Aiming for Inclusion: Loving Others as an Openly Bi Christian


IN HIGH SCHOOL, as many other young adolescent teens are during this time, I began to feel an emotional admiration for classmates and friends of both genders—males and females alike. My freshman year, I met a boy whom I only once briefly met in the 7th grade during a small group therapy counseling session with our guidance counselor. You can imagine the look on his face as I glanced over at him for the very first time—small beady eyes, a warm, gentle grin and sunny disposition. I was somehow entranced, but dared not say anything except for a simple “Hi” and a gentle wave of the hand. When we finally briefly re-connected in high school, I nearly fell in love with him—or so I naively thought. Fast forward ahead many years into the near future. After many long hiatuses of not communicating back and forth online ever since Tim and his mom moved out to Texas in February 2008, one May evening one year ago, I decided to muster up the strength to tell him the truth about how I really felt about him all this time, and how much I’ve missed him so. “Tim, I love you. I really do.”

Continue reading Aiming for Inclusion: Loving Others as an Openly Bi Christian


Scared and Wounded…and Yet, Somehow Still Hoping.

If the world should end tomorrow
And no one’s by my side
My greatest fear and sorrow
Is to be alone tonight

The sky may fall
The earth could shake
And the seas could turn to stone.
The sun may scorch me
Still I’ll be brave
But I’m scared to be alone.

Don’t feel sorry for me
I’ll be stronger than I look
Though it’s real, the pain I feel
What if I keep holding on?
Someone hold me ’till I’m gone

If I sleep and never wake
If my body turns to bone
Death can rear his ugly face
I’m just scared to be alone

~ Scared to Be Alone, performed by Tim Be Told

IN EARLY DECEMBER, I clicked on a MSNBC MSN news report whose headline read “Mom of Bullied Gay Teen ‘Uplifted’ By Support”, and viewed a teen boy’s YouTube video that conveyed more of a personal testimony feel to me more than anything else.

But once I started watching, I couldn’t stop until it was over.

My emotions ran high inside of me, as I saw Jonah Mowry cry on camera—I wanted to reach out to him and just give him a comforting hug and just tell him that cliché statement “Everything’s gonna be alright.”

Now before I continue any further, I would like to say I do not affirm homosexuality as a moral thing nor do I fully condemn it.

I was also raised to be “anti-gay” and to be very conservative towards homosexual views—to condemn homosexuality as an entity in itself, and to religiously “hate” on gays.

But, the older I get, some homosexual testimonies speak to me as deeply as straight testimonies do, not just from a romantic perspective, but on a deeper, emotional perspective as well.

This is because, judging from what I heard from several YouTube gay testimonies, some of these males suggest they chose the homosexual path when they felt wimpy, lost, confused, and, in the event of looking for family members and role models to affirm their own masculinities, they felt rejected and scarred and later on, turned to other gays for an intimate romance together.

Now, several gay men out there may wish to argue with me as they please, but these are my authentic views on gays in general.

More importantly, this column is not meant to be a “love gays or hate gays” kind of column.

This column is meant to speak to the hearts, minds and souls of what I intend to be, billions of people on the planet, regardless of nationality, gender, sexual orientation, faith (religion), social class or otherwise.

This column is meant to be one of my personal testimonies on what it’s like to feel lost and alone—and the fear of being lost and alone—and how I intend to walk a long road to recovery, how I have intended to overcome my lost and lonely moments.

Nearly ten months ago, I published a column entitled Striving to Be “Perfect?”, based on Pink’s single Fucking Perfect (excuse me for the vulgar language, but this is the title of the uncensored version of the song). In my column, I excruciatingly described a brief overview on how people get hurt, why they get hurt, and how to overcome past wounds and scars.

Now, I intend to explain a similar topic with analogies to movies, TV dramas, and stories of my own life. If need be, I will expand on this topic on a later basis.

When I was eight years old, I vividly recall one evening where I gathered around the TV with my parents while we watched a Taiwanese drama (whose title I have long forgotten).

There is one scene from this drama, however, that I have never forgotten for the past ten years of my life.

A man is frustrated with events that are occurring (and seemingly unfolding) in his life—relationships with his family and friends have become increasingly strained—and he is fed up with it.

In his anger, he yells at his children, I believe, and later, walks into another room of the house and sits there and sobs loudly.

In my naïve little kid mind, I couldn’t seem to grasp why this man was so angry with his family, and so I asked my dad a relatively simple question, “Dad, why is that man angry?”

My dad responded in a brief manner, “Because he is sad.”

Even ten years down the road, his relatively short answer never quite made sense to me.

Sad? How is that man sad? I thought he was angry.” I’d often wonder to myself, reminiscing that scene, frozen in my mind.

But it has taken me nearly the past ten years to gradually come to terms with a logical answer to my father’s words.

The man in the drama is sad on an emotional and psychological level, because he feels like he has no control over what is happening to the people closest to him, or even his own life for that matter, and so he lashes out and sobs uncontrollably.

I never quite understood the experience until I first started to get frustrated myself, or whenever I’d get into arguments and fights with my parents, relatives, or even close friends.

There’d be times when I get angry at other people, and after I start to calm down from my frustrations, I’d feel hurt and wounded.

And then there’d be times when I feel depressed and empty.

To cope, I’d usually talk it out.

But there’d also be times when I feel scared to be alone, feeling lost or unwanted, and in my most desperate moments, unloved (or at least, the emotional perception of feeling unloved).

I’ve tried many things to cope with this constant emptiness—surrounding myself with friends at school and at church, talking things out with my parents, several of my high school teachers, my former paraeducator Krystal Sanchez, my high school counselor DeAnne Andrews, or even my former psychologist Dr. Grace Ho—after all the talking, I’d feel comforted, but still empty.

