Krit, early 30s [but the curls is popping so he looks early 20s OOP] sits on his bed in his one bedroom apartment, handwriting the last of three letters. He signs off the final letter and folds it up into thirds before placing them all into a small box together with three small softcover books. He places the small box on the dresser and walks over to the bathroom to take a good look in the mirror. He’s not really sure what he’s staring at but after a few beats he gives a smile anyway. He runs the faucet and splashes water on his face to wash away the dry tears. He pats his face with a towel and returns to his bedroom. He sits cross legged with his back up straight in the center of his bed. He closes his eyes and takes a moment before he pulls his phone out of his pocket and dials ‘Mum’.
Krit: Happy Mother’s Day, Mum!
Mum: Oh thank you, darling! I just finished having dinner with the Laumuas. I wish you were here.
Krit: I wish I was too.
Mum: So tell me what you’ve been up to! Who have you caught up with? What events have you been to?
Krit: Oh I’m just taking a break from all that and laying low at the moment.
Mum: Well you didn’t move out there to lay low, Kristian. You need to get out there and work hard!
If you know Krit, you know about his hustle and doing whatever it is he sets his mind to so for his mother to hear he’s taking a step back was out of character.
If you know Krit, you also know how much love and respect he has for his mother – she means the world to him and his purpose in life has been to make her proud.
And if you know Krit, you know how much he’s like her in what makes them tick and in how they can escalate shit in a heartbeat and just cuz it was Mother’s Day, it wasn’t about to stop them from popping off!
Krit: Ok sometimes there are more important things to take care of.
Mum: Like what? You won’t be able to take care of anything if you’re not working!
Krit: You know what, Mum? I actually need to focus on myself right now!
His voice has a slight tremble to it. Something’s coming. He can feel it in his body.
Mum: Oh well I wish I had that luxury! I wish I were afforded that privilege. Do you think I ever got to just focus on myself, Kristian? You really need to grow up and stop being so selfish.
Krit: I’M DEALING WITH A LOT.
Silence. He took his mother by surprise. He took himself by surprise. And he begins to cry uncontrollably. It’s time.
Mum: Darling, what’s wrong? Talk to me. Say something.
All choices are grounded in either one of two emotions – Love or Fear. Krit loves his mother with all his heart but for nearly 33 years he’s been living in fear of disappointing/embarrassing/shaming her.
Krit’s heart races as he takes in a deep breath and through his snot cry he manages to mumble the words…
Krit: I’m gay.
Krit had this whole production planned out in how he was gonna drop his truth bomb on his family. His ass is so extra – he had bought 3 copies of Alice Miller’s “Drama Of The Gifted Child” with individual handwritten letters enclosed to his mother, his sister Leini and his brother Miki and they were all ready to be sent off to New Zealand. But that shit flew out the window. God was like “nah you gon do it now”. It was happening on the day that’s supposed to be reserved for spoiling Mothers. And thankfully Krit has his to comfort him.
Mum: Oh darling, you know that doesn’t change anything. You’re still my baby and I love you and I’m still so proud of you. Is that what you’ve been holding in?
Krit exhales. He feels a sense of relief.
Mum: And if any of my family has anything to say I’ll fight them! None of them are perfect –
Krit’s body tenses up again. He cuts her off mid sentence.
Krit: Mum! Listen to you. That’s the problem. I can’t look at this as an imperfection. It’s who I am.
She calms herself and moves to a much lighter tone.
Mum: Oh yeah I know, it’s just how some people view it.
Hey y’all, I’m a playright! Surprise! I’m playing. But I’m not playing when I say this is my story and from here the acts just get heavier and heavier. It all ends in light though so if you’re game for some of that, read on.
“And if any of my family has anything to say I’ll fight them! None of them are perfect -”
This sums up the reason why I never came out. I mean yeah there’s society’s homophobia but then there’s my Mum and her family and they take judgment and manipulation to new levels – I learned from the Kings and Queens of that shit, trust me on that!
Oooh and her ideas about homosexuality were TRIFLING. I still die when I think about how after she read one of my pieces, she sent me a text saying “you’ve gained another level of insight in your writing ever since you came to terms with your gender”. I rang her up straight away. “You know I’m not becoming a woman right?” After a long pause she was like “oh well I just didn’t know”. She really thought I was transitioning. I guess it’s a win knowing she’s down for that too.
Shame was my Best Friend for a long time and we went to the darkest of places together. The only spaces I would meet men was through online apps, using fake pictures cuz I didn’t want anyone catching wind of what I was up to. I took certain precautions. I never hooked up with islanders cuz our community is too small and that shit would get out in a minute and I only got with guys who were 5 or more years older than me to lower the probability of them knowing anyone I knew. New Zealand is small and with all the work I was doing in the university scene coupled with me knowing half the country, I was extremely vigilant to keep my DL game on lock. My go to therefore became older white men.
