Write Minds.Write Matters
A monthly column by Alexis of her thoughts on things that matters to her. It may be funny, serious, both, neither or some combinations of those. "My thoughts are my own - the only thing I really own."
Follow her on Instagram (@alex.is_imm).
Very few of us are what we seem. ~ Agatha Christie
[ Translated Chinese version here 中文翻譯在此 ]
The other night, I caught parts of a cable re-run of Covert Affairs, starring Piper Perabo from one of my favorite movies (Imagine Me & You), when I suddenly thought to myself, won’t us Asian queers make good spies?
Think about it. Those of us who are still in the closet have to ‘fake it’ all the time, telling lies to prevent people from knowing the truth, staying constantly on our toes so we won’t get found out, making sure all of our emotions are in check so as not to betray how we really feel inside, pretending to like the opposite sex just to keep up an appearance, hiding our whereabouts from family and friends so we can go meet up with our boy/girlfriends, and ensuring our actions and lies are consistent so we can continue to live inside the closet. Simply put, we are EXPERTS at HIDING who we really are and pass off as someone we are not, convincingly.
Furthermore, all these false pretenses that are eating at us make us melancholy and distant, conforming to the stereotypical view of a tortured soul, which makes for good spy drama, right? We are deeply tormented, yet we can’t tell anyone about it. We are complicated. We live a double life, literally and figuratively. We could be found out, forced out or simply decided enough is enough and come out. And when we finally do come out, those closest to us might not be able to handle the truth or to forgive us for lying to them all those years. They might even continue to deny who we really are. And, the best case scenario would be that they might learn to accept us regardless.
So, aren’t all these traits and characteristics of a good spy? I am not saying that all of us who identify as LGBTQ+ should always hide behind a facade. Nor am I implying that we are fakes or the greatest pretenders all the time. Living in Asia, where the tolerance towards LGBTQ+ community is at best at a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ stage, many of us may not dare venture far from the closet. We all have our own reason(s) to stay in the closet. We all have to make the decision to come out clean somewhere sometime somehow during our lives. I am all for coming out and being true to yourself, but not everyone has that luxury. Just like people in the espionage business. We might be outed by other people, knowingly or unknowingly. Just like those in the intelligence community. It’s hard to find people who understand what you are going through.
Yet there remain two huge differences between spies and queers. We did not choose to be queer. We cannot stop being queer. It is who we are. It is not a role or a job that we can simply give up or walk away. We cannot say, “I don’t want to be queer anymore.” and magically walk away as heterosexuals. Some are fortunate to have understanding and accepting family members who embrace them regardless. Some are not so. Some are lucky enough to find a group of queer friends who are more than willing to stand in as an alternative family. Some are so alone that they do not know any other queer person. For those who need support, always know that the Taipei LGBTQIA+ Meetup Group, otherwise known as the Honey Nut Queerios, will always be here for you.
(Editor: Zac.) (Column graphic: modified from www.pngtree.com)