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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Born this way

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:59 PM | Best Blogger Tips

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Effeminate mannerisms not well-received causes difficulties with family members and identity issues.
Born this way

THERE is a constant voice in Kelvin Lim's head 
reminding him at times to sit up straight, not sway
his hips when he walks, control the pitch of his voice,
not squeal in delight or surprise. In short, to act like 
how a boy is supposed to.

He is conscious of his every gesture and movement, 
and is trying hard to contain any that might appear effeminate.

Kelvin wants to be a "normal" guy, and he is consumed 
with trying to be the son his parents want him to be. The 20-year-old student readily admits to being effeminate, or lelaki lembut, but he says he is "not as soft as before."

"I don't want my parents to disown me. It would be 
terrible to have two parents and both of them not wanting me. I don't want them to stop calling me their son.

"My brother warns me that if I continue to be effeminate,
or turn out to be a homosexual, it would break our father's heart," says Kelvin who first realised he was an embarrassment to his parents when a drunk uncle berated him for being effeminate at a family dinner when he was 14.

After many years of practice, Kelvin seems almost able
to pull off the masculine act. But we knew Kelvin when 
he was a giddy, high-spirited 16-year-old cheerleader who was slightly effeminate. He admits that sometimes it is a strain to keep up appearances.

Kelvin has always been on the softer side. When he was younger, he used to wear his sister's clothes, play with her Barbie dolls, put on his mother's make-up and felt good doing them all.

"It didn't feel like it was wrong for me to do all that. Not at all," says Kelvin.

"The boys at school used to tease me for hanging out and gossiping with the girls, whom I felt more comfortable with. They also made fun of my 'limp wrist' or how I walked or squealed in delight when I got excited," shares Kelvin.

His parents keep insisting that he should play other sports like football or basketball instead of being a cheerleader, and that he should be more "manly". 

They also warn him that his effeminate tendencies 
will be frowned upon by society.

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