Had the opportunity to explain my memoir I’m working on to a couple of people, and I described it as my life growing up in Vancouver… in a traditional Chinese family… and although the next thing I should have said was that I’m also gay, which I think is a major issue that I write about, and even though the thought flashed in my mind like a giant neon sign, I couldn’t say it. I was just so self-aware with labeling myself as gay that I couldn’t say it. And it isn’t the first time, but looking back now, I know they probably wouldn’t have cared (and maybe they would’ve even found it interesting). It sucks and it’s ironic because in my creative writing classes, I’ve written about gay things and being gay so much that I’m sure everyone is sick of me being so gay. Yet in the real world, I can’t even say the words sometimes. I know coming out is always difficult, but why is it always such a struggle? Will I ever be able to come out to people and just say it without overthinking it and being so self-conscious about it?

Ugh. I need sleep.


17 12 2013

This pretty juvenile poetry. I think I was trying to go for a baseball metaphor/pun about a guy named Jake who the narrator (ie. me) has a crush on, and wondering if he played for the other team or the same team.

Wake up from a dream, grinning
Me and the boy I’d love to date
(Wish you could get into those positions we were in)
‘Cause it’s the bottom of the ninth inning
and up to bat is Jake.
(Catching on the other team is… Jake)

Why I should keep writing

23 01 2013
Look what I got in my inbox this morning, sent from someone in Saudi Arabia:
“I am not sure whether or not you are the one who wrote the wonderful story “A Lonely Astronaut,” from the ‘Tough Times Fro Teens’ book of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. The story, however, touched my heart and soothed my soul in a very positive way.”
This is what I hope to do, and for that matter, what I believe all artists ultimately want to do– to affect other people, to bring out some sort of emotional impact in people.  It’s comments like these that encourage me to keep writing when I doubt myself.  It’s comments like these that show I’m at least doing something right.
Thank you.

Best way to come out to your family

20 01 2013

As the guy I`m seeing said when I showed him this video, “I fucking love this!!! What`s his number?”

Watch me “act”!

7 01 2013

Here’s the rough cut of the first short film I wrote and directed, titled Stay.  As I posted in the comments (but not in the description… I should probably do that sometime), the rough cut was filmed first to submit to a film festival (the Vancouver Queer Film Festival) in hopes of buying me more time so I could make the film with Nelson and Minh. It was shot in one afternoon and edited quickly vs. the real film, which was shot in three days. I think Nelson and I did only a couple rehearsals before shooting too, both on the day of.  It’s imperfect and it really is rough and I wish I could’ve acted a bit better (but I’m not an actor so I excuse myself), but what’s there is there, and it’s not all bad.

Enjoy me half-naked!

Boyfriend dream

7 09 2012

Woke up and wrote this all down before I forgot because I think it’s a little special.

Boyfriend dream

I was in a relationship with my dashing friend Owen.  We also were on tour with the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, on their tour bus as they drove across the country (which they don’t do, of course).  At one stop, the QFF set up some promotional stuff in this town, including Owen’s contribution: a bright pink, glittering diorama featuring him and another girl on stage.  There was also some writing with the diorama explaining how super gay he was.

Owen’s mother was there, and he had not come out to his family yet.  I found her staring at her son’s very loud diorama, and went over to her.  I asked her about his singing and his songs.  She kept asking me, “When?” which confused me, and when I tried to clarify, she only repeated the same question: “When?”  I told her I hadn’t heard any of songs Owen had been writing, but that he had told me he was writing some songs last summer.

I walked off so she could absorb the news of son’s strange coming out.  There were also two other younger kids there with her, presumably her other children.

I texted Owen to “come here” since his family was there.  He didn’t respond.  Instead, the next thing I knew, he was standing with his family and talking with his dad.  It appeared they were arguing.  I stood a little way off, watching, knowing this wasn’t my place.  Both of us, and possibly everyone there, was dressed in black.  I was dressed in my uniform from Fifth Avenue.

