Being a Gay Chinese Girl in the UK

Vanessa is a 21 year old British born Chinese girl from Bristol. She first realised that she was attracted to people of her own sex was when she was just 12 years old. Here she tells her story about what happened and how she felt when she told her parents the truth about her sexuality. 

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Telling the parents 

The first time I told my dad I was gay it was in a weird situation because I was drunk, he said that it wasn’t normal and then started joking about, saying things such as “wow look at that girl’s ass as you are into girls as well”. But when I told him I had a girlfriend he said he already knew as he found out from someone but was too embarrassed to raise the subject with me. He then said  “if anyone found out his own daughter was a lesbian (like family wise), he would jump off a cliff!!”. That really upset me, I was crying to my sister about it and she said not to worry about what he thinks as long as I’m happy with myself then that’s all that matters…

When I told my mum, she didn’t like it one bit, she started talking about how god wouldn’t appreciate it and even now she tries to set me up with guys when she knows I’m not into them, and when I told her I had a girlfriend she said the relationship wouldn’t last and it will never work out as my girlfriend lived in Nottingham. I wanted to move there but mum didn’t let me because she was worried that something bad will happen. Eventually when my girlfriend and me split up we were trying to work things out but my mum went behind my back and phoned her saying it would be better if we were just friends because that would be best for me, as my mum knew I was in a very bad state from the split.


Drinking and feeling suicidal

I was feeling suicidal and drinking all the time to numb the pain. To be honest I knew I was bisexual since I was really young, when I was in year 1 of school. I use to pretend to cry so my teacher would pick me up so I could look down her top lol. So I knew I was a bit different. The first person I told was my sister Jess, I was crying at the same time when I was telling her because I was scared she would hate me and judge me, but she was very supportive. It was 2 or 3 years ago that I realised I was into only girls, I knew I wasn’t into guys because when people talk about guys or me dating a guy, I would feel all grossed out and then start getting really angry.

Traditional Chinese parents 

I think most Chinese people in the UK who are gay won’t come out with it to their parents because the traditional Chinese way with parents are very strict about these issues and I have heard it before when parents say they will dis-own their child or beat them to death, because I remember when my sister and me said it as a joke to my parents (this was before when I told them about my sexuality) they said they would dis-own us even if we are their own flesh and blood. It’s been a few years now that my parents know, I know it still bothers them that I’m a lesbian but they don’t like talking about it and I guess in a way they are kind of accepting it a little by little, like just as long as I’m happy they are happy. And I am much more happier now that they have realised who I really am. As a result I have not been drinking or taking drugs as much as before, and have been able to go about my daily life just like anyone else would regardless of their sexuality.

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