I might’ve come out around 15–16 years old. To whom I couldn’t remember, it’s been too long. With my classmates, I didn’t overtly come out but slowly they knew, it’s not like I hid it. That was then, and this is now. Now people can just look at me and know I’m “bê đê” (gay). Some people called me “anh” (brother), and others called me “chị” (sister).
There was this one time, oh wait, it happened a lot actually, I asked someone where the restroom was. She told me to go straight ahead and turn right, so I went straight ahead, turned right, and saw the men’s room. People like me can go into both restrooms. If I went into the female restroom now, I would get stared at for sure. Not only will I get stares but someone might scream or people might do a double take on the sign in front of the restroom. I could only smile or nod my head or something. With the men’s room, I can just walk in as usual without any weird looks. Usually, if I have a mask on or if I’m feeling masculine that day, I would confidently go into the men’s room; if I felt a little feminine then it would feel a little awkward. At law school or at the movies, I would use the men’s room, but when I’m at work I’ll use the women’s restroom. If I ran into my colleagues or my boss in the men’s room, I don’t think they would understand. If I use the women’s restroom and run into my female colleagues, I can tell them that I’m a woman, like I have a female reproductive system. Like, at least you have that to fall back on, what am I supposed to say to the men in the restroom?
When I cut my hair short, my dad was pretty shocked, he was like, “Your long hair was prettier, why did you cut it off?” And my mom was like, “Oh, you cut it.” My grandma is the most open-minded. One time my aunt asked me, “You like the wear boy’s clothes but you don’t want to be a boy, right?” My grandma responded with “He’s a boy.” When she saw me buying pants and button-up shirts, my dad was stunned. It took him a while to say, “Why do you dress like a boy?” My brother might know, but he hasn’t said anything. For my relatives, if they know they know, I won’t say anything and neither does anyone else. Or they would ask why I look like a boy, so handsome. My mom sometimes asks me to wear a padded bra; she still wants me to marry a man. Sometimes I get sad and wish my parents were more supportive. I’m sad but I also feel lucky, at least they didn’t kick me out of the house or yelled at me.
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.