gay holding hands
I remembered confessing to my male teacher at JC that I had a crush for him. What I was surprised was not that fact that he didn’t dismissed me off entirely but he said that I was his favourite student and we hanged out quite a bit, watching movies, having dinners and all the rest of it. I ended up falling in love with him unsurprisingly and we began to become more intimate with each other.

One day, my dad found out about my relationship with him in JC2 because he chanced upon my SMSes with him and he confronted me about it. I remembered being absolutely terrified but more so for my teacher because even though we had not had sex, I was afraid of getting him in trouble. I have no idea how angry my father would get because he never knew I was gay, much less dating a teacher from school.

His reaction however, surprised even me. He first sat me down calmly and asked if I felt as though I was being exploited. He also asked me whether I felt as though I was being forced to have sex or to do things against my will. I answered “no” to all these questions and he said “Well, that’s all I’m worried about anyways. As long as you feel as though you are treated with proper respect and love within that relationship, honestly I don’t care who you are dating.” 

I was so surprised by that response that I remembered asking him whether he really didn’t mind that I was dating my teacher or that I was gay and I still remembered what he said, “I think that this whole idea that a teacher shouldn’t date his student, or that homosexuality is somehow “bad” are all social constructions in a Foucaultian sense. (Yes, my family actually reads and discusses Foucault at the dinner table). I think that your mum and I had raised you well in order for you to make proper, intelligent decisions on your relationships and as long as you think you’re in a loving, healthy relationship, we’re perfectly happy with that. Furthermore I think that there’s too little love around for people to try and say that one form of love is inappropriate but if you ever feel that you are in an abusive, destructive relationship with him or with anyone else, please come to us immediately.” And he patted my shoulders and continued doing his business appraisals on his laptop. 

And I was so overwhelmed by his love and support and his refusal to judge my relationship. My teacher was absolutely stunned when he knew about my parents’ response and we began to be more open about our relationship after I graduated from my JC. Right now, I’m studying in a top university and my relationship with my ex-teacher is still going on strong but it’s always been strong because I have the overwhelming support of my family. My father is always the first person to fight off homophobic remarks when my boyfriend and I come over for CNY reunion and ever since he knew I was gay, he introduced me to books by David Halperin, Judith Butler and Eve Sedgwick so I can understand the social construction of sexuality and how contingent the idea of homosexuality, or dating someone older than you are as deviant sub-categories. I have the most brilliant father in the world and his love gives me so much acceptance and hope that I can’t imagine a world without him. 

Thank you Dad.

*Article first appeared on Gay SG Confessions.