Two Humans Kissing
by The Dreamer
I still remember tuning in to a casual conversation between my mother and her friend, which I will go by S. It went down like this.
S: “When your daughters start to date, what will you forbid them to do?”
Me: (aside) OMG WTF EW CAN THEY NOT
Mum: (considers) “No public display of affection.”
S: (nods, plasters on some weirdass smile) “For me, I won’t ever let my daughter date a girl. ‘Cause, Gay is wrong.”
When I heard that, my heart froze. It’s not because I was into girls (I’m not), but it was because she so cruelly and blindly slammed homosexuality into the realms of “wrong”, as a mistake or a sin. But then what my mother said thereafter made my heart swell with pride.
“Gay isn’t wrong. It’s not a choice you know. But being against it is. I think I would give my daughters the freedom to date whoever they want, as long as they’re happy with it.”
I’ve dealt with homophobic friends before, those that think it is okay to read gay fanfiction about their favourite Kpop idols and squeal at their guy-guy interactions yet when they see two guys holding hands in Orchard Road they look away and pull a disgusted face. They freak out when they find out one of their friends are lesbian and even after I give them a preach, they find it difficult to swallow and accept.
I read Two Boys Kissing a few nights back. It was close to 2am, and I was burrito-ed in my blanket, my gaze riveted to my too-bright phone screen. It had been years since I read an e-book, but my library didn’t have this book(surprise, surprise!) and if I had bought a physical copy, my aunt who occasionally checks my shelf will freak the shit out (due to multiple religious reasons).
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I could go on about this book for days. It is undoubtedly one of the best reads in 2014 for me. I liked the fresh concept of having a chorus of souls to depict what is going on. Levithan digs deep into humanity and love. He touches me with the raw emotion he interweaves into this book, and he describes the kissing with such passion and beauty that my mind feels kind of lightheaded, like I was the one who had been kissing for 32 hours.
His words hits just the right spot. It addresses LGBT in a mature and touching way. It is engaging and poignant, truthful and cruel. I cried when Craig cried. I cried when Harry cried. The characters were realistic, flawed and authentic. I loved every single one and I want to cuddle them and never let them go. The book tugs at my heartstrings and leaves this lingering feeling of something beautiful, something warm planted deep in my body. I really really loved this book and it was soul-wrenching and all around gorgeous.
BRB. I need to have a good cry.
However, this post will not focus on the book itself, but rather on my personal opinions on LGBT rights. I will also insert a couple of quotes that have touched me in this post.
Ignorance is not bliss. Bliss is knowing the full meaning of what you have been given.
I was initially surprised when I had my first encounter with a homophobic person. I’m not blaming him/her for it, but I’m grateful that my upbringing makes me fully embrace LGBT culture. Since young, I’ve never been actually taught about anything related about LGBT. I’ve never had parents who would tell me, “Some people have mom and dad, some people have dad and dad, some people have mom and mom, some people have just one mom, some people have just one dad. And it’s okay.” But when I asked them about it, they never censored the truth. They let me sit with them while there was a guy on guy kiss scene and was totally chill with the whole concept. Trust me, I enjoy ALL kiss scenes.
The whole world narrowing down to that one intersection of skin and breath. Then expanding out, larger than before. A gasp of a kiss.
This is a kiss.
This is a kiss.
This is a kiss.
This is a kiss.
Why does it matter who does it with who? A kiss is an intimacy and a seal of a promise. Love is love. I still kiss my baby cousin on the lips. And one day I will do it with my boyfriend (I LITERALLY CANNOT WAIT HAH!) When I read Two Boys Kissing, I was equally overwhelmed by the passion and affection in this book, and I was equally touched and excited as I was when I read Eleanor and Park. It didn’t matter to me a single bit that it was boy x boy. I was hyped up by the intimacy and the beauty in the kiss (or the 32 hour kiss for that matter).
When I searched up on the couple that inspired the book at 3am, I was determined to write this post.
This was the actual couple who broke the kissing record. Okay, just to clear up. THEY AREN’T EVEN DATING. They were just trying to raise awareness on Gay Rights and AIDS. They were cheered and jeered. I was moved by their perseverance and their strength. AND OMG IS THAT PICTURE CUTE OR WHAT.
All I want to say is. Even now, gay teens still face a problem: their struggle to find a standing in this prejudiced world, having to face each contempt towards their homosexuality when they turn on their phones, their TV or the radio. Their hesitation to embrace who they really are, the fear of disappointing people they love. Why is being gay a disappointment, really? Why should we shun someone just because of their sexual orientation? They’re still going to be the same friend who has the same taste in music as you, laughs at the same inside jokes with you and will still be your shoulder to cry on. So we should also be supportive of them, because I’m tired of hearing, “Ew! She’s lesbo? That’s so weird. I just can’t face her again.” (I actually heard this before, no kidding.)
It’s one of the secrets of strength: We’re so much more likely to find it in the service of others than we are to find it in service to ourselves.
Captain Jack Sparrow says, “The problem is not with the problem. The problem is with your attitude towards the problem.” I don’t care if it’s your religion that disapproves of gays. I have also witnessed people who are incredibly mature and are not blinded by their religious beliefs. I quote what one of my Christian friends have said to me while we were discussing something related to gays. “I don’t fully accept it, but I tolerate it. And they will still be my friend, no matter what.”
This is the least you can do. I was truly touched by my friend’s ability to see past the fog and to make a wise judgement and opinion towards the issue. Each of the problems the characters face in Two Boys Kissing are ones real teens, and even adults, face daily. But the thing is, they will eventually get through it with support from friends. Support from family. Support from strangers.
There will be haters. But isn’t there always, for every single situation? I think it is crucial for gays to know that they can always build an empire out of the bricks the haters throw at you. And for every one person that throws a brick, there is nine people to help you build your kingdom of glory.
I hope that one day, two boys kissing will eventually dissolve to become essentially just, two humans kissing.
钧 x x
j e a n x x