holly & meiwen

LGBTQIA+ mindset and manifestation coach, Holly, and software sales professional, Meiwen, reflect on their journey together as a couple, their struggle with discriminating landlords, and how patience can mend bridges.

 

share with us a little about yourself.

 

H: Hi, I’m Holly, I’m a mindset and manifestation coach for LGBTQIA+ women. I love going on really, really long walks and I love being alone.

M: Hi, I’m Mei Wen, I’m in software sales and I like hanging out with my dog.

 

what are your pronouns?

 

H: My pronouns are ‘she’ and ‘her’.

M: And mine are the same.

 

do you feel a sense of belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community? 

 

H: I didn’t really feel I was part of a community in general before cos I’ve always been a loner [laughs]. But slowly in the last year, during the Covid season, that’s when I really started to feel there are a lot more groups coming up and a lot more different ways to participate. That’s really helped me to feel it’s a bigger part of my life.

M: I don’t belong in any of those groups, but I do feel I belong in the community just because I am gay and I know that I have the support from my friends and family.

 

“Compromise, not sacrifice.
That's what love is."

 

 

 

what are some stereotypes of the LGBTQIA+ community that you have come across?

 

M: That they are . . . lazy, promiscuous, which is very untrue.

H: "It’s a phase", like they are all going through some life-long phase. I usually just tell people regardless if it’s a phase or not, it’s really none of your business as long as they are happy, as long as we are happy. If it’s a phase, if it’s not a phase, who’s to say? Does it even matter?

 

what does love mean to you?

 

H: For me, love is really broad and multidimensional. In terms of having a partner, it’s having someone who is so super supportive, is there for you all the time even when you’re going through the worst part of life, and all the difficult parts of you where there’s someone who can just see you and really stay with you and walk you through that, I think that’s love.

M: Compromise, not sacrifice. That’s what love is.

 

complete this sentence: love is not...

 

M: Love is not selfish.

H: Love is not something that makes you jealous all the time.

“...just be patient and wait, because it took years before my family was okay with it."

 

 

 

what do you love most about your partner?

 

H: I love everything about her. I love that she is super supportive of anything that I wanna do. When I wanted to quit my job out of nowhere and start my business, she’s like, “You got this!” I don’t really know if it was the right thing to do but having someone support me, that’s what I love about her.

M: Her humour. Something that people don’t really know about, but she’s really funny. She makes me laugh every day since we’ve met, and we haven’t been apart.

 

what's something you're willing to share that others might not know about your partner?

 

M: That she’s really quite a joker. She likes to play pranks. Every day, she’ll just cause some mayhem just because she thinks it’s funny, even if I'll get angry about it

H: Actually getting you angry is the whole point!

M: she’s a bit cheeky. A rule-breaker. 

 

H: She’s a really, really, really good dancer. She can dance really well – her hips don’t lie [laughs]— 

M: No! That is not true. Stop!

H: —it’s really, really impressive. It’s hard to imagine, but it’s true [laughs].

M: I don’t dance [laughs]. 

 

share with us your love story.

 

H: So our love story actually took a really long time to get started. Initially, we had this friend who kept telling us that we should meet. But here I was, on this dating app, going on all these million dates – all really bad dates. Then one day, I was on a really, really bad date and I happened to walk by [Meiwen’s] restaurant and my friend was sitting there with her and we waved. I needed to go for dinner at some point and my friend told me to go to her restaurant

 M: That was four months later.

 H: —and she was super unfriendly. But how it started is [that] eventually, my friend just got sick and tired of us not wanting to meet, so my friend gave me her number. I was really bored on the train home, so I texted her. And we just never stopped talking. 

 M: Yeah, thanks to our friend. 

 

 

"...if there’s more awareness, the older generation, they might not understand, but they might just get more aware of what different people need in their lives."

 

what challenges did you have to go through as a couple?

