By: Chau Tang
Everyone learns to live with who they are. I happen to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community, an Asian American, a writer, creator, and a fighter. I come from a traditional family where you’re told to go to school,
have a career, get married, have babies and become a good person in the process. No one has ever told me how to be happy. Nothing in my life has ever been normal. In my culture, we have to maintain our image and listen to our parents. I will always listen to my parents but we don’t have the same views. I have a mind of my own and would rather listen to my heart. If you listen to your head but feel nothing in your heart, you might as well be non-existent.
When I told my parents I was in the LGBTQ+ community, my mother cried because now she’s worried I’ll have AIDS, be judged or seen as not normal. I love her but she cried because if people knew, they’d view us very differently and not respected. I felt like my happiness and my feelings weren’t valid. She made me feel like I had to live a certain way in order to seem normal. It’s ridiculous people tell others what to hide about themselves. Sometimes, I want to shout from the rooftop that, guess what, I don’t want to marry or date someone just because I feel like it’s the right way to a good life.
Times have changed but some people’s mindsets haven’t. I’m trying to understand my parents’ views but I also have to think about how I feel.
I’ve always been taught what love should look like from movies and TV shows. It’s about two people falling madly in love with each other. When it’s not just about looks, but also about how they make you feel. When you’re looking at someone and they really see you for who you are, through the good and the bad and when your heart is pounding every time you look at them and can’t help but show them off the to the world. Like, “Hey, that’s my girl right there. Not only is she smart but she’s kind, loving, and the best part is she loves me.” It’s like there’s nothing around you but focusing on the person in front of you.
Not only do my parents have something to say about the community but a couple of friends and even strangers can be hateful. We were taught to be kind, love and treat others how we’d like to be treated. I guess some people think those lessons don’t apply to them.
I’ve known how I felt about both genders since I was four. You may think that’s a young age to understand how I feel. It’s not just about being affectionate with someone but how they make you feel. When a guy sees a girl he thinks is beautiful, his breath might be taken away and now he’s nervous. That’s how I feel when I think someone cute is looking my way. I would want to get to know them and hold their hand. I just want to hold someone’s hand and make him or her mine.
Some of the YouTubers I watch to help me feel less alone are Ally Hills and Shannon Beveridge. Ally Hills is a gay Youtube icon. She’s a phenomenal singer and her cute awkward upbeat personality helps make me smile. A song she uploaded, “Coming Out-The Official Song” made me feel so accepted and loved. She made me feel like I am worthy of love and I definitely deserve a great love story.
Shannon Beveridge is another gay Youtuber that is so cute, upbeat and really creative. The girl is a master with her film camera and her editing skills are really great. The video, “What Coming Out Feels Like Tag,” helped me actually come out to the world. I didn’t want to be afraid and it’s terrible that people in the community are still faced with discrimination and hatred. It makes me feel sorry that we as a society are moving forward yet are stagnant in our traditional ways. There is no right way to live, there is just a life we want to control and that’s our own.
I used to feel ashamed of being apart of the LGBTQ+ community because everyone around me was straight. Then I went to my first pride in Akron and I didn’t realize there were so many people apart of the community and allies in one place. I recently went to Cleveland pride and watched the parade for the first time. A lot of groups held up signs supporting the community and I was so overwhelmed that I cried. Have I mentioned there were some Christians at pride trying to spread hate towards the community. There were also religious groups at pride trying to help spread positivity and acceptance. There was a certain woman who came up to the hating Christian and the guy actually said she’s not a real Christian if she accepts the LGBTQ+ community. How dare you? How dare you tell someone she’s not who she is? You have no right to judge and you have no damn right of saying she’s not a real Christian. If anything, the hecklers are not really Christian if you’re spreading hate. Again, God is all about love and you are clearly not.
The Christian guy also said our love is a sin and we should repent. It is possible to be God’s children and be a human being of faith. Don’t let your religion or beliefs stand in the way of how you truly feel about love. Love is nothing but spreading kindness while hating something has a more negative effect. I have had many people come up to me saying, “God says homosexuality is a sin.” Then I read the bible and thought, “Huh, God says not to judge others or you’ll be judged yourself. But God is the one who’s judgmental when He says to love others.” I do believe in God but because of the bible saying it’s a sin, it scares me away. I believe in God for personal reasons but I keep thinking, “If God doesn’t love all of me then why bother with me?” People can interpret the Bible differently but there’s lots of doubts yet there are trusts. I’m still learning about God, Buddha my strengths and myself.
I believe love is love and we should not let people control our lives. It’s easy to ignore the haters because you’ll love whoever you love anyways but it’s important to speak up when there is an injustice. Not long ago, I read there was an attack on a train in London because two girls were in a relationship. These two females were trying to enjoy their day when someone just felt the need to beat them up. Do people really think there won’t be enough guys or girls for them for them to make babies or have a relationship with? People can be so insecure. They’d rather hide behind their bibles than to see true love in front of them.
When I came out, I thought I had to rush to find a girlfriend just to prove I’m bisexual. Then I realize I was chasing after straight girls since my gaydar didn’t quite exist. I stopped and thought, “No, I don’t have to prove myself.” You can’t hurry love. You just have to wait because love doesn’t appear out of thin air. You have to work with another person to build a healthy, loving relationship.
I love seeing accurate representation of the community in television. One of my favorite gay characters are Stef and Lena Foster from The Fosters. They love each other and their kids. They have problems within their marriage but who doesn’t? They work through it and never give up on each other. That’s what love should be like. It’s loving each other, helping each other grow and never giving up on the other person.
I will always attend LGBTQ+ events such as pride because I want to express myself and show other people in the community support as well. This country has faced a lot of discrimination and racism so you would think people would act kinder towards one another. Especially since people know how it feels to be hated towards. It’s hard to open someone’s mind, especially when they’re set in their ways.
Has anyone seen Love, Simon? Spoiler alert, Simon’s mother sits him down to talk about him coming out. She said, “You get to exhale now, Simon.” Do you know how hard it is for people to come out? It’s not a walk in the park. They didn’t decide to be different. They are just born that way. Whenever someone says, “No, God didn’t make them that way, the devil did.” I want to scream in their face because you’d rather be brainwashed and think God could never love someone like them. Guess what? He does and no matter what, as long as we fight for our right to love, other people shouldn’t matter.
Chau Tang is a Beauty Columnist for Overachiever Magazine. She graduated from Cleveland State in May 2019 with a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and a minor in Marketing. She loves to read about beauty, news, and political issues. Other than writing, she enjoys reading, watching Netflix, boxing, hiking, and photography. She wants to write about beauty, news, arts and entertainment and political issues. She also enjoys listening to podcasts about various topics like politics and true crime. A couple fun facts: She was born and raised in Cleveland, can speak English, Vietnamese and a bit of Mandarin Chinese. She’s an only child and is an avid video gamer.