My Pastel Coloured Rainbow

'Rainbow' by m-a-s-h-i-m-a-r-o, Flickr

Seh Hui Leong


For context and getting the pink elephant out of the room: I am gay, albeit a closeted one in real life — hence the rainbow reference in the title. And this is about a new pledge for myself to take the necessary steps to come out from the closet and manning up should anything bad comes my way.

My Not-So-Little Lie — “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Up till now, I have been adopting the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about the fact — probably to a point that I actively avoid being spotted on gaydars and completely evading the customary girlfriend question. With all the candour I could muster: I still manifest a very strong fear deep down of the potential negative consequences: biggest of which being me being alienated or disowned by my family — that or me needing to running away from having a decision being forced onto me.

And such a pessimistic outlook got me into forcing myself to be fiercely independent and be very motivated in my own career as a means to mitigate such a possibility. At least in my mind, so long as I can be financial independent from my family, at least I got more control over my own life.

The only escape I had till now has been my blog which I’ve divulged about my thoughts about my struggles to come to terms with my sexuality and grieving over the string of unfruitful crushes towards straight men. And even that I’ve ended up censoring my words and speaking in codes over time.

The Slow Death Inside

Time to upholding my pledge to end self-censoring.

After more than a decade staying in the closet and avoiding from being identified as a gay individual had some really dire consequences — the fact that I got really good at avoiding such attention means that zero romantic encounters with potential gay partners and getting myself tangled in the whole recurring pattern of falling for straight guys.

As a result, low self esteem kicks in all the time and I getting comfortable with my learned helplessness. “Lay low and don’t attract any unwanted attention,” I’d mumble to myself while I know that it’s just a matter of time that I’d have to come out to the people closest to me and own up the negative consequences that may come my way.

Deep down, I’m still fearful. And yes, I’m killing myself slowly in that way — always with the dark cloud looming over my head: guilt, desperation, loneliness, discontent, split, conflicted…

I think it’s until I got really involved in communities that it just became clear to me that I can no longer stay in such a protective shell. That in order for this vicious cycle to end, I’ve to break out from my own mental prison. After all, I don’t think I’ll ever seek out my own happiness in remaining in my own cocoon where no other gay guys exists.

Something has to be done.

Baby Steps

So for the past month while I’m off from blogging, I am really fortunate to have a group of close gay friends whom I hang out a lot with. I’m slowly getting back in the scene and enjoying some night life occasionally. I’ve drawn a very clear line to not visit any gay bath houses or spa places — well, those places scares me shitless and I’m totally not into casual sex.

I’m starting to coming out to some of my friends — most of them who are just high school friends or new people that I’ve met through the meet ups I organized. So far people have either been very supportive or nonchalant about it.

And yes, I’m actively seeking out a potential life partner — though I’m really having a tough time with that due to the my shy and introverted demeanour and my extremely low esteem is really taking a serious toll in social situations. Am still learning to cope with such shortcomings and getting over my perception of myself being socially awkward.

Or maybe I should start to ask my friends to find me a bear? 😛

And with that, this is my first step going way beyond my comfort zone.

Written by

Seh Hui Leong

Python programmer by trade, interested in a broad range of creative fields: illustrating, game design, writing, choreography and most recently building physical things. Described by a friend as a modern renaissance man.