“She could tell that I was happier.”
Content warning: mention of suicide
The day I decided to come out, my mom reacted violently, she was crying and screaming. It’s a good thing that didn’t lead to suicide, because before that she said something along the lines of: “If you do that, you can watch me die!” Then, she started to tell me about the time in my 10th grade she saw me getting “intimate” with another girl in our house. Then she blamed all the community work I was doing. But I gotta say, I got pretty lucky after that. I talked to an uncle who used to live in Germany, he’s pretty open-minded, and he used to watch shows like “Người ấy là ai”* or “Come out” by Lâm Khánh Chi. After hearing about my coming out, he talked to my mom, he even got my mom to watch these shows. In the end, I don’t know why she watched them, too. A while after, I noticed that my mom started talking more gently and politely. She felt pity for the folks in the community because some families were just too cruel.
I saw that my mom changed a lot. She scolded me a bunch at the beginning, calling me “perverted,” then she started using “that third-gender community of yours.” After a lot of explanation, she started shortening it to “your community.” Now my mom is an absolute sweetheart, she even talks to Mèo (my partner) a whole lot. I think the reason she had a change of heart is that I started sharing more of my feelings and my romantic relationship with her, and I guess she could tell that I was happier with Mèo, and I smiled more.
She feels a lot for us two. Mèo is younger than I am but Mèo is already on their own in Sài Gòn. There was this one time when Mèo had a terrible stomachache and I was worried sick. My mom knew I was worried, so she told me to call up my sister in Sài Gòn to take Mèo to the hospital. Then, when Mèo got too busy, my mom made ruốc (pork floss) to send to Mèo. Sometimes, Mèo would ask to “send Nờ to Sài Gòn,” to which my mom jokingly replied: “Nope, I only have one daughter, can’t just send her away.” Recently, I told my mom that I’m seriously considering moving to Sài Gòn after college to work and live with Mèo, she told me we’ll deal with it when we get there. Honestly, I’m glad she didn’t just toss the idea away.
* roughly translates to “Who are they,” a queer-friendly show
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.