The book is an autobiography of her life. The author, Karen Lee, is not shy from standing up and putting her views across. A main theme of the book is about her life as a lesbian, how she how society viewed her and how she has gained acceptance. The aim of the book is also to advocate the LGBT community and to share her experiences with others.
Han was my boyfriend when I was 6. I was the smart, cute girl in school. Since young, I was closer to my Grandma as compared to my parents. My mum abandoned my sister, Joyce, and I and she was not stable emotionally. She was a born Christian. When I was 6, a middle aged man tries to seduce and rape me. Thankfully, a passerby chased him away. My parents reconciled when I was 10. I was jealous of my younger sister’s achievements at school. When I was 11, I had a crush on a female teacher but she didn’t stay in the school for long. I liked to draw attention to myself and disturb the entire class. Sammy and I were platonic friends. I was the tomboy while she was the girly one. I met a girl named ‘Christabel’ in church. As I didn’t know which group I fitted in, boys or girls, I was kind of confused sometimes.
The girls brigade (GB) days were my formative years. There was plenty of cheering during orientation. An American who was a transvestite in his youth gave a speech and that influenced me. The faith and belief you have in God will carry you a long way.
We had to work for badges in GB. I won the ‘Best Recruit of 1991’ award for the hard work I put in. GB taught me discipline and leadership. I was selected to attend a promotion camp known as National Commissioned officers. It was a tough routine to say the least. Overall, it was a worthy experience.
I was the Head Librarian and was also the assistant chairperson of the drill committee. I headed for a missionary trip in Bangkok, Thailand. It was an eye opening experience and we got to learn about the Thai culture. That included having to drink frog soup. I couldn’t bring myself to swallow them. Child prostitution was rife in Thailand. It was enlightening to help others and see their lives improve.
I was promoted again in GB and there were additional responsibilities. However, I couldn’t handle the stress and my school work was suffering. My dad wanted me to seek help for my facial condition. After some professional help, it cleared up. I got to meet Julie from the missionary trip. She had many suitors and had this mysterious persona. I tried my best to be closer to her. She was always on my mind. I had a big crush on her. We often clashed in terms of ideas during a school camp. I secretly admired her for 5 years but never came clean. We spent a lot of time chatting. I got rejected by Julie when she admitted that she doesn’t feel things would work out. I took very long to get over this episode and hoped things would be better when I was in Perth for my studies.
I got along with other Singaporeans in Perth. I shared a bond with a girl named Deborah. Jeanie started slashing on a wooden box with a knife and pretended that nothing happened after that. I was shocked at her demeanour and wanted out. It was like a cult celebration of Christ and his teachings. I started house hopping and couldn’t find a place. I saw Sandra preparing breakfast.
Till this very day, I am still unable to comprehend the logic behind a balance sheet. If they are called balance sheets, then why can’t they balance on their own? It’s really silly for anyone to have coined such a term. – Karen Lee
Becky offered her place to meet and I immediately accepted it. Ray was an attractive female who seemed to have many partners. She knew she was a lesbian. Later, a group of us started hanging out at a gay bar. It was all a very novel experience for me. I passed out one night at a bar due to over-drinking. I promised not to get drunk again. Jeanie and I grew closer together and I liked her. However, Deborah also had a crush on Jeanie and things didn’t end well. I also engaged with the lesbian online chat groups in IIRC. One day, I set the house on fire. Thankfully, the landlord let me off with a small fee and Becky was willing to accept me again.
Becky’s house was a lot more spacious now. Later, I bumped into Ray and the other girls in a restaurant. I decided to kiss Becky so as to make Jeanie and Deborah jealous. I signed up for a gym membership for a year and was thrilled at my new found physical fitness. Trish was my personal trainer back then. One day, we were robbed. It was a broken mess and we all slept through it. Becky’s wallet was gone. Break-ins were common at that time. Following the incident, Becky and her boyfriend improved security in the house.
