Letters from the LGBTIQ people
Dear Mom and Dad,
After saying these words, I don't know how will you feel? Will you still love me? I still hope so. Every day I wonder when I will be mature enough to be able to speak out all of my feelings.
Someone asked me, do you intend to tell your parents, don't you fear your parents will be sad? My answer is yes. I am certainly afraid that my parents will be sad, but I still want to tell them. I just want to be myself, to love the one I love and talk to everyone freely at home. I hope you will respect my decision.
I love you so much!
Your little son.
From Thua Thien Hue
Dear Mom & Dad,
Thank you for all your love for me, no matter what I have done. My Mom and Dad always accept who I am and give me infinite love.
I know that Mom and Dad are sad because I'm not cis gender, but you both love me and want me to be happy. Your altruism is a powerful source of my life. Wherever I go, both of you always give me safety, warmth and protection.
Despite the public opinion, Mom and Dad always help and bring happiness to me when I'm being myself. I am confident when I am recognized and able to show my true self. You always understand and sympathize with me.
Your son loves you so much!
From Tay Ninh
After I confess, will you still love me like a 6-year-old child?
I know, I'm very different from the kid I was. The older I grow, the more I have changed and the sadder you are.
I have not said anything yet, but you must know that. Every night, I talk to my lover. You stand outside and listen to all our conversations, I knew that. I just don't have the strength to say who I am and what I want Mommy, you have supported our family for many years and paved way for my success. I have made a lot of mistakes that I leave you and the family behind, knowing that I'm the one whom you love so much.
If I confess to you later, the only thing you could do for me is kicking me out from my family, as well as taking away my reputation as a dignified grandchild and the eldest child of our family. I accept it all, please do not put too much pressure on yourself, I just hope you will always remember this child.
Thank you and sorry mom very much.
From Bien Hoa
I did not expect that I would sit here, write you an email, about being a girl who only likes girls.
I have never talked about this to anyone in our family. I even tried to hide it and avoid it when someone in our family mentioned about my future husband and children. I have explained in a logical way for the reason why I just like girls but don't like boys to others a lot, so now I'm pretty tired and bored of this, Mom.
So I just hope that when I tell you this thing (something that will take me a long time to do), you would understand. There would be no doubts, no cursing. You would neither take me to a fortune teller nor be ashamed of me. You would be still willing to talk to me, protect me from the world's malicious words. Or at least, please don't forbid me like what you did to my transgender brother.
You know, I always want to display a strong, independent, intelligent image to everyone. But actually I am quite shy when it comes to tell you that I only like girls, and I am not going to marry a husband like you and Dad always expecting. It's mainly because I saw how my brother had been treated by the whole family as a transgender person.So I was too scared and obsessed to express myself like him.
You love me so much, pampering me with all sorts of things, even though I am an adult and about to graduate from the university. That's why I am even more afraid, that when you know that I only love girls, will you still love me like now? Will you look at me with different eyes? Will you think I have an illness, or become another haunted child? I wish one day to live as my true self. There's no need to pretend to have a boyfriend, husband and children anymore. If I want to love someone, then I will, and I have mom and family beside me. At that time, despite being poor, life would be easier for me to breathe in than now.
I love you the most in the world.
From Ho Chi Minh City
Every day you tell me that getting married to have children is an indispensable rule of life and in the past, I always told you that I wouldn't get married. But your daughter has met the person she wants to marry, whom she wants to live with for her entire life and dedicate good things to. However, that is not a handsome boy but a girl with a beautiful soul and a kind heart.
Mom, by the time I take that girl home and tell you everything: I want to cultivate happiness and love. I want to build a family with another girl, but not to follow the rule that you believe in, do you still love this little girl of yours?
Your youngest daughter.
Dear relatives who live in the same house with me,
I do not live alone, but with my loved ones in a big family, which is a precious thing to me. To assure everyone, I also hope that I will be able to get married and give birth to babies. But I can't. I don't know how to do it because I don't have feelings for anyone, I don't feel attracted to others. If I marry someone, I will hurt them. Please don't worry, if I don't marry anyone, I will always live with our family to take care of everyone at your old age. There is nothing for me to worry about as a new path will appear anyway.
