William, in his own words: “To me being gay is all about finding yourself, as in self discovery and being true to yourself. It is being able to love who you want to love, and not feeling guilty about loving.
I suppose the main challenges in my life was me, myself and I. I was very critical of myself and have always had high expectations of myself. I was my worst enemy. And the greatest success was overcoming my fear of losing to myself. I used to think that I was not good enough, but now, I would tell myself that I am pretty awesome. I may not be perfect, but I know that I am worth it.
I personally knew I was gay when I was very young, about 9 or 10. I didn’t really know what being gay was all about then, but I knew I liked men more than women. I was more attracted to men than the opposite sex. As I was growing up, I dated girls mainly because I was always taught that way, and that was what society at large taught me; however, I was never really comfortable holding their hands or even being intimate with them. I’d always imagine what it would be like to be intimate with another man. Coming from a Mormon family, it was hard to admit that you are gay because they have expectations. Expectations of being married, having a family and being an active church member and doing the “so-called” right thing. I served my mission in Hong Kong as a missionary for the church, and being away from home for 2 years and always surrounded by men, it was tough, but I hung on to the belief that I would someday also get married with and have a family. But as the months went on and years came by, I realized that I am really gay and nothing in this world would change how I felt about men. So, at the age of 21, after my first junior year in college, I decided I wasn’t going to lie to myself hence I came out and told my parents and family that I am gay. Since then I have been happier and feel free.
I suppose the gay community in Kuala Lumpur is pretty similar to the ones around the world. Boys will be boys.
(Advice I’d give my younger self) Be true to yourself and never give up on yourself. Love is not easy, but it is always worth it. So, don’t give up on Love.”