As someone who is gay and Muslim in Singapore, it is difficult to be out and proud.
Despite countless attempts to step out of the closet, there is always this magnetic force pulling me back in.
I envy stories of people who are able to step out with ease;
people who get to bring their partners home for a nice meal together;
people who have someone to share a future with.
You can be quick to judge and say that I should come out because it’s my life and happiness after all.
You can be quick to assume that I should be able to because you have successfully done so.
You can also call me a hypocrite for lying to myself and others.
But honestly, coming out is not as easy as I thought,
and sometimes I wish my parents would be as easy-going as others’ are.
So many hurdles to consider. So many possible scenarios playing in my head. So many ‘what-ifs’.
I still consider myself lucky because I have a stable job and a loving family.
I have to keep many things a secret, in fear of people finding out.
I have been forced out of the closet before in the past, and from that experience, I know coming out officially will not turn out well.
I had to go back in [the closet] to appease everyone around me.
While this would be a concern for most, I am fine. Truly.
I have the support of the people around me:
friends who have been there from the start;
friends who tell me it’s okay to be who I am.
What you really need at the end of the day are people who will be there for you;
That is the essence of a community.