Thank you, everyone, for always loving me.
A little grandchild/child in a large family.
From Ho Chi Minh City
Children seen as defying gender stereotypes are bullied at school. Photo credit: UNFE
To my best friend!
Thank you for always choosing who you want to be. A girl with a strong appearance or a same-sex love that transcends prejudice from family and society. I know that you can sometimes find it hard to cope with so much pressure.
But don't worry, I'm always here to protect and love you. Please share your worries with me. I am ready to listen to them. I hope your life will always be as peaceful as your name.
I love you very much.
A person who I see as my whole world!
I know from then until now you still want me to get married and have children! At that time, you also said that you have to see me getting married and giving birth before leaving this world! Many times I look at myself, I do not know how to speak to you face-to-face?! You will be sad if I can not get married and give birth! Since my childhood, you have raised me, and taken care of me! I love you so much! So I don't want to make my grandma sad! There are times when I am are under pressure, I just want to confide in you! When you hug me and encourage me, it makes me more motivated! I love you so much!
I only want one thing is that you accept me! I just need you to accept me!
I love you so much, dear "my life"!
From Ho Chi Minh City
My dear parents!
I have never told anyone my feelings before and I feel tired of the chaotic feelings in me.
Every day, when I look at myself in a body as a girl but my soul as a boy, I ask myself, "Are you feeling comfortable and happy, or are you the one that makes your parents disappointed?" These thoughts were lingering in my mind and made me depressed as I could not find the answer. I used to think: "Or I just kill myself and end my life." But then I didn't dare to risk the death to solve everything, but why do I feel heavy on my heart!
The day I decided to cut the long hair because our family also wishes us to live our own life, but then I also have to think: "Will anyone understand me, or will they look at me with discriminatory gaze?" When I think that I have to get married to have children, thoughts of suicide reappeared.
Mom and Dad! I hope you will understand the suffering I brought along for so long that I dare not say it. Later when I dare to say all the feelings I have kept for so long, I just hope that you both will always support my decision now. I can only live this life once and I have made the decision to follow my calling because only then will I feel comfortable and happy. Hopefully, YOU will always support your child for a long time into the future.
The imperfect son of yours.
I love you so much.
From Lao Cai
We have known for more than a year that I am intersex. Over the last year, I have accepted and overcome the difficulties brought by my new “identity”. I have always believed that all I have been going through is a preparation for a more extraordinary life, a life that is not limited by stereotypes and prejudice from the society. But sometimes I forget that this is not only my battle, it's also yours. I just wish you knew that I am grateful for everything you have given to me, including my body, and all the things you have done for me. You insisted on accompanying me to the hospital for my body check-ups every time, even though I didn't want you to come.I am grateful for all of that. And I have never and will never blame you for giving birth to me. You are not at fault for the birth of a child as a intersex. Creator is also error free. No one is at fault. I'm still healthy every day. I still contribute and create my own values for society. I still strongly overcome the barriers and prejudices everyday. I know my life is not going to be the same as most people in the society. And that makes me love this life and get more excited on my life's journey. Mom, don't be angry with yourself. No one is at fault. I am happy and love you every day. KA.
Intersex is a broad term in the entire list of gender identities. It describes people that fall outside the strict dimensions of a male or a female. Within the intersex identity, there are a wide range of sexual orientations and gender identities.
Intersex people are born with sex characteristics that don’t meet medical and social norms for female or male bodies. So they could have physical variation in genitals, chromosomes or other features that are related to sex development of a person. As the Intersex Community of North America puts it, "Intersex is a socially constructed category that reflects real biological variation."
Intersex Awareness Day is observed every year on October 26. This day is marked by the international LGBTIQ community to draw attention to the voices and human rights of intersex people.