Was being gay honest to myself? It is condemned by Christianity. I realized that it was not a passing phase. I also came from a conservative family. It was a huge dilemma but I decided to go straight to please God. It didn’t last long. I sought help from a clinical psychologist. I didn’t go after a while because the rates were too expensive. There was this constant struggle in my head. For that reason, I stopped attending church. I had a virtual relationship with someone on IIRC. Later it developed into phone calls. She was from Sweden and I made the crazy decision to fly over. Her real name was Sumi and she was an alcoholic. She wasn’t tall and slim but rather short and stumpy looking. Sumi’s roommate was Wolfe. At first glance, she wasn’t my type at all. She started touching me in bed. The next day, she brought me on a city tour. After a while, we experienced sexual pleasure in bed. The next day, she brought me to an adult shop. Sumi also prepared sumptuous meals for me.
Time flew by and I already had spent 10 days with Sumi. She was upset by the fact that I was leaving. My parents still didn’t know my sexual orientation. Dee, an Australian lesbian, was looking for a roommate and I immediately applied. She was very open with her sexuality. Sumi and I stopped contacting each other. Also, I quit using the Internet chat. We explored the Gay Village in Perth and it was a brand new experience for me. I still needed time to decide if I liked her. Later, I spoke to a server named Carmen and was attracted to her.
Dee found out that I was contacting Carmen and was pissed. It turned out that Carmen already had a girlfriend. Dee and Carmen also had a difficult past. Trish was Dee’s partner. I dropped by Carmen’s place. However, Seth chased me away and we had a quarrel. Later, I would be heading to Canada for an exchange programme.
Astrid, a girl from Germany, was my new roommate in Canada. I toured the campus. House parties were a common sight. Astrid was not my type of girl. When I was bored, I would turn to Internet chatting. Michael, Deborah and Allison were my room-mates. I called a girl named Dorothy over the Internet chat and she lived in Toronto. She was a nurse by profession. I felt connected to her. I was going to visit her in Toronto and she would show me around the city.
The weather was extremely chilly. She was fairly attractive. She also stayed with her family. Dorothy was fit as she often worked on a farm. We visited the zoo. The more knowledgeable she was, the sexier she seemed to be. We visited her place and she offered me a few delicious muffins. Later, we indulged in some light kissing.
Later I bunked in 5 other females on campus. Dorothy and I often made out, even in a packed cinema when it was dark. I joined her family for a Christmas dinner. We stayed in a treehouse for a while. Luckily, we were not caught by her family members when we made out in the barn. Our relationship was filled with fights and sex. After 3 months, Dorothy proposed to me and I was in a shock. I said yes. After I went back to Australia, we were in a long distance relationship for a year. I stayed with a bi-sexual woman back in Perth.
The last semester was easy. One day, I met Annie and was attracted to her. She was training to be a body-builder and was a friendly person. She was a bi-sexual and had a boyfriend. Annie and I took part in the Pride Week and it was my first pride march. Not long after, Dorothy’s mum passed away. I tried my best to offer emotional support. It was sad to see Nat and Annie go as I had to head back to Canada.
I landed a job to be a technical analyst with IBM. Later on, I moved to their sales division. Dorothy joined me in the Toronto Pride March. Everyone at work later knew that I was a lesbian. Our relationship lasted 7 years. In 2004, I agreed to marry her. I finally came out to my parents. I was very grateful that dad accepted me for who I am. Mum was not so accepting and discouraged me from getting married. My dad was strongly against it and I was deeply traumatized.
To be honest, I wasn’t ready for marriage. I didn’t know why I had doubts even though I loved her very much. Gay marriages were finally legalized in Canada. We hired an entertainer from a pub for the wedding. It was nerve wrecking and the preparations were immense. We recited our wedding vows. We were finally married!
My family also came to visit. Thankfully they were on best behavior and we had breakfast together the next morning. I was delighted that they came. Next, Dorothy’s family visited and both our families interacted. My family was generally very accepting of everything that happened.