 

M: Okay, the biggest challenge that we faced is about cleanliness. We fight all the time about cleanliness. And that’s the only thing we’d fight about. Holly is a mess [laughs], she doesn’t like cleaning up after herself, or maybe she will but she’ll take a long time and I’m just the kind of person who needs to clean on the go – whatever you make a mess of, you clean right away. But Holly’s all about waiting, finding the time to do it when she’s not tired, you know? That’s the only thing we fight about and it’s really bad fights. 

H: Actually I realised I left my lunch plates in the sink [laughs]. 

M: Yeah, I know. 

H: Uh oh [laughs].

 

 

continued...

 

M: Yeah, you see! After lunch, you usually just wash, right? But Holly has to take a break

H: I had to do my hair for this!

M: when we were moving, we had the worst fight in the world. And I had to tell myself to ask her to get out of the house because she wasn’t doing anything! We were moving and all the boxes were there and Holly can take 20 breaks in a day. But I’m the kind of person who needs to pack everything and then take a break. But we understand each other now. So I tell her to go out, I’ll do all the packing, come back later, so that we won’t fight. And the moment she left the house, I sat myself down and I told myself, “I’m crazy. I’m crazy! Why do I get so upset?!” But now we know [laughs]. 


what do you wish to see in Singapore's LGBTQIA+ community in the next 10 years?

 

H: I really hope to see more people being more sure of who they are regardless of what our older generation thinks. That was a hard one for me because [of] my grandma [and] some of my extended family. That was the hardest part for me. And I think I see that being a struggle quite a lot so maybe if there’s more awareness, the older generation, they might not understand, but they might just get more aware of what different people need in their lives.

M: I don’t wish for much, just understanding. A little story I can share when we were finding a place to move into [is that] renting a place, sometimes people turn you away when you tell them you are two girls renting a one-bedroom apartment. It doesn’t make sense, but it happens. And that is not fair, it makes it difficult for people who actually will pay their rent to even find a place. And there’s no real reason behind why they wouldn’t [allow us to rent the place], except that they are not accepting of the LGBT community.

 

any advice to give to someone who's coming out?

 

H: For me, I had to remember that it is going to be something really uncomfortable for my family, so however they were going to react wasn’t because they hated me, it was because it was just super awkward and not normal for me.

So I needed to really let them know that I love them so much and I don’t expect them to support me; I don’t expect them to be my cheerleader cos it’s not normal for them and it goes against their beliefs. But at the same time, tell them that that’s the choice I really need to make for myself because at some point they are not going to be here and I can’t live a life for them.

And just be patient and wait, because it took years before my family was okay with it. So, in the meantime, I just always would work on love. Now they are okay, but it took awhile.


continued...

 

M: Actually, I knew all my life [that I was gay] since kindergarten, so [coming out] wasn’t difficult for me. I even tried dating guys, who then became my very good friends. And now they always talk about it and tell me things like, “Why did you do that to us?” But I just needed to try it out to know and [now] I know that I’m not interested in guys at all.

It didn’t take much for me to come out to my parents; actually, they found out themselves. It was hell, but it’s great now [laughs]. [My advice is,] be smart about it. If you are younger, I know that it’s hard to be in the closet, but if it helps you at that point of time when you’re younger to not be thrown out of the house, then maybe we need to learn to live in the closet a bit longer. But the moment you have money, move out. I think that’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

Letting your family know that you are still their daughter, or son, or whatever you identify as, despite how you feel, is the biggest thing they can see through your own successes and the effort you make to remain close to them even if they are not accepting of you. So that is my advice: be smart about it at the start, after that you gotta find your own way, and you gotta live your own life.

 

 

I don’t wish for much,
just understanding.
"




 

Photography Darren Gabriel Leow

Photography Assistant Eric Tan

Styling Daryll Alexius Yeo

Hair & Makeup Hongling & Benedict Choo

Featuring Holly & Meiwen

 Special Thanks Bessie Ye, Amelie Lim, Ariel Wang

   
   

 

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