#StandUpForLOVE Episode 1 | The Kai Mata Story

 

Coming out for me like for most others came in stages, I am a firm believer that we in the LGBTQ+ community don’t just come out once. It is a consistent journey of coming out every day as we meet new people, specifically for me, I identify as a woman, and also have some traits that are considered more feminine by the general public such as this ridiculously long hair and the fact that I do occasionally wear tight fitting clothing and does qualify as straight passing, so I feel like I have to come out on a daily basis pretty much from a young age, I found people of all genders beautiful and I had this sense of feeling that whoever I loves, I would fall in love with for their eyes for their hearts for their laughter for their soul and it wouldn’t be stipulated on their gender identity. Looking back at that now, in theory, having the viewpoint I did was super healthy and accepting especially for someone who spent the teenage years in Jakarta, a place were anything but the norm of getting married and then having sex, and then having children was considered taboo and abnormal.

So I grew up with a pretty healthy acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. However, in Practicality, when it came to me, discovering my own sexual orientation, and the 1st time, I fell in love with a woman that’s a different story, I will say that it was a very heavy heartbreak and a 1st love that led me down a journey and which I felt quite hopeless. The 1st time I fell in love with a woman, let alone anyone, was in high school. I was 17 years old and I fell in love with my best friend, who was the stunning woman who made life into a comedy and made everyone around her feel comfortable.

We have such a strong connection and really spends a lot of our days just uncontrollably laughing and pushing the boundaries of essentricity and ending up in the most ridiculous situations. I fell in love with her and it was heavy because I knew she didn’t, love me back, I didn’t want to love her, and at that time, I wasn’t even ready to admit it to myself, so I kept it locked away to myself writing songs about the hard ache and that pain of having your loved be unrequited and I used music as my outlet that I felt safe to explore my feelings and emotional landscape,

so we carried on with our closeness and our friendship, and she began to like 1 of her classmates, a boy, and I saw them kiss at a party, and she called me later on to tell me about the 1st time and I want her to get the morning after pill and those layers just piled on top of me, in a way that grew heavier and heavier, as I was holding in this secret, and that weight piled the point where the lock broke. She found out about my sexual orientation before I was even ready to admit it to myself, let alone to feel, empowered to say it to someone else, especially the person who I loved, and in that moment, I felt so small and hopeless, so I began looking for resources in my school and in my city, and I found nothing in Jakarta, it was barren and that made me feel completely isolated and scared, like, there was no one who could relate to my experience.

Even though looking back at it now, so many people came, it was quite an isolating experience to feel like I was reaching out for connection, yet the only thing I heard back, was the echo of my own voice and it took quite some time spent in self reflection and self inquiry to really recognise my worth as an individual, and also realise that i’m worthy of loving and worthy of being loved, and this happens through communicating with people who are accepting and also talking directly with other folks in the LGBTQ+ community, it also really helps that when I made the initiative to come out to my parents, which was on my own accord.

Their simple beautiful message was as long as you are happy, we’re happy and that is a rarity to hear in this country, so i’m super grateful that I have the most loving family that has accepted me coming out. accepted my partner and my life and also accepted the weirdness I am on a daily basis, and this acceptance juxtapose the time in which my best friend found out, about my sexual orientation that was an experience that felt like the closet doors were just rips out of the closet I was hiding in and this felt like I was actually making the initiative to come out and be who I am and that was an exciting feeling to feel accepted. When I think back to that time are feeling complete isolation and fear about who I was and who I loved, my heart completely aches for that teenager, I used to be.

This is the experience that has thwarted me to feel a sense of responsibility in Indonesia to be visible representation for the LGBTQ+ community, that is what I needed a few years ago, so now in the current day my experiences have led me up a hill in which I am here to utilise the privileged position I have. The combination of a loving family, a small and mighty loyal audience, who actively engages with me on a regular basis and recognising the unique position i’m in and the ability, I have to be able to reach both Indonesia and a wider audience, these are what keeps me, motivated to be representation in a country that has actively tried to stifle the LGBTQ+ community through societal shame and government laws meant to criminalise us and make us feel like we are not worthy of existing.

i’ll be honest, it’s not easy hearing from others that I am diseased, or should be ashamed of myself for bringing the poisoned values of the West into our beautiful Indonesian country, it can feel quite disparaging to be continuously told that there’s something wrong with me that I should just stay quiet and keep my head down and tell off in the shadows that the visibility of my love should be something that is either actively stifled or actively punished, there was a time this year in which I woke up to find a photo of myself had circulated around Facebook with thousands of some pretty horrific messages borderline inciting violence, saying that they are looking to find out who I am where I live, and how they can track me down, and I know it would be much easier to just acquiesce to love in the shadows and to keep my beautiful partner and I safe behind closed doors.

However, I also know it feels so much more fulfilling and meaningful to try to beat up person, I so desperately needed when I was a young broken teenager, coming to terms with my sexual orientation and really struggling to figure out how it could ever feel like I was worthy of being loved, I am here, hoping to be a reminder that we are worthy, we are beautiful and we are also a part of Indonesia that deserves a right and a voice to speak up, about who we are and who we love, without fear of shame or criminalization. Thank you for watching if you like what you see, please be sure to just hit the like button down below, as well as subscribe if you want to see more content.

Leave a Comment