(“So I joined the Army” [所以我加入了軍隊]… with Justin L from Taipei)
[Original in Mandarin; English version follows]
對我來說，台北是我的出生地跟成長的地方，乘載著我所有的情感，既迷人又神秘，台北～我的城市… – Justin L.
[Still a little tipsy, I walked out of Taipei’s biggest nightclub, looked back at the people still partying, but I was focused on getting to my boyfriend’s house. Perhaps not really typical for someone at the age of 29 and 175cm and 71kg. I grew up in Taipei in an ordinary family, but when I was 14 years old my father died. So I joined the Army to help the family. In the early days, it was really hard in the Army. The military training of cadets back then was harsh and competition was tough. Also hard was the high-handed policy against homosexuals in the military, but the biggest challenge was me wanting to prove that “homosexuality in the military is also possible and very good”. So I worked very hard in the Army. In both the physical areas to the school areas I always kept at the front of the rankings.
At this time in my life first appeared a boy. In fact, my relationship with him was really very subtle, In many ways we could share ideas and dreams, and even favourite movie. We also did exercise together classes, had a holiday dinner together. The Army’s closed environment somehow warmed our relationship. At first it happened sort of innocently and bit by bit the sexuality blossomed.I looked up at the Taipei city sky that never sleeps, even if the night is full of colourful light. In fact, being gay Taipei is really a very joyous thing, You can always do something, you can go party, you can go two hours to travel to another city, you can go out late with no fear of a criminal, you can always eat the food even if it is 3am. For me, I was born in Taipei and grew up with all of this, all of these emotions take, both charming and mysterious, Taipei – my city …] – Translation from Mandarin by Google and edited by Liam Campbell.
Meet the other Taipei boys and read their stories in Elska Magazine issue (05) Taipei