Jin, 19.

The closet is reserved for things of horror such as monsters, ghosts, and demons that haunt children’s nightmares. Yet behind those doors you do not find monsters or ghosts or demons, but regular people who are more scared of what’s outside of the closet than people who are scared of what’s inside. People outside the closet are blinded and disillusioned by so many things that they don’t see a difference between the people inside the closet and the monsters. Sometimes, it’s safer to stay inside.

My name is Jin. I am a gay 19 year old Chinese Canadian male and I am only out to a couple of friends. My mother and grandmother raised me and my twin sister by themselves in a foreign country where they did not know the language. I will forever be grateful for the hardships and sacrifices they suffered to provide a better life for me in Canada than they had in China. I owe it to them that I have a nice home, comfortable clothes, and always enough to eat; a privilege they struggled with. I owe them everything I have. When I was 13 my mother told me that if I was gay, she would kill herself by jumping off a building. When I asked why, she told me that homosexuality is a mental disorder and that if I was gay, she failed as a parent. It was a pretty big hit to take at 13 but I’ve learned to not let it bother me anymore because that’s just the traditional Chinese culture talking. I know my parents still love me right now and there’s no way I will jeopardize that. My parents think I’m abnormal, insane, and a monster. But they don’t know they do nor do they have to know. I will not be a disappointment. I will not be the reason they cry at night. I will not destroy their happiness because of my decision to tell them that I love boys. They have done too much for me to do that to them.

I’ll continue to live in the closet because to me, the darkness within the closet is what protects me and my family. I value my family far more than my sexuality. Being gay doesn’t define who I am so I am not trapped in the closet, but liberated by it.


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