Six Love Letters to Russia — Lucia

7 02 2014

My friend and super smart, artistic, creative, brilliant writer Chris Gatchalian, put together a video project featuring six Vancouver writers and artists who wrote love letters to Russia in response to all the gay stuff that’s been happening over there. I was delighted and honoured when he invited me to be a part of the project, as this issue had been on my mind for a while and I didn’t know what I could do about it. Writing and reading a love letter to Russia seemed like a good, creative way to make a statement.

The first video was uploaded today and features playwright Lucia Frangione recalling her visits to Russia. It’s so well-written and measured — I really, really enjoy it.

My video will be up in a few days. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, share this video!

You know what’s unfair?

5 02 2014

When you spend the time reading over other classmates’ work, write down meaningful feedback, send it to them — only to not get feedback from them when it’s your turn for workshop. What the hell. I will try to contain myself tomorrow for class, but I make no promises that I won’t end up accidentally stabbing someone in the throat with a pen. Just saying.

Oh, and also homophobia isn’t fair too. Yeah, that sucks.

What do you say to your homophobic dad?

2 05 2013

For example, how would you respond to an email that says (in part) this:

There is a big difference  in a relationship  between the gay  and the traditional,it’s what comes after( children ) ,it’s human nature even wild animals , to look after their young,( to provide food and shelter/ all the necessities etc ,)  With the children in tow, they have to realize  to have to work to set up and run as a family , no more fooling around.
It’s obvious the gay relationship will not end up with  this kind of headache , so it’s party time every day,and it’s easy to find target of interest when you are young and full of energy/desire ,relationships don’t last , the possibility of contacting serious diseases prevail . It’s no wonder  gay men would general die young before their time.

I believe my dad isn’t aware of how his beliefs are actually hurtful and offensive to others (ie. me), so I patiently explained how his words weren’t very nice, and how his outdated, stereotypical beliefs were wrong.

My dad was responding to a personal essay I wrote about what it means to win people back after a relationship. I included some anecdotes in the essay about my father’s experiences trying to win my mom back, as well as my own. He had this to say about my piece:

You don’t need me to tell you that this essay can only be found in the gay magazine and newspaper

Well, I didn’t need him to tell me because, quite frankly, it’s not true. I know it isn’t. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I have a better picture of the publishing industry than he does. Also, and more importantly, most people, especially in Vancouver, are a lot more open to diversity than him.

How would you respond if you got this email?

Salvation Army is not friendly towards LGBT folks

19 01 2013

I had no idea.  This is really disheartening.

Experiment: gay parents bashed

3 11 2012

This made me cry.

Also, I would like to comment on the discrepancy of the reactions between the Texans and the New Yorkers to the gay couple.  For one, there were more people in the restaurant in New York than in Texas.  Therefore, there is a greater bystander effect, and the probability of people intervening will be less (as it was).  I would also note that being in a big city such as New York tends to make people anti-social in general — it certainly does so here in Vancouver.  Texas feels a bit more local, more part of the community, unlike what must have happened in New York.  So the lack of reaction or people doing anything in New York isn’t necessarily because they are surprisingly more homophobic despite their well-known liberalism as a state, but because of other socio-psychological issues.

Anyway, I still cried.

Pink Shirt Day

29 02 2012

Last night, while exiting my favourite store, London Drugs, I caught a glimpse of a sign that reminded me that Pink Shirt Day was tomorrow (ie. today). Coincidentally, I posted one of my favourite It Gets Better videos yesterday, not realizing that it was fitting with today.  Also, I think I screwed up the link somehow but I’ve fixed it now. I’m wearing my (two!) pink shirts today, although since it’s kind of cold outside, I didn’t really get a chance to show it off.  It’s the thought that counts, right?

I also wanted to share one of the top rated comments on the Joel Burns’s video:

For all those who think he cries too much – you have no idea how it feels not to be able to tell your own mother why you are so depressed all the time, how it feels to lie awake all night facing the terrifying emptiness, a bottomless pit of despair, second after second, minute after minute, day after day trough interminable time.

