“All I could do then was take the beating.”
Content warning: child abuse.
In my case, I didn’t exactly come out; my family found out. Since I was a kid, I acted out; I only hung out with the boys and didn’t play with dolls like the other girls. When I was older and started using social media, my stepmom found my Facebook account. She read the posts I shared and found out I was reading lesbian stories. Since my parents were truck drivers, they weren’t home very often. My stepmom told me I could talk to her and she wouldn’t tell a soul. So I told my stepmom that I didn’t want to be a girl loving girls, I wanted to be a boy and love girls.
The next morning, my dad called my stepmom and me out. He started asking me a lot of questions, then told me to lie down, took out a cane, and started beating me. As he was beating me, he kept asking: “Why are you like this?” The neighbors were crowding around to see what was going on, but they only looked and no one even tried to intervene. I could only hope that my stepmom would step in, but she stood still. He broke one cane after another; he even beat me with a broomstick. I started learning about LGBT in middle school. I knew there was nothing wrong with being the way I am, but all I could do then was take the beating. I was crying partly because of the pain, but partly because my dad could not understand.
After beating me, my dad had let out all his anger and left. I went into the house to get some ice; I was covered in bruises. The next morning, my whole body was sore. My high school required us to wear áo dài all week so no one saw my bruises. I didn’t want to tell anyone that my dad beat me. I was mad at everyone. I didn’t want to talk to anyone when I was home and at school, I wasn’t close to anybody.
But little by little people started to feel for me. When my mom was talking to my dad, she even joked around like, “Your sister got married, when are you gonna get yourself a wife?” My stepmom knows that I have a girlfriend now and she doesn’t stop me. But if I could come out another way, I would wait until I am financially stable and able to live independently to stand before my parents and tell them about my true self.
Rồi Sẽ Ổn Thôi (“Gonna Be Alright”) is a project that collects coming out stories from the LGBTIQ+ community and their loved ones in Việt Nam. To find out more details or to read more stories from the project, please visit our official social media site on Instagram at ComingOutVN.