coming out: a love letter

I originally wrote this in the perspective from me to my parents, but I hope I speak for all us 2nd gen-ers out there.  Please practice love.

Disclaimer: I know I sound hippie-like. meh.

Dear Immigrant Parents Who Have Worked Hard to Give Us a Better Life But Are Too Stubborn About Conservative Values,

We have many different friends.  Friends who are black, other types of Asian, latte coloured, fat, skinny, Atheist, college dropouts, and even homo- or bisexual.

We are coming out (so to speak) to say, yes, we have gay friends.  We hope you understand that this means that if they are male, they desire other males; if they are female, they desire other females; if they are bisexual, then they are just selfish (just kidding).  Maybe you don’t get that joke, but that’s OK.

Coming from immigrant families, we know you sympathize with us and our friends with regards to feeling like an outsider and wanting to be accepted.  We, as families, were joyous when we found our own comfortable space in the social fabric of our communities, and were gracious when we were able to commune with our newfound acquaintances.  As your children, we would like to pay forward the generosity and acceptance we experienced as newcomers to the country.

Growing up with one foot in our traditional cultures and the other in the culture of our new home helped us become more well-rounded individuals with so much to offer than what our “native” (not meaning Aboriginal) peers ever could.  We are so, so grateful.  But we understand that you as fully grown adults coming into a new country, adapting to a brand new culture is not so easy, and letting go of one’s traditional values is even harder.

Having gay friends do not make us rebellious or spiteful children.  Instead, we are hopefully honouring the fact that you were courageous enough to trek it all the way over the Pacific/Atlantic/Indian oceans and share in life and love with the people you now call your friends.

Please understand that God loves all of us and that we are meant to share God’s love with others.  Judgment should only be reserved for those in the presence of God; it is such a dangerous thing when wielded by closed-minded humans.

We really don’t want to end up like Michael Costello from Project Runway Season 8: his super traditional family made him feel like he had to force himself to get married to a woman and have children, even though he knew he was gay all along.  He now lives with his male partner and his parents disapprove of his profession as a fashion designer, and only jumped on the bandwagon when he was cast on the hit TV show.  Please do not be shameful of us like his parents were.

We know that there are worse things that you could do to us than to be protective, but please know that you raised us right and we love you for it.

Love,

Your 2nd Generation Children

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