Why I Left China and Came to Ireland

ireland gay

Just before I came to Ireland, my dad said to me that he will never ever accept me.

Chen Yumin Doing Drag in a Mock Wedding Show

That moment still haunts me, to this day, wherever I go. It comes with all the flashbacks about how my dad told me that I have to hate myself for being gay so I could overcome my homosexuality, to become straight, to live up to their expectations of me.

And now, after almost a year in a foreign country where I don’t have to see my parents face to face, and I don’t even have to contact them if I don’t want to, I still feel so damn unhappy with myself.

I have been giving his words too much credibility.

Now it’s time for me to learn to take back the power that I have given my parents to determine my own happiness. I don’t need to seek for anyone’s acceptance or approval to be happy. For all the time that they’ve made me hateful towards my own being, it is their ignorance that is the problem, not me. And I deserve every right to feel happy, with or without their approval.

It is sad that my parents would cause me so much pain simply because I am not what they want me to be. They became the reason why I was so determined to leave my “family”, my home country, and seek a life somewhere else.

I hope none of my Chinese gay fellas has to go through what I am going through just to live a decent life. I hope none of them has to feel like an outcast, abandoned by our own culture, feeling as if our future is bleak and hopeless. I hope our country, the place we can call home, the mother that has nurtured us through years and years of her motherly gestures, will eventually accept all of her children equally regardless, because that’s what she has always been teaching us – tolerance and acceptance. I don’t want to become some other country’s citizen. I just want to be loved back by my own – FAMILY.

And yet, that is still too much to ask for.

The thought of ever having to come back to China HORRIFIES me intensely. When my dad looked at me right in the eyes, disappointed, frustrated, devastated, telling me that he would never ever accept me. When all my friends who have meant a great deal to me turned their back on me, leaving me drowning in the bottomless ocean of their self-defined “moral correctness”. When every single member of the Chinese society is against me as a person, hostile to our attractions, behaviors and sometimes our whole existence. How could I, knowing I would be less than in my own country, not try and survive elsewhere?

Yes, I am spending so many years pursuing just to have the basic rights to live equally as everybody else. And I believe, with persistence, determination, and perseverance, I will make it there!

I am a patriotic Chinese man. One day, I’d love be proud of my own country and tell the world how my culture promotes compassion, tolerance, and equality. I’d love to see every Chinese child opens up their eyes knowing they are all equally loved and valued for who they are. And I know, that day won’t be long. Nobody should have to feel less than, because we are all created equal.

I am a survivor. I’ve been through my lowest low. I’ve fought the hardest battle. I’ve bled. I’ve been battered, bruised and torn. But I’ve also learned, and grown. The war isn’t over yet, but the wounds and scars have made me stronger, and if I were straight, I probably wouldn’t have had the strength and courage to be where I am now. And now, I am exactly where I need to be!

Chen Yumin
Chen Yumin

Hi, my name is Chen Yumin.
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