Now I’ve always been very open about my encounters with racism throughout my journey yet here I was living this double life where I frequently subjected myself to be treated like an object by men who often were ignorant and disrespectful [I accept I played my part in objectification too – all around this shit was for the birds]. In public I was calling out prejudice left, right and centre but in private, I overlooked all of that cuz I needed my fix. That’s what happens when you think you’re not enough and that’s all you deserve. You lose self-respect and punish yourself in all kinds of ways.
When you’re living the way I was, you really have no will to live. I wrote about hitting a rock bottom last year and while I experienced a certain degree of freedom from it, things got much worse. The level of unmanageability was insane to the point it was life or death. The stakes were that high. It’s either die or face my truth. Cuz our truth is the only way out of our shit.
This is what put things in motion to where I finally decided to get honest with my family but, more importantly, with myself. Opening up to my Mum about being gay was probably the easiest part. It’s been everything after it that’s exhausted every fibre of our beings. Picture me dumping all of the above on my Mum – this is what really shook our relationship to the core. Her questioning where she went wrong and what role she played. Me questioning if she can ever look at me the same again.
Never underestimate your loved ones in what you think they can handle when it comes to telling the truth. I know it’s not gonna work out the same for everyone but letting go of expectations has been a huge learning experience in what love is at its root. And I can love without expecting anything in return now. If people can’t accept you for who you truly are, they don’t need to be in your life. You don’t owe anyone anything, family or not. The idea that blood is thicker than water is such fluff to me. It’s outdated.
So I’m being selfish in loving me [not my ego, there’s a difference!] and finding my own happiness and I know she’s proud all the same now. And I couldn’t be prouder of my Mum. The shifts I’ve seen in her and her acceptance of everything she’s been taught not to be accepting of. Nah but I’m mad how she always tells me about every documentary that comes on Viceland that has to do with gays. I’m gonna need you to upgrade your resources, Mum.
Not everyone has the support system I do. I’m really lucky to have a strong crew in my corner. I wish everyone had that cuz it’s hard being isolated. People shouldn’t have to come out. And people shouldn’t ever feel like they’re alone in this. That’s what’s inspired me to write. To encourage anyone going through similar shit that you can come out the other side stronger if you get help. Even if you’re a complete stranger, you can reach out to me. Living in LA, I’ve got access to centers and support groups and therapy and activities you wouldn’t really get where I’m from so I’m tryna pass on what I can. I’ve always shared about my experiences and whatever knowledge I’ve gained through them in order to help my students and my peers. Already I’ve been able to help a few young Pacific people in their journeys of self-love. With all that I’ve been blessed with, it’s only right I share what I have.
Greatness. We all come from Greatness. I remind myself of that every chance I can to stay in gratitude and in strength. I don’t have to settle for anything less. In fact, it’s not till you do a clean sweep of the experiences that don’t represent who you want to be that you can make room for that Greatness you choose.
To think that just over a year ago I had conceded I was never gonna come out unless I met someone spectacular who made it worth the drama and stress [which was never gonna happen on the wave length my crooked ass was vibrating under] to now having met myself in my entirety and professing this facet of my identity and not caring who knows. To think a year ago I made the decision to be free of all drugs and alcohol to being a damn vegan. To think a year ago I was dead on the inside to now being grateful every moment of every day, knowing I had to go through that mess to recognise what being alive truly is.
A little late to the party but man this is one special read. Thanks for sharing Krit. Moving as well as warming not to mention inspiring. Nice uso.
Ka mau te wehi!
Appreciate it bro! Thank you for the love. Back at you!
Kristian!!!!! I thought i was the only one doing self-dates hehe So proud of you!!! That was the most reading ive done since i finished Uni lol I never knew you were such a good writer!!! Alofa atu.
P.s. Say Hi to T.I for me k lol
Thank you! And I’ll let him know. 😆
So glad you found the greatest love of all …. isn’t it great its so handy …being your love, honour and respect towards you. Xoxo
Very inspiring I meant to say sorry clumsy fingers ❤
Thank you Laree! X
Thank you for sharing your story. It’s so clear you’ve done so much work; stripping back all the layers of self-loathing, denial and shame to allow your true self to be. Not an easy task, to say the least. Congratulations on deciding to embark on your journey of self-love and self-discovery.
You made several references to familial, cultural and societal mechanisms that you felt contributed to your previous need to hide from your truth. I’d love the chance to talk with/write to you more about that. I hope you’ll consider doing that. My work with marginalised Polynesian youth is just one reason I think having conversation with you might be very helpful.
