Monday, November 18, 2013


A great symbol of America (pic from

I love America a little less now, actually since 23 years ago. In fact, I used to think that the US was the best nation in the world. Probably it’s due to the reason that I grew up watching its television series and its influence on language, culture, and the shared values of democracy and human rights. Well regardless of what the reasons were, I actually worshipped the country while I was growing up to adulthood. But what happened to me 23 years ago distorted my perception of a lovely, free and magnanimous America, all because of one homophobic incident.
America is one of the most racially tolerant countries on the planet, a recent survey claims. It is also one of 20 most gay-friendly countries in the world. Since the Netherlands became the first country to allow same-sex marriage in 2000, many countries have followed suit. Same-sex marriages were also first made legal in the U.S. in Massachusetts in 2003. In addition, 12 other states – California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – and the District of Columbia are soon joining in the bandwagon. I guess that from the look of this, homophobia is starting to disappear and we have to thank the continuous efforts of active gay rights movement and the Internet for this.
Was I scapegoating? (pic from
What happened 23 years ago to me may be deemed as a classic example of Scapegoating, a tactic characterizing an entire group of individuals according to the unethical or immoral conduct of a one individual belonging to that group. But unless you were the victim yourself, you would not be able to imagine the negative impact on my life that it had caused, hurt and disillusion about my sexual identity and belonging in the society, especially during those early years.
Dressing too gay or just being metrosexual? (pic from
I was 22 years old, and about to graduate from university. Compared to my peers, I dressed, spoke and carried myself better than most. But I guess it might be a tad too much that I was often too ‘proper’ and fashionable in the eyes of the general public. The association of being gay had often surfaced although I didn’t think it was because I was soft, effeminate or a cross dresser. I guess I already had the “metrosexual” look during the late 80s and early 90s, way before the term was being coined and some people just perceived me as gay instead.
During the yearly career fair, I remembered that we had many corporate companies coming to our university for recruitment hunts on potential grads and one of the most sought after companies, an American FMCG manufacturer (which I shall not reveal) was also there. We were all very excited as it was a big and international MNC and many hoped to get a job from them. We submitted our resumes to their headhunters and waited for them to shortlist us.
Pic from
A week later I was on cloud nine when I got the news that I was one of the shortlisted candidates. The interview process was arduous. We had to go through a three-day interview process that included a one-on-one interview, a presentation and a social skill tests. And since I thought I was the more outstanding ones in terms of my presentation and social skills, I therefore stood a higher chance of securing the job.
Pic from
Two weeks after the interview, I got a call from one of their overseas offices and unfortunately I was told that I was not hired. If I could recall, they mentioned something about me not fitting into their culture or the likes. I remembered I was dazed except for the occasional “yeahs” indicating my acceptance of their explanation throughout the entire phone conversation. Of course I was devastated and shocked at the same time. All my friends were surprised too that I was not selected because they too felt that I was almost the perfect candidate for the company.
Down and Out (pic from
One of my good friends was hired instead. I was happy for her but at the same time couldn’t understand why she was chosen instead of me. I was down for quite a few days and kept asking myself what actually went wrong. Was I not aware that I accidentally said the wrong thing during the social skill test? Did I missed a slide during my presentation? Or was I talking too fast during my one-on-one interview?
After a week, my good friend (who got the job) couldn’t stand my self-tormenting action and finally spilled the beans. She told me what she overheard from one of the interviewers after she got the job. According to her, I was the perfect candidate but they rejected me because of my perceived sexual orientation. And all these patronizing reasoning of me not fitting into their culture were all but bullshit. I had to suffer in silence and kept my mouth shut throughout these years, afraid that if the truth were to be out, I might be mocked by my family and friends.
Homo-hysteria in the 80s (pic from
During the late 80s and early 90s, the time of the AIDS epidemic, homo-hysteria flourished. The fact is that if you belong to the LGBT community and regardless how we look like or behave, whether feminine or masculine, we will not be able to avoid such taunting and hurtful homophobic actions by these bunch of insensitive pricks and assholes.
Support for Sasha while recovering in hospital (pic from
Last Wednesday in San Francisco, touted to be one of the most gay-accepting place on earth, an agender teenager was set on fire by a 16-year-old boy who claimed to be motivated by homophobia. Although, defacing the meritocracy facade of recruitment by ostracizing the LGBT community from getting a job may not seem to be as serious, such irresponsible and selfish action had caused many grievances and hurt as well as battering of self-esteem among us and unquestionably against all fair-at-work practices.
I have kept this a secret and have told no one till today. I just felt that it’s time to stand up for myself even though it’s 23 years later. Although I was not beaten up or harassed by gay haters, nonetheless I was a victim of a homophobic. Regardless whether is discrimination, non-acceptance or non-tolerance, homophobia should not be condoned and tolerated.
Be United! (pic from
Although the problem seems to be less obvious in recent times, the fact remains that there will still be people out there who are gay haters or discriminators who will continue to ostracize the LGBT community from getting fair treatment and worse, beat the hell out of you! Let’s all stand united to reduce and hopefully abolish such archaic thinking among the gay haters and may the world be a better place for all of us. This is Jimen signing out! Be happy and FAIR always! Cheers.


  1. Great blog. Enjoyed it. Have a nice day!

  2. Thanks for reading and glad that you have enjoyed it! Keep reading!