Modern World, Modern Thoughts: A Story of Open-Mindedness and Acceptance

Modern World, Modern Thoughts

This is the second post written by my husband. I was going to call it a ‘guest post,’ but he seems to be interested in blogging and may become a regular contributor on Foreign Sanctuary. I was also going to put in my two cents worth, but I think I will keep my thoughts about the topic for another day. Personally, I think it is a great example of how far we have come in terms of accepting people for who they are and of course, there are a couple of jokes directed my way at the beginning! 🙂

However, I will provide some background information before you start reading his post. My husband and some of his friends from college get together every Chinese New Year Eve after having dinner with their respective families and they play Mahjong well into the night and sometimes continue playing until dawn. The usual three come to our house every year to play but sometimes eight or even 10 of his former classmates show up to catch up with each other and it turns into a mini-reunion. It has been a tradition that has been going on for at least ten years (my husband has hosted the last five) and I am sure it will continue on for many more.

Fa

Mahjong: A Lunar New Year’s Eve Tradition

My buddies and I will get together every Lunar New year’s eve to play “Mahjong,” a gambling game often played among family and friends. We will always chat about what has happened in life during the games. Most of time we are just joking around and enjoying some liquor. I know it sounds awkward that we’re gambling and drinking at the same time. That’s because winning money is not really the main purpose of these games. We are more interesting in catching up and socializing.

Since I was the one who always ended up losing, my wife always told me not to lose too much money whenever I played. One year, I told her that “You shouldn’t tell me not to lose lots of money before I even start to gamble.” I told her that she should phrase it this way – “Please win lots of money and bring it home, so we can splurge during the holidays” and since she started telling me to win, I have always won ever since. Well, at least for the past couple of years. I guess wishing me bad luck or good luck has made a huge difference. LOL. 😀

A picture of a Line image Source: Line
A picture of a Line image. – Source: Line ( I can’t believe that I have posted a picture of a guy picking his nose on my blog!)

Modern World, Modern Thoughts

One of my buddies plays every year. My wife calls him “ Mafia Man,” because of his gesture on his Facebook profile picture but I will call him “Howie” here. While playing this year, Howie said that he is a little bit concern about his son, his only son, who is studying in Junior High. And we all asked “What are your concerns?” He said out loud that he’s worried about him being gay and not being able to carry on his family name. We all had curious faces and asked him how could he tell if he is gay or not? Then he said that he shows no signs of being interested in girls. We all said “Oh, Really? What did you do about it?”

He said that he sat down with his wife and had a long conversation about it. And they have come to the conclusion of accepting it and loving him. It doesn’t matter which gender he’ll be in love with. We all said we’re so proud of you guys. Then he said it’s a modern world now, so they should have modern thoughts.

Then he told us that he went to ask his son about being gay. He told us that his son told him he’s not gay. We all shouted it out loud and said “You’re worrying for nothing.” But, then he disagreed and said he never ever sees his son interested in boy’s stuff. And that’s why he still didn’t believe him yet. He also told his son they will be there for him no matter if he’s gay or not. What an outstanding family they are!

Weighing Heavily on His Mind

Shortly after, another incident happened. Two of my cycling buddies (also former classmates) were out sightseeing and they posted a picture of them shoulder to shoulder on Line. These two buddies are not married yet. So Howie kind of joked about the picture and commented “What a lovely couple!” One of the guys in the picture messaged back by using the above LINE image: “WTF? “ (WTF is the best way to translate this LINE image in English.) When I saw these messages I was giggling to myself and thinking about commenting on the picture too, but I didn’t. I was waiting for Howie’s response.

Guess what Howie wrote back jokingly:

Don’t be shy! It’s OK being gay in this era and reveal it to the world!

The guy wrote back: “We’re not a couple! We’re like brothers, good buddies!”

By the way, these two guys are not gay and Howie knows that too. He was just kidding around. Like what Howie said: It’s a modern world now, we all should have modern thoughts and be supportive for our family members. However, I really believe the fact that his son may be gay weighs heavily on his mind and this is the reason why he thought that about the posted picture on Line.

What about you?

So what would you do if this happened to you as parents?

My thought is I will be supportive as well if I was in Howie’s situation. I know it may be hard and a shock at first, but they are who they are. I believe if you forced your kids to change who they are, you’re just going to ruin the relationship as a family and the child may end up resenting you.

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27 thoughts on “Modern World, Modern Thoughts: A Story of Open-Mindedness and Acceptance

  1. As parents, we want our children to be their authentic selves. But we also know that life can be more difficult for gay people, and we’d prefer that our children’s lives would be as easy as possible. Since my children are so precious to me, I would hope that they’d have the same opportunity to have kids. Still, I have to remember, there are many ways to have a happy life.

  2. It is hard for me to think how I would react as a parents. Right now little Nathan does little more than crawling around and does not know yet much more about the world. Later? Let’s see, I will try to be supportive, whatever his decisions might be but I also know that it might be hard for myself and for my wife to probably accept some things.
    Only the future will decide what will be our decision, right now it is only guessing

  3. I’m enjoying these guests posts, soon to be regular blog contributor posts. I think it is wonderful that the family has decided to be supportive with their son, no matter what. That is what counts — love and support. May you win lots of money and bring it home to splurge with your wife, during the holidays. 🙂

    1. I am enjoying his posts as well as he has many great ideas and it gives me a little break from blogging! I think it is great too that Howie is accepting. BTW, I will pass on the message that he should use his winnings to splurge on me if he is lucky enough to win in 2015!!

