Friday, 28 March 2014

As Time Goes By

I've received several messages from mainly Sydney gay men who have been reading this blog. Of course no offer of support or exchange of stories have been made, instead there seems a sullen resentment about this blog. Apparently the raw honesty at which I am posting seems to have struck a nerve because the messages I am receiving have been nothing more than rude comments or nasty remarks concerning the break up of my long term relationship. I suppose I'm not very surprised because my experience with the Sydney gay public has taught me well.

For me the reality is that I hit the ground running when Choi chose to abandon me and throw me onto the street. I know that had he been placed in a similar situation he would never have survived the way I did.

These days I'm in a good place and more content than I have been for a very long time. Do I resent what Choi did to me? I guess not. I was thrown into chaos and came out of it a stronger, more realistic and honorable person. I don't waste my time and certainly couldn't be bothered with gay people (at least not here in Australia anyway). I found out who my real friends are and discovered a world of lies, fraud and cruelty that shouldn't exist. I'll leave that world for the gay men and women of Sydney who created it to scramble around in as that seems to be their choice and certainly not mine.

Many years ago I moved from the western suburbs to be in a relationship with a guy who never left the bubble of the gay world in the inner city suburbs of Sydney. My life changed forever and not necessarily for the best. I was behind before anyone would ever accept me as being just another member of the human race.

Being gay is not a privilege, it's not a choice and it's certainly not easy. But the people who make it that way are gay men and women themselves. Until they accept they are just like everybody else in Australia they will always be fighting a losing battle between themselves.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Part 11 - The Truth About Being Gay in Sydney Australia

They refer to themselves as the "gay community" but when one of their own falls they all step back and let him hit the pavement with a thud.

So the simple fact was that when the 'you know what' hit the fan any gay friends I knew in Sydney during my 14 years with Ching Sim completely disappeared. They simple chose to pretend I had not existed. Sure I did try to call and email a couple of them a few times, but I never received replies.

In contrast gay friends I had made during that time overseas in New York, Canada and France all still remain in contact with me. We talk about our "today" lives and not about the past which is of course the best thing to do.

Yes I lost everything when Choi threw me out of the house. I lost all my family pictures that I had kept in photo albums (some of them were older than me), I lost any money I had saved because Choi insisted he control our finances. I had no furniture and only the clothes I could fit into a small bag.

Ching on the other hand moved out of the house with his new boyfriend to an apartment in the centre of Sydney called the "Lumiere Apartments" opposite Sydney Town Hall. I know this because I found a photocopy of the lease agreement the day I was packing my clothes (although the actual apartment number had been blacked out with a marker pen). I guess he wanted me to find it because he left it on the bed. Choi got all the furniture, all our money and all my personal possessions. I tried to get advise from people, but there was nowhere to turn. Legal advise was that I could do nothing because I wasn't in a legally recognised relationship and gay advocacy services simple had no idea what I should do.

I am fortunate to have some very good straight friends who during my hard times living in that shed visited me often and console me. They are still my closest friends to date and had it not been for the kindest of my heterosexual friends I think the road I had to travel would have been a much longer one.

Funny isn't it. They refer to themselves as the "gay community" but when one of their own falls they all step back and let him hit the pavement with a thud.

(to be continued...)

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Sydney Star Observer

Interestingly I sent an email to the editor of the Sydney Star Observer. Not for any reason other than I was merely trying once again to touch base with someone in gay Sydney and hopefully gain the addition of a local follower to this blog (most people following this blog are overseas).

This was the reply from Elias Jahshan the editor of Sydney Star Observer;
"I am not convinced this is newsworthy enough for a story in the paper just yet. Open to other ideas/angles in the future, though. Thanks for taking the time to send me an email about it. Hope it's a successful blog for you."
Say what?  Story in the newspaper? I had no expectations of my blog being mentioned in any gay publication, in fact that would be ironic lol. We all know how the Sydney gay um.... well we know how non-communal it is. No I just wanted to introduce you to the blog Elias Jahshan, but thank you for expressing your self importance anyway.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Part 10 - The Truth About Being Gay in Sydney Australia - His Name Was Hank Part 2

It was the darkest and most loneliest point of my life

It was a Sunday evening a few weeks before the Easter long weekend. Choi had been out late again and I was in the kitchen doing the dishes for the meal I cooked for both of us. He walked in the front door and straight into the kitchen and without looking at me declared "I want out"

I felt a sudden feeling of ice run through my entire body. It was as if he told me I was going to die. Of course I suspected this day would come, but I hadn't secured a job yet and I had no money in my bank account (Choi insisted that he handle all the finances and any money we made was held in an account in his name). I recall I actually whimpered like a puppy that had been injured and all I could do was choke out "I love you" but he turned away and went upstairs. I stood there at the kitchen sink gripping it tightly as my knees felt weak and before I could summon the strength to follow him up the stairs Choi returned with a suitcase. "Pack your clothes and get out!" he demanded.

