The Right To Love… Man Or Woman

MOOD: (Somber)
Quote Of The Day: “You don’t die from a broken heart… You only wish you did.” -Unknown

So today on TV I watched a documentary called “Tales Of The Waria”. It talked about the transgender community in Indonesia. “Waria” is what transgenders are referred to as in Indonesia. They are biological men who openly live as women. It is a fairly large community like in Thailand. The film detailed the relationships of 4 warias. Not sure if it will rerun, but I believe they showed it on PBS, so you’ll have to check their website for more info.

I’ve always been a big fan of documentaries. I love how they’re unpolished, and real and in narrative form. If you haven’t watched it, then here is your warning if you plan to watch it cuz I’m about to give spoilers. Let’s talk about these 4 relationships.

First one, was of a gentleman that was a middle aged man. Can’t recall his actual age or if they mentioned that at all, but definitely the oldest of the group. He had been dating a man who had a family already. The guy he was dating had a wife and kids and him on the side. He had been dating this married man for over 18 years, and referred to him as his “husband”. This story blew me away, cuz of many reasons. One, I’m all for equal rights. Regardless what your sexual orientation is, you should be entitled to be with someone you love, but at the same time, I value monogamy. The thing I couldn’t fathom is that the married man’s wife was ok with this!! She was ok with her husband having a waria on the side! What?? That was not kool for me. I know I shouldn’t be quick to judge such a situation, but personally I just thought that was a little twisted. The wife had said, she was not jealous of the waria, cuz he was so open and honest about his feelings towards her husband, she didn’t feel threatened and didn’t understand what she should be jealous about. Well alrighty then. >_> The married man I guess would be considered bi-sexual I guess? Hum…

The second story, (forgive me if I’m telling these in the wrong order, but you get the point…) was of a waria who was single. He had previously been in a relationship for 7 years, but after that breakup, he didn’t date again. He said that he really was in love with that previous man, and it was a great relationship, but in the end, he chose or more so his family chose for him to marry a woman.

The third story, was of a waria who was dating a heterosexual man according to him. He said, although his boyfriend was a “normal” man for lack of a better word, he still loved him just the same. The boyfriend said that the waria treated him better than any woman had previously and when he gets intimate with him, he doesn’t see him as a man but as any other woman. The twist in the story is that this waria had tested for HIV positive, but after she told her BF regretfully, he not only didn’t leave him, but loved him even more!! I was rather touched by that. How many heterosexual relationships do you know that are as strong?? I can’t even name many, so that was definitely a blessing.

The last story was rather painful, it talked about a man who really was homosexual by nature, but chose to live his life as a “normal” man. He suppressed his feelings for the same sex due to family pressure, and married a woman and had kids. His wife adored him, and he cared for his wife and kids, but he wasn’t “in love” with her, cuz he really loved men. He said he would often times dream about being with men, and how they made his heart tremble, but he doesn’t have feelings like that for women or his wife. The wife would sometimes worry when he went out to hang with friends. She worried about his ways, and if one day he will not be able to control himself and give into his desires.

In the very end, all 4 stories ended with broken relationships. The one dating the married man basically had a diminished relationship, because his “husband” ended up going back to his wife. He said the feeling of loving and then losing was painful, especially after being with him for over 18 years.The one that was HIV positive who had the loving BF, basically ended up going his separate ways from the BF, cuz he wanted to leave the town he was in so he could go to the city of Bali, where there were more opportunities to make money. After separating from the BF, their relationship started to slowly drift apart. Even phone conversations started to be meaningless. The waria who forced himself to be a “normal” man and married a woman, was still unhappy. Although they stayed married, deep down inside, he was never and probably will never be able to truly be happy in his marriage because he longed to be with a man. And then of course, we had the single waria who hadn’t dated after his break up from the 7 year relationship.

Though I’ve watched a lot of documentaries, this one was very touching, and in so many ways, very sad. It made me think a little, and though my humble opinions aren’t really worth anything, here’s what I think… Once again, like I said, I don’t care if you love man or woman; I think relationships should be monogamous. I’m not for any of these having side relationships or open marriages, that is just not kool with me. I hate sharing, especially the person you love, how can you bare to share them? Call me selfish, but love is selfish in itself isn’t it? There are not many things in life you can call your own, but if someone loves you, shouldn’t that at least belong to you without restriction?

Secondly is discrimination. For those ignorant people who think that being “gay” is a lifestyle choice, please read up on your subjects. A heterosexual person simply does not get up one day and “decides” to be gay. You are just born that way!! It’s like being born with freckles! You just are!! Its like being born short or tall! You just are!! Get it?? We accept other traits that are from the birth, then why can’t all people accept people such as this if it is not a choice of theirs?? It is simply just how they are. I don’t get it.

And third, repressing your feelings or trying to “change” who you are is not kool either. Like the waria that under his parent’s pressure decided to marry a woman and start a “normal” family. Society and ignorance pushed him to make that choice. We only live once, I think it’s unfair. It’s unfair that just because it is not “common” it is considered not “normal”. His wanting to blend in and be accepted by society meant that he had to sacrifice his happiness. Not only do I think it’s unfair, I also think it’s irresponsible. It’s not fair that he has to live without being able to pursue what makes him happy. It’s also irresponsible to his wife! You’re lying in bed next to her yet every night you dream about being with men? If you married her then she deserves to have your love. Marrying someone you don’t love is worse than loving someone and never marrying them. She also becomes a sacrifice in this ordeal. But that’s just how it is isn’t it?

Another thing is a theory that I’ve always had about relationships. It is also something that I often times find myself explaining to those who don’t understand how me and Kenny can stay together for as long as we have with thousands of miles between us. My theory is, if distance is there from the beginning of the relationship then distance is not an issue. But if distance occurs later in a relationship that has NEVER had a distance situation, then distance becomes an issue. The relationship with the HIV positive waria and her loving BF is a prime example. Me and Kenny have always had the long distance situation, it wasn’t something we technically had to “overcome”, because we were never physically close (in distance), so it becomes basically a “non-issue”, ever since the beginning, we’ve been having to deal with the not seeing each other, long drawn out phone calls, etc. But in the case of the waria, you can have a great relationship when the intimacy is there, and you live together and see each other, but a sudden separation created an “out of sight out of mind” situation. Not many relationships, regardless of how strong, can withstand the struggles of long distance, as I explained in my last blog post. Its true.

But the documentary made me realize how we often take love for granted. We tend to let our loved ones see our more ugly sides. We tend to yell at them louder, scream at them harder, say things that are meaner, etc. Why? Cuz they are closest to us. We take for granted how much they are able to withstand from us, we take for granted the fact that they’re always there for us. But we don’t stop to think that this is so much harder for many people of the world, such as warias. They’re not able to love without sacrifice, they’re not able to love without the ridicule of society, and even when they’re hurt, it seems like less people are there with an understanding mind, and comforting word. It’s really rather sad. In a very insensitive and selfish side of me, I am happy that I was born the way I was. I’m grateful that I get to love who I do, and do as I wish, without society poking me and bullying me into conformity. In other words, I feel blessed.

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