The fact that I was born with a twin brother makes everything seems more difficult. Yes, an identical twin brother who shares so much resemblance with me, from our facial features, to body type, to what we like and what we think about. When we were kids, our mother loved to dress us with the exact same outfits because she thought it was cute. We got a lot of “Awww…” from the relatives and friends. People always commented on how similar we are and they always got our names mixed up. They think it’s funny and adorable, but I think it sucks.
They say no two leaves are exactly the same. Despite our similarities, we are different in many ways. When I was 9, my father pointed out to me that my twin brother is more “feminine”. The way he speaks, walks, and his general behavior are like that of a girl, whereas I am more “masculine”.
At that time, I didn’t fully understand the differences, but I know people liked to tease him for being more “feminine”. Like all kids, I was looking for acceptance from my family and friends. I started to pay attention to what “masculine” behaviors are like, and being more mindful in the way I behave. I also felt ashamed at times when my twin brother behaved in an excessively girly manner. People would laugh and taunt him, and it felt like I was being taunted at, even though it wasn’t directed at me. Perhaps it is because people like to see us as a unit; that we are the same. I started to despise my brother just because of this. Our relationship soured as we tend to bicker because of this.
This feeling of shame slowly developed as I entered into the teen phase. At this time, I knew that I am different from many of my friends, and it should have made me happy because I always wanted to be different. But as my friends around me started talking about girls, I joined the bandwagon because I wanted to be accepted by my surroundings. I have felt shame since I was a kid when my twin brother was taunted at, and I hated it. I started to build shells and persona to reinforce the “masculine” behaviors I have learned. I believed that being a homosexual would result in me having no friends and people would make fun of me in disapproval. I was living a tough life of having to pay attention to every single detail of my behavior. My twin brother liked to say I’m a “plastic bottle”. He knew I was living in a shell.
As my friends around me started talking about girls, I joined the bandwagon because I wanted to be accepted by my surroundings.
As I entered adulthood, I’m seeing my twin brother, with his care-free attitude, living life that is no different from other people. He has friends, he eats, he plays, he works, and most of all, living a carefree life. Deep within me, I am envious of his bravery. I slowly developed the courage to be true to myself, my friends and my family. Finally, I mustered enough courage to come out to my twin brother, my friends and my family three years ago. It was the most liberating feelings in the world. The shells that I have built over the years were slowly dissipating. I felt relieved, free, and most importantly, happy. I’m very thankful for my twin brother for being the living example that we should be true to ourselves. Without him, I wouldn’t be brave enough to come out. We have gotten closer ever since I told him about myself. We are closer than ever and always support each other in every way.
Finally, I mustered enough courage to come out to my twin brother, my friends and my family three years ago. It was the most liberating feelings in the world.
So what has coming out done to me? I came to realize that a lot of my anger and hatred in the past came from deep within me trying to make up the feeling of shame. I was very judgmental and critical towards things in life because I was trying to please people and to gain their acceptance. I was overly sensitive because deep inside, I was living a lie. After coming out, I started to let go of the hatred and judgmental attitude. Now, I have a more positive outlook towards life and my relationship with those who matter have improved tremendously. My advice to those who are still in-the-closet: coming out is a long process. There will be a lot of uncertainties and discomfort. There will always be people showing their disapproval at you. However, if you are able to be honest to yourself and love yourself the way you wanted to be loved, your love will not be dim in the darkness, for the love itself is light.
Ferdo Agusta lahir di Jakarta, 12 Agustus 1988. Ia menamatkan pendidikan SMU di Singapura kemudian melanjutkan pendidikan tinggi di Oregon State University jurusan Ilmu Politik (Sosiologi). Ia sempat menjadi tenaga pengajar bahasa Inggris di Han Shien Cram School di Taiwan dan kini sedang menjalani pelatihan manajemen di PT. Fajar Nusa Indah. Di waktu senggangnya, Ferdo gemar membaca perkembangan peristiwa internasional dan kolom pendapat. Di samping itu, ia juga gemar berolahraga.
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