Well boys and girls, it has been a very interesting week, to say the least. I went to school as normal and I have a girl who is quite the Tomboy that is a VIP student of mine. We will call her “Mei”‘ … any way… she goes to an international school here in China and then comes to me weekly to practice her English and basically just communicate… I teach her some new words… and basically just be her friend and make her speak about different topics.
So, to describe the young lady, she has the typical bowl hair cut, with round glasses. She always comes dressed as a boy, with black, band t-shirts, blue jeans and a jean jacket. She doesn’t have her ears pierced but she does wear a black necklace with a dragon/sword symbol that you might see at a Hot Topic shop and several black rubber bracelets and ending it with some black converse tennis shoes. For a young 14-year-old Chinese student with braces she is pretty goth or emo in her fashion choices. We hit it off when she told me she liked my hand tattoo….. and we began to talk about them and her dream to get one. Which is not totally acceptable in China yet, although there are more and more tattoo artists popping up everyday.
Usually, we discuss school and her love of planning basketball and soccer with the boys.. .and how she dreams of playing baseball and football one day. But today was a bit different, she seemed a bit distracted, more than her usual calm, laid back attitude. I asked her .. why you so weird today?…. She said.. .I like someone. I was like … ohhhh good for you….. then she told me .. but its a girl…. I said …. and??…… She looked at me strangely and said…. I am a girl….you know?… I replied … ugh yeah, I figured that out. She then asked me if I thought it was strange that a girl liked another girl…. I told her .. .Honey, I am from the USA.. nothing is strange anymore…..boys marry boys, girls marry girls, people marry animals, people marry themselves, people marry blow up dolls., computer programs… nothing seems strange to us anymore.
But it seemed the only part she heard was…. Girls can marry Girls. Because she kept repeating it to herself quietly as though she was in shock…. I said yep and they can have kids together…. I could tell that she was amazed… because she said to me…. I wish I could live there.
she then proceeded to tell me all about this little girl…. she was her little Brother’s classmate’s, sister…. whew… she saw her at a dance recital. She was so excited I just had to smile. She told me she told her mom…. I replied ..about you liking the girl? She was like no are you crazy… I just told her I thought she was beautiful and my mother said yeah she is. (was very surprised that she would even mention it to her mother).
So I asked her if she had spoken to the girl, she was like I am way to shy. I asked her why she was shy, girls talk to girls all the time. They even hold hands and hug each other everywhere in China. She thought I has totally lost all my senses when I suggested she be friends with the girl. She was totally afraid of the girl finding out that she liked her. I said don’t you have other girls that are your friends... she replied that she did and they knew that she liked this girl. I said then they will help you hang out with her… all of you go out together to the mall of something and invite her to come along. Then the group of you could hangout and enjoy some time together like girls do. Even let her invite some of her friends.
Well, it seemed like I had said the most brilliant thing she had ever heard. She then got more excited and said… yeah… and I could help her with her homework because I am smarter than her…. ( told her I wouldn’t say it like that) but I knew what she meant. I told her that being friends if perfectly okay, then she will get to know how great you are. I then saw a spark in her eye when she said… she could actually be her friend. I said yep perfectly normal to have friends that are girls.
I sometimes feel so sorry for those kids like her growing up in such a closed society and how hard it must be for them growing up thinking they are strange or having to hide who they truly are (although if you saw her.. she really isn’t hiding.. I had the feeling when I met her) … I have had several students in the past years here tell me they were gay or had gay friends…. I am not really sure why they come out to me… maybe it’s because I am like a mother/friend/teacher to them and they feel it is a safe place. Whatever it is … I am glad I can be a light or a guide to them. Because far too often these kids end up committing suicide because they feel there is something seriously wrong with them and they have no one to talk to.
…..Until Next time