Owen came over and said I should properly meet them.  He took my hand and confidently walks over to his family.  I, on the other hand, am a nervous wreck.  I look up at him, and his face is hard and determined, and I feel bad.  I ask him if it’s really appropriate/too much that we’re holding hands especially since his dad just got the news and isn’t okay with it, and we let our hands fall.

Owen introduced me to his father, who glared at me.  I knew he though I “corrupted” his son.  My lip trembled from being so nervous.  His dad said I was just a “sex hookup” and left.  I yelled back as he was leaving that Owen and I hadn’t even had sex yet, and that we were still together because loved each other.  I said goodbye to his family, and called his mother Alice (because we were totally bffs).  I told Owen his mom was much nicer/understand than his dad, while Owen struggles to genuflect awkwardly and for seemingly no reason at all.

That’s it.  I don’t actually know if Owen’s mom’s name is Alice but it would be freaky if it were.  I texted him today and told him I had a dream with him in it but he didn’t respond.  I’ll ask him about his mom later.

By the way, Owen has a girlfriend.  Or so he says.

Stay on youtube

11 08 2012

I uploaded my short film Stay on youtube yesterday and it’s already gotten 476 views!  I knew gay films on youtube were popular but I didn’t think it would be that popular that fast.

Anyway, enjoy!  (if you haven’t already seen it)

The World Behind Closed doors (part 8)

3 12 2011

A few days later, we met again to talk things out.  I told him everything on my mind – about how I felt like a friend to him, about how I felt like I was going back in the closet because of it.  Every other word from him was “sorry”, and I knew he really meant it, but words were only words.  We mutually decided to break up.  He tore his world away from the one we had created shut the door behind him.

The last I heard from Kem, he is still in the closet.  I truly hope one day I will look back at this essay and remember the time he wasn’t out and how he eventually found the courage to open the door.  I hope I will remember how his mother knew all along and accepted it, even after much difficulty.  I hope he won’t have to resort to being with a woman like he said he might.  I hope for both their sakes.

We all live in different worlds.  The world Kem and I constructed, though a flawed paradise, could not have survived.  Worlds should co-exist, not be hindered by each other.  They shouldn’t be restrained by hinges or doors.  Worlds should be open, ready and willing to be explored, and most importantly, boundless.  What good is a world – a life – if no one can see it?

The End

[I’m not super happy about how I wrote this ending but it’ll do for now.  Thanks to those to read the whole thing.]

The World Behind Closed Doors (part 5)

29 11 2011

Because of his busy schedule with school, organizing events and concerts, and teaching piano, Kem would visit only a couple times a week, usually the only times we were able to be together to do anything.  During the occasions where my mom was home, he would politely say hi to her, who would in turn politely ask how school was going and how he was doing.  After chatting briefly, he would then come into my room where we would do homework for a while with the door slightly ajar (his idea) so my mom wouldn’t get ideas.  Here in this room, he could be himself.  We could talk about our next dates or I would give him a quick kiss or touch his arm.  And once my mom had gone to bed, we would quietly have sex, with him being extra careful to make sure I wasn’t moaning too loudly in case my mom heard.

One of the first times we had sex, he left at maybe 12:30am.  The next morning, my mother asked me why he left so late and replied, “We were playing cards and he fell asleep.”  Neither of those activities happened, of course.

Hanging out with my friends was slightly better.  I had told them before that Kem was my boyfriend and no one had a problem with it – except Kem.  He wasn’t comfortable being affectionate with me while we all hung out, keeping his distance from doing anything remotely lovey-dovey while my straight friends and their significant others groped one another in front of us.  It was as if he was a magnet: strongly attracted to me only behind my bedroom door but repelled outside it.

None of his friends knew.  We kept up the lie that he was helping me with my university application and no one questioned it.  His friends would hover around him after concerts at school, all talking, reminiscing, laughing at teachers and classes while I stood silently nearby, trying not to feel uncomfortable being just another friend.

(continued in part 6…)