“But then, would you accept me?”
Content warning: mention of self-harm and suicide
The first time I came out to my parents, all I left them was: “This is who I am, so what?” and then I grabbed my bag and left for school. That day, my parents didn’t say a word. Thus began our days of silence in the family.
“Did I seek death because I felt trapped?” Of course. I took a whole bottle of sleeping pills for some stupid reason when I was 17. Then, when I turned 19, I started self-harming because I wanted to free my parents from the burden that I brought as an only child. I used to think that that was how I could be reborn and live truthfully.
Maybe it was like how my mom always joked around with me, that to keep me alive till I was born, my mom had to go through hell, so my life had to be grand. And there I was, alive till the age of 23 to write my mom a letter telling her about my plans to study abroad and have gender-affirming surgery, and then return home with a different appearance and identity. At that moment, I held onto this question for my mother: “…one day, it would be me standing in front of the house. But then, would you accept me?”
It’s now the latter half of 2020, I still live with my parents, that letter had never been opened once, and I think I don’t need to send it to my mom anymore. Because after many challenges with my family and myself, my mom not only accepts but takes pride in me. There was this one time I overheard my mom talk to the neighbors about how much she was proud of me, even if I wasn’t “normal.” Then, at an LGBTIQ+ event, my mom participated as a parent of a transgender individual. She said at the event: “All I hope for now is that my child is happy and well, that is enough.” I let out a sigh of relief hearing those words, and I was so happy I could cry.
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.