Denny, in his own words:“When I was a little kid, I was attracted to men, and felt scared about my feelings. It took 20 years to admit that I am gay, so relieved! So being gay means being free, free from fear of myself.
My biggest challenge is to tell my family about myself, because until now only a few of my family want to accept who I am.
(My coming out story) is kind of funny, I used to keep my gay DVD among other movie DVD, and my aunt borrow my movie DVD and accidentally played my gay DVD! So she just smile to me and told me that her son is gay too. And I think she told my other family about this, but they all keep silent.
The gay community in Jakarta mostly stays in the closet, just a few come out.
(Advice to my younger self) Being gay is not a disease, nor a choice, it is destiny, just accept who you are, and be safe!”
Sepi, in his own words:“For me being gay is a destiny in my life, a feeling that is directly given by God, many people said that being gay is a choice but I totally disagree, because God never asked and gave me a chance to choose my sexual orientation.
Lots of people don’t know much about being gay and there are haters that strongly disagree about legalized same-sex relationships, but whether they know it or not true love begins with a feeling of the heart to another heart and doesn’t begin with sex to the other sex.
The challenge of my life as being gay was when I was 7 years old, and realizing I was a man who loved men, my struggling is how to love myself, trying to accept my sexual orientation because I live in a religious family environment, and when I was student in elementary school, I heard a phrase that “God loved His people,” since then I believe that God also loved me because I was created as a gay child.
I have a very unique story when I came out to my mom, when I was 20, I made a picture and I wrote the word in that picture “I’m sorry mom, I’m gay,” and I shared these images on my account on Facebook, and then my mom saw it. My mom left a comment on the picture and she said, “I’m feeling sad right now, maybe God has punished me for the sins I’ve done.” But I convinced my mom that no one is to blame on this case, “I said this is given from God.” And I’m very lucky because until now our relationship is very good and we became much closer, my mom just told me please be a good gay, and I’ll never forget the moment of that and I still keep the picture on my Facebook.
I was born and raised in Cianjur, West Java, which is a village and very homey. I had to walk about 20 minutes when I went to school, there is a conservative culture, so I only knew a little bit about the gay lifestyle. I tried to find information about being gay via social media, and at the end when I was 15 I began to knew about Top and Bottom terms, and after I finished my studies in high school when I was 17, I moved to the city of Jakarta, and here I knew what is the meaning of life, I can meet with many people who like me, in the city there are a lot of places for the gay community to gather like gay organizations, bars, parks, cafes, malls etc. Jakarta gives me with a lot of friends who helped me become a confident and modern gay.
(Advice to my younger self) Life as a gay man would not be easy, you will struggle to accept yourself, when you feel different, my advice is just to love yourself, follow your heart, because your heart will lead you to happiness, don’t listen to a bad word about your sexual orientation, but just listen if someone comments about your personality as a human, be friendly, stay humble, respect one another, because being a good gay is someone who has a good heart, and don’t forget to do the best with your attitude, because I love to set everything by attitude, enjoy your life and believe everyone can easily accept you as being gay.”
Richardo, in his own words:“Being gay for me is like a nature call. It comes from the deepest part of your soul. Some people can live with it, but some can not. Just like any other superheroes that have a special ability, they can show it, but they also can hide it. We can’t say that being gay is a choice, but to declare that “I’m gay” is a choice, and that’s not easy. No matter if you are gay, bi, or hetero, you’ll always be like that. No one can change and judge you. Some people can happily live with it, but some can not. It depends on how they see theirself and how people around them can accept it.
The greatest challenge in my life is to discover who you are, and trying to beat all the levels in your life. You know, sometimes it’s hard for us to get out from our comfort zone. Being who we are when many people are trying to see us as a treat, unusual, or worse- a freak. But that’s a life. People can talk bad about us, they don’t know who we are, just let them speak and do what you love.
Until now I still haven’t come out to my parents. But I think they already know about who I am. But well, my mom always supports me, she’s liberal enough, not like my dad. But I’m trying the best I can do to make them happy. I will show them that I can be someone someday and they will be proud of me no matter the sexual orientation that I have.
As always, be who you are. Love each other. When the world hates you, do not hate ’em back. Spending so much time throwing negative energy is useless, use it to build a better you. :)”