That about sums it up, really.  I remember those days.  I remember being so scared to even write in my journal about being gay for fear that my mom or my sister would somehow find my journal and read it.  I should probably write about that sometime.

In the meantime, here’s Joel’s video again.

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…)

Writing music is hard

2 10 2011

Especially 25 minutes of music for a silent film.  Very hard.  Thank god I’m done.  Now it’s on to re-writing and re-writing a story for the Purple Letter Campaign (submit a story yourself, everyone!).

How Many Gays Must God Create Before We Accept That He Wants Them Around?

12 05 2011

I like logic because it makes sense and I understand.

This argument seems very logical to me.

Article (part 2)

13 03 2011

“Jeez, hurry up, Jeremy!  What were you doing?  Daydreaming?”  I looked at her and then at my books.


When I got home, I had to immediately go to my room.  My parents told me that I ihad to finish my homeowkr before dinner, and if I didn’t, I had to finish after.  But this time, I just lay on my bed and thought about Sean.  God, how much I loved that boy, even from the first time I ever saw him (oh yeah, I’m gay if you haven’t already noticed).  Yet, no one would ever know how much he meant to me — well, except Chelsea.  She knew about me already.  I was relieved she was okay with it and wanted to come out to everyone.  Nevertheless, there was just no way.  My parents would kick me out, my school would hate me, and not to mention Sean might hate me!  I glanced around my room and thought about how boring my life was.  Something needed to happen!  I knew just what to do.

The next week, when issues of Teenink were distributed throughout our schooo, I waited anxiously at everyone’s reaction.  I looked for and found Chelsea.

“Have you read my new article?” I jumped up and down like a 12-year old schoolgirl.

“No, but I will now.”  She grabbed an issue her from locker and found the correct page.  I gave her a few minutes to read my article.  When she finished, she gave me a hug, which was surprising to say the least.

“I’m so proud of you, Jeremy.”  I took a breath and let it out.

“So am I.”

That scene right there was actually the only good thing to happen to me that day.  The rest of the student body all stared at me and uttered hate words to me, though most of them I didn’t even know.  Somebody spray-painted my locked with the word “fag”.  Hmm… perhaps coming out was not such a good idea after all.

I returned home after getting beaten up, robbed, and yelled at with hate words.  I expeccted some opposition but like this.  My nose bled as I walked into my house.  Immedialy, my dad asked me what happened.

“Oh nothing.  Just got the crap beat out of me!”  My mother, who was in the next room, came, took one look at me, and ran for the first-aid kit.  I sat down on the couch in the living room.  I asked my dad if he loved me.

“Yes, of course I do.  What happened?”  At that moment, my mom came downstairs and started cleaning me up.  I asked her the same question, and she replied the same.  They both stared at me strangely, but concerningly.  I took out a copy of Teenik and showed them my article.

After they read it, they looked at one another.  Again, I asked the same question.

“Do you love me?”  I was surprised how well they kept their anger in control.  My parents got up.  My mother started crying while my father answered.

“I think you know the answer.”  I couldn’t tell if he did or didn’t by the tone of his voice.

“So yes?”  My voice came out weak.  Without answering, my father lead my mom out of the room.

In the bathroom, I was so angry and depressed at the same time.  My parents didn’t understand.  I could hear them saying how they didn’t want me around.  My dad said something like kicking me out.  The phone began to ring.  My parents ignored it, and I did too.  I took out a razor from the cabinet and cried.

Eventually, the answering machine picked up.

“Jeremy?  Are you there?  Well, I guess not.  I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry for what you’re going through.  What I’m actually getting at is… I really like you.  I want to get to know you better… well, I hope you’re alright.  Oh!  And about what you said about me in the article… I love you, too.”

Click.  Sean hung up after I slashed myself.

[That’s the end of the story.  Typing this up, there are a lot of corrections I want to make but I decided to leave it in the original form.  Maybe I’ll edit this for later.  Oh, and I got 5 out of 6 on it.  :)]