People like Khun Bell will always have a hard time convincing their parents to accept them for what they are. Some are disowned by them and others are forced to do things that they do not want to. Some parents drive their effeminate sons to undertake physical activities like macho sports. I am glad to say that some of my friends who were born that way did not have to suffer the same experience. Their folks were not particularly overjoyed with their unmanly behaviour but they never strove to transform my friends. Their parents acknowledged their sexual identity. However, from time to time, they would grumble about them; about the fact that they tended to wear a lot of make-up and spend an unreasonable amount of time in the bathroom and so on.
A close friend of mine who was not effeminate, but happened to fancy both men and women, had a bit of a battle with his mother. His mother had not been aware of her son’s sexual proclivities until there was a rumour about him holding hands with another boy, also a friend of mine, at college. Apparently, it was a big deal to her. They had been doing it for ages and nobody at the college cared remotely about their overly intimate behaviour towards each other. Occasionally we ribbed them about it light heartedly. One day, at her house, she overheard their flirtatious conversation. I was there too, but I was not paying particular attention to these two love birds. After I returned home, I ended up having a long conversation with her regarding this affair on the phone. Since I was very close to her and she always treated me like her child, I could not bring myself to lie to her. Besides, I saw nothing wrong with the way the two of them behaved. I confirmed the rumour. She asked me whether they were boyfriends. I told her that I did not think so, but they were exceptionally close. The other guy also had a girlfriend and ‘N’ – her son – was aware of that too. She was clearly upset and confused. She assumed that he would want to become a woman in the future and was worried that she would not be able to afford the cost of his sex reassignment surgery. She was thinking too much and being paranoid. As well as liking this guy, ‘N’ was dating a lass too. She told me if that was what he wanted to be, she was prepared to approve of his way of life, despite her confusion, as long as it made him happy.
Immediately after I hung up the phone, I had to respond to another call. It was from ‘N’. He had been eavesdropping the tete-a-tete and wanted to know what else she had interrogated me about. I recounted the matter to him. I told him she wanted to have a proper chat with him, but she was worried about him becoming angry with her. I did not encourage him to talk to her because I knew he would not. It would be better to just leave it like nothing had happened.
I was nonplussed by the news, a few years ago, that he now has a daughter. He had finally stopped being confused and discovered who he truly wanted to be. Each time I go back to Thailand, I am tempted to give him a ring and ask what he has been doing with his life. One thing for sure, he is probably more grown-up than me.