Blessings to you, always. May the light of your truth continue to shine brightly, allowing yourself and others to always choose love over fear.
Thank you for the loving words, Jules! Would love to connect. Please feel free to email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow incredible so proud of you very insouting ❤
This was a raw and beautiful read Krit. I love reading your pieces!
Alofa aku x
Ps I’m surprised Sade wasn’t in the pictures lol
Krist, this is Carl. I’m sooooo proud of you. I can’t say I’m surprised but I’m happy you’re living your truth. I’m happy that you came out on the better side of things. You did something brave. I know that freeing feeling all so well. Be good to yourself. I’m glad you have the support from your relationships all around. It’s pretty great hearing your story in the month of pride. Be well my TLC friend!
Thank you Carl. 😊
Krit, you were born with the balls of steel the majority of us wish we had. Super proud of you, egg, in so many ways; your accomplishments, determination, that never ending honesty and just you for being YOU. Never change. Big love, always! L x
Love you Lee!
Nothing but love to you uso! Thank you for sharing your story with all of us! It takes a lot of courage and bravery to be able to ‘come out’ to our cruel world. This doesn’t change who you are, you are still a leader and role model to us and I know you have inspired more of our island brothers to be comfortable in their own skin!
Alofa Aku uso.
Oh bro you know how much love I got for you. But don’t ever # that shit ever again ok?! Nah love you g and can you answer your bloody texts?!
Lol I was just letting you know that it was the victor from when we did the mtv vj comp uso lol. Mad respect for you and love watching your journey and reading your blogs. Inspiring my bro.
Keep up the grind uce!
Oh fark I thought it was Victor Vito! Nothing but love for you too bro! Thank you. ❤️
I figured that ma uso lol 😂
Blessings brother x 👊🏾
Beautifully written Krit and what courage and strength it would have taken to do so. This will no doubt inspire and encourage others to open and speak up… If anything that is a gift in itself 🙂 It was a few years ago that I met you and will always remember the abundance of sunshine you left in the studio back in Bondi… and it looks like it is shining even more so – if that is even possible! 😉 Keep shining your light Krit… the universe is keen and ready to keep receiving it. Much love Fudge x
Thank you for the beautiful words Fudge! Sending lots of love to you too. X
Amazing Krit!!! Love reading your posts you are inspiring and so thankful that you have found healing through this process. You are still yet to live your best life so GO DO It!!! Amazing brutha!!!
Hey Krit. That was amazing and beautiful.
Keep doing all the great things your doing.
Much love ❤
Malo Tesa! X
Your amazing Krit. I don’t know you well, but I enjoy following your accounts. Your wit and intelligence keeps me laughing and intrigued with every post but reading your story here has rocked me, so powerful, so incredible, the way you write, the truth you speak. Don’t stop.Thank you for sharing. Love to you and your whanau x
Aww much love Jojo! Thank you for supporting me over the years. X
Hey Krit, beautiful telling of your story.
Just wondering if you’d be interested in sharing your story and other aspects of your life through our digital publication Manaui: The People of Oceania (www.manaui.com). It’s dedicated to preserving the stories, traditions, and histories of Oceanic people – past and present for the benefit of future generations.
Would love to touch base sometime.
Thank you for the message and the kind words! Please feel free to email me on email@example.com
Huh? We already knew your trifling ass was lmao.
But seriously, I think the coming out to yourself and owning it is the real announcement here USO.
Incredibly proud that you are using your platform to not only help yourself but to help others and in particularly our Island community. Walk forward with self love and gratitude and you will be fine.
Alofa aku USO.
Can you not?! 😂 Thank you bro.
Thanks you just had me crying, your pure real ness and honesty in writing this is going to save so many lives. Its what I needed to hear right now especially this line – “Whoever reads this I want you to know you’re perfect in every sense and choosing Love over Fear will never steer you wrong.”
Vinaka, Arnie. Stay in your love and light. X
Profound, raw and beautiful. What read, I too was wiping away snot through the tears. Nga mihi x
Aww naku noa. Xo
I always had a feeling you were.
I’m so happy you’re living your truth!
You’re an amazing writer too. It damn near brought me to tears.
Welcome to the whānau
Kia ora for that, kare. Appreciate the love. Arohanui. X
Kristian I am so proud of you! This was an amazing read & I had tears in my eyes the whole way through! Keep being great xxxx
Thank you Renata! X
What an abundance of love, gratitude and courage you have Krit. I am going to share your story on my page as I know it will inspire other young Island boys/men who are going through what you have been through. Keep loving and healing and being true to yourself dear and your mum keep on building your beautiful relationship with her. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Alofa atu. Esther.
Thank you for the loving words, Esther! And I appreciate your support as always. Love seeing your relationship with your son too. X