I could not grasp the thought of myself being ordinary because I have constantly felt that there is something in me which is different. Although the society I am moving in says what I have to do in able to follow the customary, the execution of those structures is actually laborious for me. I have always accepted that my feelings and perception will always be dissimilar from the norm. That my disposition will always be contrary to what I am told and assigned to do.
I guess, the thought of being similarly different is actually a snippet of myself after all.
It was still as fresh as my childhood days every time the memories when I was a little boy are reliving unto me. I have always seen boys very dear and adoring to me if I would base it on their physical attributes. Finding myself being attracted to those guys who seem to be very alluring and good-looking is not unaccustomed for me since I was a little lad. Although I know I could still invest my feelings on the opposite gender, I am fully aware that what I have been feeling inside is not the stereotypical boy like me would feel.
The teasing and mockery thrown out to me as a young innocent boy who happens to have such feminine disposition became so usual and customary; to the point that I have lived my entire childhood believing that what I was experiencing was no different at all. That the things being said and done to me was all just a part of a normal boy “growing up” and none of those should be seen as something discriminatory.
As a child, I have caught feelings to boys that cost me significant measures just to make them notice and feel my admiration for them. I would do countless imprudent gestures only for me being despondent even if I am already expecting that it would go the same way over and over again. I have lived my life thinking that I will always be like this; that my feelings will never be reciprocated because no one would actually dare to invest their feelings on me, since I have taught to myself that I am different, and I will always be; and that disparity will be the primary inducement for me to constantly feel this void of being alone.
There is a time in primary school when this boy from the other class would casually and perpetually talk to me every time I am being sent to their room due to my excessive noisiness. I would just stand in the middle of the classroom with people I clearly do not know as a form of punishment. However, this punishment does not seem to make me feel humiliated at all; because I met the first person that would actually make me reassert that “Maybe, I really am different from the other boys”.
I was just a little lad back then yet I have already known that what I am feeling is not usual for boys my age since we would always end up in dispute. The reason I have girls as my best friend is because I could not deal with males due to the fact that I am too “soft” for a boy. I was also known for being too talkative and gossipy which is again—not customary for a lad like me. Stereotypical boy play games does not seem to amuse me at all. I could not even hold a proper interaction with males because they seem to be very aggressive to me; until I met this lad that actually treated me as someone who is worthy of friendship, trust, and appreciation. Every time I am being sent to their class as a form of punishment, the mortification and fear turned into excitement and blithe because for the first time, I have built a genuine friendship with someone whose gender is not conventional for me to grow fondness with.
We became the best of friends. We spent most of our days enjoying each other’s company even if we are not from the same class. Each time with him is a conglomerate of the most jovial moments for me. The friendship we had made me feel secured about myself more because I have learnt that it is actually not impossible for me to mold this particular type of relationship. Although I never really told him what I genuinely felt amidst and behind of our friendship, I knew from the start that my innocent admiration will not be retaliated.
We were entirely different; He is the orthodox, I am not. He is the conventional young lad, I am not. He is fond to play with boys our age, I am not. He could not like boys, and I could.
The concept of me being normally different among the others still has not cease to linger my credence; I just learned and confirmed it to myself that I really am contrasting and contrary among the boys that would act and feel customary and “normal”, because I could actually have such fidelity with someone with the same biological gender as mine—and they could not, even if I want to.
Adolescent years approached me yet the thought of disparity still has not fail to linger my whole belief regarding myself. I learned to forge my own disposition. Even if I know that it is not my genuine self, I did it anyway because authenticity is not significant for me anymore, belongingness is. And how would I belong myself if I would consequently feel that I am different and there is no one else out there that feels the same way I did?
The consistent void that I felt while growing up was not long when I reached high school and went in to a university with a vast amount of people. The variety of stories and personalities astounded me. I was so confined to a such compelling environment that forced me to obscure my difference since I was a young lad that is why the diversity I am experiencing and seeing right before my eyes caused me significant and genuine astonishment. For the first time, I felt that my only identity is my disparity because there’s a whole lot of stories to hear out there and each has their own unique plot, including mine.
I had classmates who were confident about their sexuality. I became friends with athletes who were genuinely dedicated to their event ever since they were a child. I have met people whose struggles are revolving inside their household. I worked with such talented people who were gifted with a knack in artistry. I had conversations with school mates who were actually living up to reach their most desired dreams even if it cost them being away with their most loved ones. I had to deal with a variety of personalities and attitudes because this time, I am not the center of everything and I had to adjust for the well-being of the people around me. I was exposed to real lives and problems that I did not actually know existed, because all along I thought that the only problem out there are the struggles that I am only bound to experience.
All my life, I thought that being disparate and different to what is customary will actually be normal for me, because I taught to myself that I am the only different person out there because of my orientation and sexuality—but no, I was wrong.
When I was divulged in a much more boundless environment, I have learnt that diversity builds up when there is a collection of differences and disparity—and that divergence is us, humans. I have confined myself my whole life since I was a child that I am apart from everyone else because I am different when it comes to who and what I chose to love, but no—because as I am growing older, I am constantly discovering that there are actual people who share the same difference as I have. And that fact alone does not deviate me from the society I am living in—I am actually not alone, because I have embraced my own difference.
Maybe—the thought of being similarly different should not be a snippet of myself after all. Because our own disparity is what making us human. It builds up our identity and it shows how we diverge from one another as a whole. And maybe—our disparity does not make us any different from the norm but instead, it is what makes us bound to one another as individuals coming from variety of struggles and stories we individually and distinctly have.
Maybe—I am not different at all; I am just purely myself from the start; another individual who is bound together with his own definition of complexity and disparity.
A unique disparity which happens to be his—sexuality and gender.