Category: Notes From Across the World

A Note From Szhakti, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia…


Some people says love was made in heaven, but optimists says love is how we build up our relationships with another person. It’s that moment, that second and that time where u decide this is what you haven’t the most.
But love isn’t easy, it hasn’t being easy.

Today love is more like a need than a commitment, its more to a way of life than living for each other. It’s like you have a steady sex buddy more than too wake up beside the person you love the next day.

I did try to love after Arun passed on to the other world, I did try to love again. Learn to love more preciously, but it is not an easy step as the people I cross through only look at the outer look and not the inner person who eager to fell love again, to feel the warm beat of the heart.

My friends say I never moved on at all and still clinging on my passed. It’s easy to say so but I did move on. It’s just that when I did the people whom I meet on my path only seek for the pleasure of the skin, some even made me a show doll and some even made me think I do still can fall in love but they all proved one thing ‘ Love isn’t easy at all’.

Love is all about understanding, to care and to be care, to share the feelings. To be passion about each other and to feel the Lub-Dub of your heart muscles when the special person beside you.
True love is hard to find.

It can’t be found it is just there when its meant to be it is. Like what oldies will say, ‘Love is made in heaven’, I guess just have to wait patiently for mine even though it has being 12 years im still looking for the lost treasure called ‘Love’.”

photo by Szhakti
photo by Szhakti

A Note From Jonathan, in Los Angeles…

“Hi Kevin,

I just stumbled upon your article in Hello Mr. and Googled your website as soon as I finished reading it. As I scrolled through the photos and stories of gay men around the world, I felt compelled to find the “coming out” email I wrote on November 17, 2010 to my brother, who was living in China at the time. I used the email to come out to my parents on that same evening, though I read the letter aloud to my parents in our little home in Olney, Maryland because the idea of talking to them without the paper barrier between us made me want to run back into my room and lose myself in more episodes of “Six Feet Under.” I haven’t looked at the email since that night, which was now almost four years ago, and I’m in tears remembering the pain I felt as my mom silently left the room, but also in reflecting on the journey that my mom and I have been on since that evening in our living room. I wrote this in the email to my brother:

I worry about Mom and Dad, and I feel they both played a large role in leading me to repress everything over the years. They’ve often made remarks at the mention of someone who’s gay or when there’s a gay character on TV, short expressions that always make my heart sink every time. Things like “Ew” or when I told them Will was gay and Mom said, “He’s…gay. Does that make you uncomfortable?” But I have faith this minor homophobia stems from an innocent ignorance and not a moral issue with homosexuality.

I’m proud to say that my relationships with my friends and family–including my mom–are stronger now than I could’ve ever imagined. In fact, when I think about my mom and dad re-reading that email, I imagine they’d experience a similar sadness in being reminded of their initial reactions to my coming out. But they quickly created a community for me as I tried all the gay stereotypes on for size in hopes of finding one that would fit and, in more recent years, as I’ve been learning about love and heartbreak.

I’m not sure if you’re still updating the site, but I felt the urge to send you this message tonight. I’ve attached a photo to this email as well. It’s the only picture I have of me in my new room in Los Angeles, where I moved four weeks ago after living in San Francisco for the last few years. I told my friend who was in my room with me that I didn’t want him to take it. He did anyway. And I’m very glad he did. I’m proud of where and who I am right now, and a little picture immortalizing this moment in time can’t hurt. :)

Thanks for reading and for sharing the wonderful website that you’ve created.”

photo provided by Jonathan
photo provided by Jonathan

A Note From Justin, in Saco, Maine…

“Choosing whether to come out and when to do so is a very personal decision. So many factors come into play. For those past school age, how your employer might take it can weigh heavily on you. In my case, it was the voters in my legislative district.

At 20 years old, I decided to run for election for the Maine House of Representatives. I was still in college and openly gay. Well, open to my friends and my immediate family. It was never something I really had to think about. I never had an actual ‘coming out’. Most people who meet me just assume that I’m gay.

When it came to the campaign, I knew this would be a bit different. I knew I may be forced to clarify this aspect of my identity, and that there would be people who vote against me just because of this personal detail. I also knew that I couldn’t hide it.

And why would I want to? I didn’t need to parade through the streets with a bullhorn, but being honest is important in any profession, particularly in politics. Moreover, for my sanity I wanted to get on top of the story rather than have it become one later. I wanted to make it a non-issue, so that it wouldn’t become an issue.

So I ran openly and honestly. If someone asked, I would answer. But what I discovered is that most people couldn’t care less. People were generally more concerned about the issues. Substance was more important to people. Generally speaking, voters treated me no differently than any other candidate who came to their door.

Running as an openly gay candidate wasn’t without its challenges. Throughout the campaign a handful of people stole my campaign signs and graffitied them with derogatory language. This occurred right up to election day. At one point I had to involve the police because the theft and vandalism had become so rampant.

Here I had to make a choice: do I bring this to light to shame the homophobes who did this or do I stay silent? While many of those closest to me suggested that I go to the media with what was happening, I decided not to. Why give these people the power by giving them exactly what they wanted—attention and a reaction from me? I put on a good front that it didn’t bother me. But when you are constantly having to take down signs smeared with hate speech, it does take an emotional toll. But I chose to take the high road. I persevered.

I won my election with 60% of the vote becoming the youngest openly gay legislator in the entire country. That proved that our community was better than the hate that some were spreading. I was able to do it without giving them any attention. During my election Maine also became one of the first states to pass marriage equality at the ballot box.

Homophobia still creeps up to the surface every now and again, but society is moving against this discriminatory line of thinking. The more states and countries that support marriage equality, and the more individuals who stand up and present their true selves, the easier it will be for others to follow in their footsteps—in the board room and classroom, and on the field and the campaign trail.”

photo provided by Justin
photo provided by Justin