As the first speaker of Pride Talk in June 2017, I felt both anxious and determined. I was anxious because I wondered how much of my story would resonate with the audience; I was determined because I was talking about my true self onstage.
Besides my 18-digit ID card number and a nickname, being a good student was the identity that I have held since I was young. I inherited the values of my parents, my teachers, and my elders, and I thought my whole self was based on those values.
And then,I was caught by surprise when a friend of the same gender as me hit on me;
I was into a guy and a good male friend of mine who was in the closet also expressed interest in the same guy;
I watched my good friends come out;
I experienced self-doubt and denial after I over-invested in a relationship;
and I met the most loveable person in the world when I was in Taiwan. I decided to come out, and we began the most unforgettable relationship.
The “self” is something you cannot see. You can only glimpse yourself in a mirror; similarly, you can only understand your inner “self” by looking into a mirror forged by crazy, scary, sad, and shocking experiences.
“Like” and “love” do not have eyes. Neither discriminates against men or women.
As more and more countries decriminalized homosexuality and recognized same-sex marriage in 2017, people’s narrow views of “like” and “love” began to expand. LGBTQ individuals are freer to love each other, but at the same time, labels have proliferated.
As the organizers of ShanghaiPRIDE have said, “The ultimate goal of the festival is to make Pride redundant.” Maybe one day we will do away with labels.
Pride Talk has attracted speakers from many different backgrounds. Each has a fascinating story to tell. We look forward to seeing more incredible speakers and continuing to raise the bar at Pride Talk this year.
If you are interested to share your story in 2018 Pride Talk, please come and join us!