I was asked by a Client if I had watched a video report by SKY News that they wanted a reference to posted on their site and social networks.
The report is about the generally unacceptable and non discussed topic of being gay and Asian and focuses on homosexuality in the British Asian community with the subject being looked into by Ashish Joshi.
After watching the the report I felt like making a comment:
I believe the root of the issue in the Asian community and perhaps other cultures is not to do with their children or family members being gay but to do with people happy being different and acceptable.
Parents (guardians, elders, etc) are often for their lack of experience simply unable to tell their peers that their child or family member is happy being themselves and happy doing something that is different and standing up for that person no matter what peers think or say.
I am non-religious, Indian by birth, heterosexual by nature, male and fortunately have had quite a liberal and diverse experience of life, mostly as my parents have lived separate lives since as far back as I can remember. They simply did not get on and I have learned to both live with and without them and especially in living without them I have experienced so much in life that most people would probably never experience in one life time.
However the best thing about “it all” was being able to reach an understanding that one cannot run away from their problems and then having to find a way to teach them, and myself, that they can get on with their lives without having to get on with each other and with now my mother and my father and myself finding and somewhat forever finding ways to accept “it all”.
That is a relatively simple story of me being a heterosexual Indian with parents living separate lives and I have experienced how they have previously not been able to respond to their peers for their own situation in life and even about what I feel are the positive aspects of my different desires and experience of life. Here follows one example of my perspective.
During or just before I started my graphic design degree course many years ago now, most other children in the “community” were studying to be an accountant, lawyer, doctor, or one of all those other qualifications that most parents could then understand and be proud to tell their peers of. However, I remember one of my parents asking me in quite an incomprehensible manner how I expected to “earn money making drawings”.
To cut a long story short, I ended up leaving the degree course with a job that was offered to me with little effort on my part and with the highest paid salary that anyone on the degree course had received in the then last fifteen years, and with the job not directly in the field of graphic design I was taught on the course.
To this day my parents don’t really understand what I do and as most of my career has been in research and development in the field of interactive and electronic communications from computer games, to training software to web sites and other software applications, my parents and most people say that I work with or am good with computers. I don’t reply much to that.
Yes, I to this day have a keen interest in and help people with technology applications but my main interest now is in personal, business and spiritual growth (in which technology still plays a part) and which I have been researching now for about seven years and my parents nor many other people know much about it, or perhaps they do and don’t know how to let others know or speak to me about it.
The reason for going on about my experience of life is to get to the point that if I was at worst forced to, or at best encouraged to, do a degree course to become an accountant, doctor, or lawyer I perhaps would have ended up never talking or being with my parents ever again simply because they would not have let me be myself and do what I enjoyed doing, but more importantly I probably would have had quite a tedious and false experience of life rather than one I have had full of mystery and adventure.
If I felt alienated in some way, which I slightly did, for wanting to be myself and to do something I enjoyed and which created an income as a vocation, what feelings must be building up inside gay and lesbian people who as far as I am aware cannot be anything but who and what they are and cannot change that in a way I could have perhaps changed my vocation.
I believe Asian parents, and parents in general need to understand what makes their children, family and friends truly happy and then help support them.
Parents, you supported your child when they were very young and enjoying being themselves and enjoying activities and people that perhaps you would not have enjoyed yourself but you continued to support them and told everyone about who they where what they did and who they were with. Why?… because your children were happy being themselves and they were enjoying themselves and if you look back you must admit that you were happy and enjoying yourselves with them too.
Now that your children have aged slightly, experienced themselves and life a little more, just because your peer’s children can’t get the highest paid job in fifteen years for playing with a computer, or don’t want to spend their lives with someone of the same sex, it does not make you or your children differently unacceptable.
However, what will make you different and unacceptable as a parent to your children is when they no longer see you support them as other parents support their children no matter what peers think or say when the children want to enjoy being themselves, do what they want to do and be with who they want to be with, and especially if they are helping others enjoy themselves and grow in life.