Life is given to us, but unless we start owning it, it will never truly be ours.
Born in a rural village of China, being gay was not an easy path since childhood. I noticed from an early age that I was different from others, and others probably also noticed my difference and taunted me during everyday school life.
And this bullying issue never stopped even now when I started a career in my late 20s. I was the one to be picked on, with or without intention, by bosses to work extra harder but respected less. For a long period of life, I just kept telling myself, “that’s just how life is”. But is it, really? Is life all about succumbing into turmoil inflicted upon by others no matter how hard you struggle and how much you fight? Is that all I can be, an outcast? A deviant? An alien from mainstream society for just being different?
Since when, looking into the mirror, but already couldn’t recognize the person in reflection? Where is me, hiding even from myself? Staring at the void mirror for hours but all I can identify are scars and bruises, not a breathing soul. Where did I, a living but soulless creature, go astray and forsake my own ID?
The answer is easy to spot but hard to swallow. Since start. Since start, though surrounded by social contacts, I in reality lived in emotional isolation without a role model and without knowing there are others like me. So naturally the surviving instincts stepped in, and molded me in a way that fit into the stereotypes of society, which simply implies, part of me was not good enough and that part needed hidden.
To cover one’s genuity with a deceiving mask is not just to give up part of oneself but demands the wholeness of one's life to be shattered and incomplete. It aches in every move of disguise. But one detrimental side effect that comes along with this fitting-in pretention is that we detached farther away from who we truly are and lost utterly the sense of truly being me. Every day becomes a show of entertainment for others. We, without a clear identity about ourselves, live like a mirror, reflecting the needs of others but not our own. Life is no longer an enjoyment but a business of daily survival, and to protect and insulate from the scrutinizing judgments of society, I present myself not as who I am but instead what I am expected.
It hurts when caterpillar struggles through the cocoon to become a butterfly, and it hurts no less for someone on the other side of prejudice to peel off all the derogatory bandages wrapped around his ID for being born different. In life’s arena, being gay means subtle things like unconditional love from parents or the right to marriage, things other people take for granted, will be over a decade’s fight to get there. However, before complaining the difficulties, let’s just slow down a bit, take a deep breath and say to ourselves, “Life is a chance, and we are fortunate enough to be bestowed upon this God’s blessing grace. Now what, let’s fight.”
Freedom leads people, and life is a war we can choose to stand tall and fight for freedom or lay low and give into injustice. Truth, my truth, your truth, and everyone’s truth, is not set in life, but hard earned when we start to use life to manifest the genuine and brilliant color of who we are.
Life is not a slave only when we are not slaved by our fears and own our truthful identity. God shines light into life, equally and nonjudgmentally, and as God’s child, we are responsible to carry on God’s will and shine light into living fully a me, unequivocal and unarguable.