June is Pride Month, a celebration of equality and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community. However, the reality is that many individuals who belong to this community cannot speak about their sexual orientation and gender identity with pride. Especially if they're from heteronormative cultures or families. This interview highlights the experiences of two non-heterosexual Asian females who have not come out to their families yet. For this reason, they have chosen pseudonyms and images that represent their identities.
Lorato, 28 | She/her |📍 Gaborne, Botswana
How would your family react if you came out to them?
I come from a traditional Asian family where they strongly believe that women should only be married to men. If I came out to my dad, he would flip and might even say I am ill. The chances of him disowning me is quite high too. I am not ready to deal with the circumstances that my family will throw at me, but I plan to tell them in the future.
Does your family expect you to marry?
Oh, they do! Before I come out to them, I'll just go with the flow. I don't directly respond to their expectations nor do I reject anything.
What's been the biggest difference of dating men vs. women?
Men are socially constructed to follow some sort of way of presenting themselves to the public and their family, friends, and partners. So I've found that they're not able to be themselves, even in a relationship, and this makes it difficult. Dating women feels easier. They're more relatable and we share a lot of similarities.
Princess Leia, 31 | They/she |📍 Bay Area, California
Why haven’t you come out to your family?
I think they will be in denial and will try to "pull strings" or guilt trip me into not being gay. I will come out to my family when the financial and power dynamic between me and my family changes. I need to prepare myself so that I can still be emotionally and financially stable if they say no.
Who do you turn to for support and guidance?
My queer friends. I met them in different communities after I came out to myself. I'm happier now than I've ever been, but the journey is still hard. But everyone has their own story so we've gotta keep jogging along!
What’s the best advice you’ve received about being queer?
You're born gay, everything happens for a reason, and just trust the process.