  4. Another great post! ^^ It’s interesting how open they are with each other while playing Mah Jong. (I always wanted to learn how to play sometime, but the grannies that play it here are ruthless and kind of scary…) I’m glad his decision was to be supportive, but what will he do if his son’s not gay after all, and just a late bloomer? XD
    A person’s sexual orientation has never been important to me — in general I consider it none of my business, but if it was my child I would want to be more involved and supportive. ^^ It’s all relative anyway when you look at the Kinsey scale. 🙂
    (Hope your husband wins big this year too! 😀 )

    1. Yes, they have known each other for years so it is not hard for them to talk to each other for hours over a game a mah-jong and some Jack Daniels.:) I don’t know how to play either and I don’t really want to learn. To be honest, I am not much of a gambler and neither is my husband (except for that one night a year)!! And I hope he wins big this year!! – It seems like playing at our house has been lucky for him (but I like to think it is my words of good luck before he starts to play). 🙂

      And I completely agree with your viewpoint. There is really nothing else to do but be supportive.

  5. This is a great post about accepting and loving each other for who we are. I really enjoyed the honesty within it.

    If I do have kids, I would want them to be happy and not be afraid of who they are. I’d want them to be able to stand on their own too feet and that starts with accepting themselves. I’ve studied and worked with people who are attracted to the same sex and I’ve come to learn that they are just like anyone else; we all have similarities in that we all face challenges, learn and love.

    Good luck with the gambling side of things 🙂 I wish you all the best. Maybe one day you’ll win enough in one game to buy a town or something. I don’t know if people in Taiwan win that much in casual gambling. Maybe at the casinos, I don’t know 🙂

  6. It’s great to see that times are changing and people can adapt to the changes too. There are some people who are harder to accept change though, I do wish that my parents can learn to be a bit more open like your friend. Not that they have to worry about my sexual orientation but so many things are changing in the world nowadays but they still cling to the old perceptions and sometimes, it’s hard to convince them otherwise which will then affect our lives.

    Nevertheless, I understand that they only want the best for their children but I do think that I will work it out differently from them if I ever have any kids in the future. Just curious, do you have any of your own? 🙂

    1. I think that most people our age are more open-minded. I know my parents, particularly my father, are still very conservative about certain things and have strong viewpoints about certain topics – so I know what you mean and where you are coming from.

      As for me and my husband, we have no children yet. But, hopefully it will happen in the near future (in the next year or two)!

  7. Well, Constance, your beloved hubby is becoming a popular blogger… 🙂
    * * *
    @”So what would you do if this happened to you as parents?” – it’s delicate and quite impossible to answer this question as long as we’re not in their “shoes”(situation)… we have 2 “old babies”(adults!), a son and a daughter, both hetero, but… if they had been “gay”, we would have respected their orientation, even though it’s hard and painful – both for parents and their kids… we know 2 couple of parents, especially fathers who have never accepted their gay sons/daughters…
    * * *
    my very best and have a serene weekend! friendly thoughts, Mélanie

    1. Thanks, Melanie! I am sure he was very happy when he read your kind comment!!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I know it is easy being open-minded but it is harder to deal with when it is one’s own child and I feel that is why Howie felt the need to talk about it.

  8. Hi, Constance, Your hubby writes very well, and will maybe have his own blog before too long. I will always be there for my children, whatever they may do or decide. I do feel that Howie is perhaps becoming a bit obsessive though, and should just wait and see what transpires with his son. More likely than not, his fears are unfounded.

    1. Thanks so much!! – I am sure my husband will be happy to hear that, but I think he will stick to writing a post for me every now and then! He is beginning to realize that blogging is a lot of work.

      And yes, he should wait but maybe it is a parent’s intuition. Maybe he feels necessary to prepare himself just in case.

  9. Over here in Malaysia, the mahjong battles are intense! A few hundred/thousand bucks will be involved throughout the entire 15 days of the Lunar New Year. And there will be a year long “grudge”. If the winner of this year decides not to join next year, he would earn the title of “coward” or “tortoise” 😀
    I honestly don’t know how I would react if I have a child and he/she is gay. It’s easy to talk about being open and accepting as an outsider, but I suppose it is many times harder for the parents. I’m not a very religious person myself, but I do think that man is made to be attracted to woman by nature, so unfortunately, although I respect gays’ rights, I don’t think being gay is right, just like I respect smokers, but I don’t think smoking is right. I would probably try to negotiate my child away from that path, but I’d like to think that if it is not meant to be, I would grudgingly accept it. I can’t imagine myself cutting off ties with my child, for whatever reasons.

    1. Wow!! So, are you saying that people play for 15 days? If it is, then that is crazy. My husband plays one night (and one night only a year) and from my understanding, the most ever lost by one person was US$1000 (thankfully not him – he actually won it)! 🙂 And why is the person referred to as a “tortoise” if they don’t play the next year?

      And thanks for sharing your views about how you would feel or what you do. I think we are all open-minded but it is harder to deal with when it is one’s own child.

      1. Ah.. I missed your question. Well, you know in some depictions, tortoise shrinks their head and legs inside the shell? Avoid facing the attack (or in this case, mahjong revenge) rather than tackle it head on. In other word, coward 😀

  10. How come I missed this post?? After pressuring your husband to write more!! I have been too busy lately 😦

    I love playing mahjong! Although I am not a match for Chinese people and I always lose, haha. Also, I don’t like gambling money, it makes me feel uncomfortable. But Chinese people say if there is no gambling there is no fun!
    I haven’t played mahjong in a long time though. My boyfriend’s grandma plays every day with her neighbors!

    I am glad Howie decided he will support his son if he is gay. Luckily people’s mentality is changing!

    1. Ooo! Little did I know, I have a fan on Foreign Snactuary. I’m really impressed you know how to play Mahjong! BTW, Constance doesn’t know how to play Mahjong.

      Constance’s husband.

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