I was stunned. My mind began to race and suddenly I felt it go into some kind of robotic emergency mode and as I let go of the sink I'd been gripping I stood tall, facing Choi straight on I yelled "But I have no where to go". "Alright", he said coldly, "You have a week then if you're not out I'm changing the locks" and with that he walked out the front door.

I didn't see Choi again after that. The following day I borrowed some money and found a small run down self contained flat in the back yard of a dilapidated home. Before that week was over I left my home. I tried contacting Choi through his office and his mobile, but he didn't answer.

The following day I'd moved out of my home I returned to the house to try and salvage a few things I couldn't manage to carry (family photos and other personal effects). The front door was slightly open and I could hear the television. As I approached the door I could see there on the sofa were Choi and his new lover wrapped in each others arm watching the TV. They looked as though they'd been together for years. My heart sank as I looked over to the side of the sofa where several bags of clothing were sitting. The new guy had moved in.

A week later was the Easter long weekend. I decided I would confront Choi about what he'd done. So I went to the house. Oddly newspaper had been taped over all the windows and as I peered through the window through a split between the newspapers I saw the house was completely empty. Choi had moved. He'd timed it perfectly and to this day 4 years later I never heard from Choi again. It was like he died and I was left filling in the pieces of my life alone.

I tried to contact the gay people we knew mutually. I needed someone to talk to, someone to offer advise but none of them would speak to me. I did manage to speak to Terry some weeks later over the phone and he confessed a similar situation had occurred between him and Choi when their relationship ended but that was after only 4 years Choi and I had been together for 14 years. After that I never heard from anyone again despite my attempts to speak to them.

I was alone with no job and not even sure how I got to this point. For the first few weeks I lived on vegemite stirred into a glass of hot water. Partly because I had no money to buy groceries (you don't get unemployment cheques as soon as you apply for it) and partly because I was so desperately sad. I grew quite ill and  lost a considerable amount of weight.

I sat in that little run down shed I was renting wondering how the hell I got to this point in my life. It was the darkest and most loneliest point of my life...

(to be continued..)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Part 9 - The Truth About Being Gay in Sydney Australia - His Name Was Hank

He announced "I'm going out.." and didn't come home 

until the afternoon of the following day.

It was Australia Day in 2009 as Choi waited for his taxi to take him to the airport. He was on his way to Singapore to spend Chinese New Year with his sisters in Jahor Baru. I remember it well because I was watching Gran Torino.

Choi and I had barely spoken to each other since our return from our Christmas holiday in Melbourne. It was an unusual holiday as Choi for the first time had barely spoken to me, instead he spent a lot of time in the bathroom with his phone or going for a walk alone and returning hours later. I knew there was something happening and I began to suspect he was seeing someone else.

The taxi arrived and Choi headed off. As I mentioned, in the last couple of years of our 14 year relationship Choi would spend Chinese New Year with his family alone and I would stay home. He would call me everyday to chat and laugh, but this trip I didn't hear from him at all. I wasn't sure what I'd do because I'd been unemployed for the past couple of years. So I began to make plans and started applying frantically for any job I could find in preparation of Choi's return.

When Choi returned home two weeks later our relationship seemed strained. He would work back late much longer than before until eventually when I spoke to him about anything he'd look right through me and not respond. It was as though suddenly to Choi I didn't exist. It was very painful.

Then one day as I was looking for my old resume I came across the flight information (boarding pass, copies of flight tickets) which Choi had stapled together and placed in the drawer from his recent trip to his parent's home. To my horror there wasn't one, but two and the other was an Asian name, a "Mr". I felt sick upon the realisation that Choi had taken, who I now discovered, his lover with him for Chinese New Year in Malaysia and Singapore.

What would I do? My mind was spinning and I knew I had to act quickly to get my own personal life in order as I'd put it on hold for so many years to help nurture Choi's career.

The following day as Choi showered a message suddenly appeared on his iPhone which was on the table where I was sitting. The message said "... I'm making noodles do you miss me hugz.." I couldn't take the lies any more so I snatched up the phone and waving it in Choi's face demanded to know who this message was from. His response. "it's probably a wrong number, you're just being neurotic"

For the next 3 months those last four words was his standard response to me "you're just being neurotic" He said it so often I began to believe him, even when one Saturday afternoon he announced "I'm going out.." and he didn't come home until the afternoon of the following day.

(to be continued...)