Kenny, 17 years old, identifies as a bisexual teen, and is comfortable in his relationships with men as well as women. He is a student at a local polytechnic.
Bapok. Gay boy. Paedophile. Fag. Go date that old man.
In school they called me all those things, and “faggot” was a second name that I chose to ignore most of the time.
I came out as a bisexual to my friends when I was in secondary three, because I realised I liked boys as well as girls. That’s when it all started. Because of that, I was jested, made fun of, insulted, pushed around and bullied almost on a daily basis in school. It was difficult for me because not many people could understand what I was going through. I was mostly on my own as I couldn’t yet come out to my brother, and I hadn’t yet decided to tell my mum. There were times when I would shut people off and took time out to be by myself, walking around Singapore, exploring and having time alone. I was feeling so down and I just wanted to make myself happy.
“Fag” was used on me so often I think I got immune to it. For me, things in secondary school were much worse compared to what it should have been. I went to an all-boys’ mission school. As much as people might believe that mission schools are mostly gay-populated, the boys in my school weren’t very receptive of me.
For example, there was this classmate who thought I was hitting on him when I was just trying to be a friend. This was after I had come out to some people in school. After that he went onto Friendster and posted different bulletins describing how I would pay young boys to give me blow jobs, and how I would go into lifts and bedrooms with dirty old men and have sex with them. He even sent them out to his friends and got them to tag each other.
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I often felt left out and ostracised. Out of a whole year in school, I was usually depressed for 363 days. Obviously, there were further cases of bullying.
There was this boy in school who was notorious for doing this and that with different boys in the toilets. He would sometimes come up to me and caress me in the middle of the school canteen. I told him to get lost and not to touch or even come near me ever again. It wasn’t genuine pity or sympathy he was displaying. Even if it was, I didn’t need it. I knew he was only trying to take advantage of me.
I also felt indignant. Another boy once tried to humiliate me in front of the whole level, while everyone was changing classrooms for Mother Tongue lesson. He called out to me,
“You gay right? You bi right? Come lah, I let you see my dick.”
I was really angry.
“If you dare to show me, I will dare to see.”
When nothing happened, I repeated my challenge.
“If you dare to show me, I will dare to see! Take it out! Didn’t you say you wanted me to see? Yes I’m bisexual, I dare to see. Not like I haven’t seen it before. Show me!”
Everyone was watching, including the teachers. No one moved. They just stood and watched. He had nothing to say in response, so I added,
“Why, too small is it? Afraid I’ve never it seen before? I’m sorry, I’m not very interested in a schoolboy’s dick!”
Not only was I bullied, I was also molested. One of the other boys thought that he would have some fun with me by grabbing the front of my pants during break time, in front of lots of other students. When it happened I wasn’t shocked. I was repulsed and thought what he did was very childish.
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Talking about all this anonymously allows me to share my side of the story without hearing judgements. When someone picks up a book and reads an anonymous story, they wouldn’t judge that person or think he did it for fame. They would just read it and understand what it is all about, that it is actually not easy being gay. Especially in Singapore, as I see discrimination everywhere.
I just want to share my story, as we all have our own stories. This was how I dealt with it. It doesn’t mean you have to give up. See what other ways there are to get around it. Maybe there is another way to make it more bearable.
I just hope that anyone who is gay and facing life’s problems right now won’t give up, because I never gave up.
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The above are excerpts from Kenny’s full story, which can be read in the book.