“As much as I am grateful for the life I have lived so far, I also am frustrated at the fact that I wasn’t able to live my life to my fullest potential or experience its fullest joy. My parents’ beliefs and attitudes have meant I have missed out on so much.”
Once my Chinese parents realised I was gay, they actively pursued conversion ‘therapy’ on me in order to make me “normal” and “straight”.
They did this by “recalling” me back to my place of birth, Hong Kong. Back then, I was a university student, and lacked the financial independence to support myself. My parents forcibly made me defer my studies and purchased a one-way air ticket for me to Hong Kong. I didn’t have any other choice but to comply.
They believed my isolation, away from my friends and what they considered “a degenerative” community, would be a step towards normalising my “demented gay state-of-mind”. While in Hong Kong, they sent me to a psychologist who tried to “straighten me out” through talk sessions. Also, it didn’t help that my father often said my gayness was criminal and would have me “jailed”.
Since I was 18, I’ve spent a lot of my time, effort and resources focusing on surviving, living on my own, with as little help as possible from my parents, so I can be independent. Also, I spend a lot of my mental capacity projecting a separate entity when I have times with them. I live in two worlds. One that makes my parents believe I’m straight and the other with friends who love and accept me for who I am.
Despite my parents’ actions, I have worked hard to have a relatively amicable relationship with them. I’ve had to allocate significant energy, resources & mental capacity to deal with the consequences of my parent’s implementation of their rejection of the real me. What I regret the most is that I will never have a fully honest relationship with my parents like other families can.
When parents encourage harmful conversion “therapy”, it is akin to abusing their children’s mental state, which causes lasting harm that may prove fatal to children and teenagers.
As much as I am grateful for the life I have lived so far, I also am frustrated at the fact that I wasn’t able to live my life and my fullest potential or experience its fullest joy. My parents’ beliefs and attitudes have meant I have missed out on so much.
I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I know many people in our LGBTQ community from similar conservative cultures who are in the same boat. Many had more traumatic experiences than me, and sometimes, did not come out of that alive.
More conversion “therapy” survivor stories HERE
Anthony Venn-Brown says: “I’ve been hearing stories like this for 23 years now. I want them to stop. We can’t legislate to change an outdated, ill-informed religious belief about sexuality and gender, but we can create awareness and pass laws that protect vulnerable LGBTQ people from harm. You can help create awareness by sharing this story and also signing the Equality Australia’s petition in support of Alex Greenwich’s Equality Bill.”
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