When you were still alive, you used to advise me to get married to have children... I know that you cared and worried about my future life. But please rest assured, because I'm living a life that is true to myself, although this is not an easy path. I have also been through the darkness of my life with you, such as facing my schizophrenia and the stereotypes from the people around me about my sexuality! But in the end, I'm fine, mom. Although we sometimes had disagreements about my homosexuality, but before you left me, you finally understood and blessed me.
You often told me that "A flow will have an ebb", so maybe the hardest part of my life was over. From now on I hope that my river can flow to a big sea one day . Although I can't do anything more, I have been true to myself and I'm proud of that. I have become a human, and I know that you are happy in heaven and proud of me too! Your mother's son. P.S: This is a letter I want to send to my aunt, also my adopted mother, who has passed away!
From Ho Chi Minh City
Mom, Perhaps you will be happy to know that there is someone who loves me so much. I also love her very much. I don't know since when I learned to let go of fear and become willing to accept someone's heart with love. She gave me the courage to love myself, to respect and to dare to fight for ourselves. I hope you will accpet her, ike your own daughter too. Mom, I'm not the daughter that you want, maybe not a boy either. Gender and gender stereotypes are always a burden for me. I know Mommy is tired of me, from my short hair to the shirts, and to the smell of perfume you consider too "manly". But mom, I don't know whether I should live ashamed and with my head down, or to live a lie. I hope you can accept me as your child, that's all, then I can deal with whatever society says. - Your child.
So, the thing that I cherished and repressed for so long has been revealed - I am a man.
I know this is hard for you to accept, after Hai got married, you keep imagining my future that I will get married too and then you will stay in this house alone. Although these are jokes in every family dinner, I always feel your desire that I will be like Hai, have a home with a husband and children. But mom and dad, really, I can't live up to you expectation because deep inside I'm a man.
I want to cut my hair as I always feel hot and uncomfortable with it. I want to dress and walk like what I usually do because I find it comfortable. I want to go everywhere, stay late at night, take care of my small family. I want to have weird behaviors for a girl. Besides, I also want to apologize to you for being unable to be like normal people; unable to wear a dress on the day of my big sister's wedding - a very important day for our family. Then, you were pointed at and questioned by relatives about me. You must have been very awkward. I am so selfish, ain't I?
The day I came out was completely accidental when the night before I cried until morning because of the gender frustration and self-pity. And that was also the first day in my life when I heard you crying. Dad hugged me, mom hugged me, all three people were crying. You all also understand the reason. Throughout the years, I have such an attitude of alienating, avoiding you and staying in the room. I thought that you would scold your child because I was different from you. But instead, you continued to admit your mistakes. The days after that weren’t easy. I always saw mom with a melancholy and haggard face. Mom even went to my room to sleep with me many times. Mommy, I'm sorry, the barrier between me and you is still too big, I can't knock it off right away. Every time I see you like that, I feel so helpless and painful. Mom laid beside me and cried, do you know if I was crying too?
I know that you both love me and you think I will have a very hard time facing society. You are afraid that I would be stigmatized and disadvantaged. But I will still do my best to take care of myself and my parents. I am trying and will try harder to open up to you more. Today I will try to communicate with you more than yesterday. Gradually, we will talk more about each other's world.
I love you so much.
From Da Nang
To Mom & Dad,
Will you listen to me if I just speak bravely for once? At this point I am no longer being afraid, but I still cannot hold back my tears when thinking about one day standing in front of you and saying " I am gay ". I am always very afraid because our family was a traditional family, a standard family, then suddenly there is a child who did not follow those so-called traditions and standards. If only I were a better and more obedient child, then perhaps I would not be afraid to tell my parents these things. What I fear the most is not that my parents scold me or hate me, I am scared that my parents will have to endure gossip about me. It's enough to bear hurtful words by myself, I don't want you to hear it. Dear parents, I am lesbian, I like women. It is not something that I can choose, but that's what my heart wants. I am still the daughter of yours, still an imperfect child, often scowling, quiet, stubborn that you have raised over the years. I love you, even though you are not perfect and I believe you will accept me. When you're ready, would you like to hear about my first love?