This story was crowdfunded by Questionmark's Kickstarter campaign.
I could say it clearly and out loud: "Don't expect anybody else to love you when you haven't loved yourself enough."
Living is about taking and giving. When you want acceptance, first, make sure you truly accept yourself for being part of this community. Take this as a conversation inside yourself.
Forget about your best friends; forget about the mutuals you have on social media. The question is:
Do you love yourself enough to deal with the consequences that possibly come along?
"You agreed on it. It wasn't rape!"
The absence of Sexual Education from the Indonesian school curriculum played a role in the traumatic events that shaped my childhood and defined how Ι see men.
I was eight years old when my brother exposed me to some blue film he got from my parent's room. I can't exactly remember when it started, but we had 'foreplay' with almost every chance until I reached 13. I thought it was a roleplaying game like family play-pretend, like what kids do at school lunchtime.
"Psst, this one is a secret; tell no one."
I grew up realizing something was wrong between me and my brother. The unfamiliar word I finally learned was 'rape'; that's what happens to girls, but the 13 years old believed society. "Girls are raped because of their fault."
I want to say that I was raped, but the thing is: I was the one who came to him again and again. Not going to lie; being touched is something addicting, even among siblings. Moreover, I believe everything that happened was with consent, which is such an embarrassment. I couldn't tell anyone because it was all my fault.
Teenage Years, Bunch of Self-hate: Don't Call Me by Full Name!
He stopped seeking chances to touch me. Maybe because I got my puberty, perhaps he finally understood.
The game reached its end, but that got me traumatized. Why did I agree to it? Why did I come back the next day? Why didn't people talk about how wrong that is? Why did no one tell me not to agree on something like this? Why was I forbidden from sexual activity with ambiguous and unclear words? How could a kid like me understand that?
I throw a bunch of questions to the nights I spend fully awake. I am barely a teenager, but the guilty feeling hits me with insomnia. I wonder if I was born a boy. That would likely never happen to me.
The rumours of a virginity test being one of the requirements for entering college knocks me to the ground. The hatred society had for "naughty" women is not amusing. I was scared they might catch me. And the fears I kept in my pocket drove me to act more like a man.
I felt disgusted with my own body. I hated that I was born a woman. I hated my younger self for agreeing with him. I felt sick for hatred thrown towards us, women, and our bodies.
If I were a man, I wouldn't have to stress so much at such a young age. It made me try hard to be seen as a man, forcing all my feminine side to hide deeper inside. I changed my nickname to a neutral gender one because I couldn't stand to be called a woman.
Women are constantly suppressed for being who they are; therefore, I only want people to see my masculine side. It would be great if people saw me as a man instead.
"A Community That Will Go Straight To The Hell"
My hobby of writing and reading led me to meet the concept of feminism and queerness on a website in Bahasa, Indonesia. The first article I read was a story from a gay-religious person explaining how his love for God shouldn't be abandoned just because she's something that most people from that religion hate. Even when most "religious" people told her she was going to hell because of her sexuality (that she didn't choose), in her piece, she explained how God would only see her good qualities and not her sexuality.
The fire inside me feels like burning hell. I was so astounded and deeply in love with the freedom this movement offers. With my small audience on Instagram, I keep quoting the articles, posts, and everything related to this humanity-based movement. But, no matter how accepting I became of people in this community, I still deny myself as one.
(Not) The Doll They Made Me
Aside from the "religion" that told me, a woman, to always be at home, the number of criminal cases performed on women makes people around me even stricter. Just like dolls, you arrange at the glass cabinet, just like how my brother used me like a doll.
At the age when I started to get influenced by this so-called social-justice-warrior movement, I slowly understood what had happened to me back then. I got manipulated to agree with him that our five years of age gap makes my "consent" void. The same reason why the government set the age of Identity Card holders; is because kids have yet to understand enough. And also, my kind of case was why people defy a minor-adult relationship.
Entering college was my biggest turning point and the biggest dumb shit I also did. I might haven't yet accepted myself. But everything happens to me and helps me prepare for the future.
I assume it was a manic episode where my head felt about to explode if I did nothing. So, first, I kissed a senior, hooked up with another, seduced more, and had intercourse here and there. I wasn't trying to be a player; I didn't play with their heart. I love the eyes begging me to continue when I brutally ruin them, craving out of their lust.
And I have control. I have control. I have control.
A piece of me, my younger self, that had been trapped believing she was the doll was finally free. She wasn't the doll. She wasn't a slave to men's fantasies.
The funny thing is that most believe that men are more logical creatures and superior to women. Shattering glass in pieces every time I remember those begging eyes. If these dumb boys have that side they've been proud of, they won't open that door for me. Imagine if they fucked someone and the next day that someone is gone with all their belongings.
I never get satisfaction from having intercourse with men. I understand that not all men are the same as those jackasses; sadly, on my tally counter, 98% are just whatever. Therefore, I stopped playing this dumb game when I concluded that men around me have no better than a doll tied and driven by their sexual desire.
I'm turning the table upside down in a crazy way if I must say. The day I realized it was wrong haunts me and makes me believe I was at fault, from doubting, hating, cursing, all by myself and to myself just because a non-consensual eight-year-old me coming to my brother; to become one who forgave the younger her and living her life as happily as she could.
Hard Way of Accepting: a Year That I Waste
I tried to date a man to realize that once they had IT, they got addicted.
I dated a man thinking he was perfect. So brave and caring, so full of thoughts, yet free.
I am the type of person who is open about relationships. As this specific ex came into my life, I was happy. It's not something I dreamed about, but I didn't despise it. So, yeah, I gave it another shot.
But, like other men do. He was just too addicted to sex. That was the point where I got hospitalized for my manic episode of Bipolar; knowing that I was feeling good enough and my parents went outside, he tried to climb onto my bed and offered foreplay, which I didn't mind at that time until it constantly happened. Like, bruh! That's enough!
Okay, I'm not going to lie; he is kind. But, just not my type. A year passed, and we broke up months before it ended. I was always thinking about whether I should get a girlfriend instead or stay single because no one can be trusted!
Healing On My Own
It was a long way for me to stop hating myself. The incident itself is something big, and the society I live in pushed me to the corner and beat me till not a single breath I could feel the pain ease. It burns more and more as I inhale.
Long pathways to finally stand; I am whom I defined myself to be. So a queer I become.
Trauma might have driven me, but the boys I met determine.
The five boys not working, then a lesbian I become.
Long pathways to go, but I get done with self-hate and accept that I am part of the community. Not because of trauma. But because of all the variables of factors that lend hands to form who I am today.
Coming Out Isn't Always About Telling Your Best Friends
Talking about coming out, I might not be related to those who need to speak to their family. Because once or twice I told them that I am part of it too, they could say nothing. And surely they don't even throw anything at me. And years after, my mum, whom I live with, sometimes asks who my partner is.
Maybe that's the goal. Of course, it is!