Until a while ago when I started taking things—like schoolwork and the works—a little more seriously.

But I’ll be honest. I still slack, as most other students do.

All that aside, I find hope and encouragement in the people I’ve befriended over the years, and in the God whom I serve and trust as well.

I find hope in films that speak to the heart, and make me want to get out there and do something, and touch other people’s lives.

There is one Taiwanese film I first stumbled upon in my eighth grade year while surfing the Web called 拥抱大白熊 (Bear Hug in English). The film primarily discusses marriage and divorce, and how living in a separated family can affect a young boy growing up in a Taipei home.

My brief synopsis of the film is that a young nine-year old boy, Zhao Da-Jun (陳冠伯, AKA Brian Chen) lives with his father, and his mother is a flight stewardess who occasionally makes time to visit Da-Jun.

It is hinted halfway through the film Da-Jun’s mom and dad are divorced and separated, but Da-Jun still longs for his mom to be near him, and simultaneously loathes his father’s presence on a daily basis.

While Da-Jun’s father is busy with errands at work or spending time with his newfound girlfriend, Da-Jun is looked after by his sixteen-year-old teenage cousin Yi-Fen (Hong Haoxuan), who has problems of her own in her family as well—fighting between her little twin brothers and arguing with her parents, and on top of that, living in a cramped two-story house.

Both Da-Jun and Yi-Fen later glance at a window shop and see a large white teddy bear, and are both comforted by its image.

Though I won’t give away the ending, the teddy bear comes to symbolize a mother polar bear, loving her cubs—but in reality, are separated from her cubs and leaving both mother and cub feeling lost and alone, and in a sense unloved.

Yi-Fen does however understand that Da-Jun has a sad heart…like a bear cub that is sent off into the wild by its mother.

~ An excerpt from the synopsis of Bear Hug (2004) on

Props to the acting and the story by the way.

I especially love Brian’s character, because the story revolves around his point of view—from the eyes of an innocent little boy, and I know I still have the heart of a little boy as well.

That’s why the story in itself is still relatable to people.

(Brian Chen, you’re a great actor. You’re one of my many film idols!)

Every once in a while, you stumble across a great movie like Bear Hug. The message is real, straightforward and impacting and most importantly, thought-provoking.

TV shows and movies, I believe, shouldn’t just be viewed just because it’s “entertainment.”

Why not give it a new label, like “Philosophical Dramas” perhaps?

Cause among the plethora of great movies produced in the world, there are far too many for me to extract philosophical messages from. But they all get the point across really well.

Many stories include themes of triumph, defeat and tragedy, something that everyone can relate to, no matter what people or what culture.

And that’s the thing.

When we all feel lost, tired and weary, when we all face dark times and call for desperate measures, nearly everyone, will get down on their knees and beg for mercy and for a second chance at making things right this time.

Yes, I know You are great
But is a bad God better than none?
How much more will it take to undo the damage that You have done?
‘Cause the wicked and wayward continue to thrive
And the martyrs continue giving their lives
Oh, the faithful never never survive
Oh, the faithful never never survive

God are You listening?
Please hear my cry
I don’t really believe You’re more cruel than You’re kind
But I’m getting tired of repeating this line
That the faithful never survive…

~ An excerpt from Lament performed by Tim Be Told

We all feel this way at times. We long for hope, love and comfort.

But how does the world treat you?

It spits in your face and tries to stone you. You become an exile, and you flee to save your own life.

But one little ray of hope still encourages us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, and this single line encourages me too to do the same.

It is extremely difficult to love…in a world that longs for love and acceptance, and when there is so much hatred among our fellow human beings.

It is even worse when the common man treats his neighbors as enemies, and plots to destroy them.

But didn’t somebody say “Love your enemies anyway?”

Why is that?

Because that is what an almighty God wants for mankind. He wants us to treat our fellow human beings as friends and partners, not our enemies, for aren’t we all made in His image?

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

~ Genesis 1:26 – 27 (NIV)

Give those verses some food for thought the next time you feel down on yourself or your relationship with someone is strained.

People get angry, I get it. I do too. But a thought and an emotion even greater than anger or sadness is love.

My parents love me even when I disobey them.

(That’s crazy talk, right?!)

Not really. It’s called grace.

What I did on the Cross was meant to take what is unforgivable and make it forgivable. That’s my grace. It’s not about you. It’s always about Me. That’s grace Peter.

~ Jesus (Tommy Woodard) from Grace performed by The Skit Guys

A friend of mine, Nathan Cheng, once told me a piece of advice. He reminded me that parents aren’t perfect people either. They make mistakes as well, and regret them as any other human would. But they still love their children no matter what.

How more would this God I’m supposed to put my faith in and believe in ever love me less?

Answer: He doesn’t. He loves you with everything that He is.

He loves ALL people, regardless of gender, nationality, or sexual orientation.

And yes, God loves homosexuals too.

(It’s the people that judge. But He doesn’t. He only judges you if you don’t accept His gift of grace, but it is every man’s decision to choose, whether to accept it or reject it.)

To close, I’d like to have Jonah Mowry share a few words:

I’m scared…

A lot of people hate me. I don’t know why. But I guess I do. Cause I kinda hate me too….I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired of being torn down, and building myself up to only be torn down again.

But…I’m not going anywhere. Because I’m stronger than that. And I have a million reasons to be here.

~ Jonah Mowry, from What’s Going On? (2011)

I am a Christian, and I love Jonah Mowry. 🙂

God bless you all this Christmas Season, and have a Merry Christmas! 😀

~ A Fellow Columnist, Josh Chen.