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An Ode to Great Friends - 向友誼致敬

This is the longest period of time I have been single in over 10 years. While those relationships taught me many things about myself and about life, recently I have realized there is just as much (if not more) to learn from being on my own. One of those lessons has been the value of having platonic friends.


When I came out as a lesbian at age 18, I lost a lot of friends. When confronted with an uncomfortable truth about me, it seemed that these so-called “friends” would rather find someone less complicated to spend time with.


One reaction in particular has stuck with me. I asked a friend to meet me at a trendy vegetarian restaurant downtown. Knowing her fairly well at this point, I could somewhat anticipate her feelings on the topic and was therefore dreading the conversation. The passing years have faded many of the details - did I wait until our tofu burgers had arrived before bringing it up? - but my friend’s reaction remains crystal clear. Tears running down her face, she exclaimed “But you’re a good person!”. She never spoke to me again.


These conversations were often incredibly painful. However, there was a silver lining to this process, which was that I could be sure that the friends who did stick by me were genuinely supportive.

這些對話往往痛苦不堪,但這過程同時帶來曙光:繼續跟我來往的朋友是真誠地支持我的。多年來,這些老朋友還有一些新結識的朋友陪伴我度過了各種的關卡,健康問題、對事業的遲疑 ,還有遷居到台北的決定(只是離家12000公里遠,請隨時來訪!),這些朋友也在我身邊。但說到這些朋友最偉大的創舉,莫過於在我不智的情路上還是一樣的支持。他們要擁有如何的能耐才能送上寶貴的意見,然後眼白白看著我還是把感情弄得一團糟,但仍然為我打氣?我真的要把他們封聖。

Over the years, I have put those friends (and some newer ones) through the wringer. They have seen me through health issues, indecisiveness about my career, and a move to Taipei (only 12000 km from home - drop by for a visit any time!). Perhaps most importantly, my friends have been there through some seriously questionable decisions about my love life. How is it possible to give someone good advice, and then still be supportive when they mess it all up anyway? I swear I should nominate some of these people for sainthood.

Though I chose to move to Taipei partly because it seemed LGBT+ friendly, I still worried about making friends and coming out here. It turns out there was no need to fret. A few weeks after I arrived, a new friend invited me to the Taipei LGBTQIA+ weekly meetup. Over the 2 years since that night, I’ve met some of my best friends at that meetup. Friends to whom no topic is off limits, who don’t judge, and who have been equally supportive whether I needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to celebrate with.


I’ve learned the hard way (as I suppose we all must at some point) that romantic relationships come and go. As Dan Savage said, “Every relationship you are in will fail, until one doesn’t.” While I certainly haven’t given up on that aspect of my life, the latest twists and turns have made me appreciate other types of relationships too.

我在崎嶇的感情路上得到體會(可能大家也有同樣經驗),明白到愛情會來又會去,正如Dan Savage說:「你的身處的每一段關係也會失敗,直到有一段不會。」雖然我絶不會於放棄感情關係,當下的生活變化讓我同樣珍惜其他種類的關係。

Sometimes it can seem like the world is crashing down around our ears. In those moments, our friends are there to keep us going. Soon enough, the sun will be shining again.


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