KUCHING: Sarawakian author Malcolm Mejin, who has written books for children and young adults, is mulling a darker and mature venture – writing about gays.
“Why not?” Malcolm quipped, with a chuckle. “There is a phenomenal love story out there between a human and a vampire, and the market is too saturated with ‘straight’ fiction.
“I want to write a gay story because it is something different, refreshing, and probably eye-opening.”
The 27-year-old told The Borneo Post recently that he was very open-minded and liberal about homosexuality in Malaysia, and believed there were a number of closeted gays in the country.
“I’ve had gay friends who confided in me whenever they had problems, such as breakups with their boyfriends. And if they had good news, I’d be happy for them.”
There were also cases of married men approaching Mejin for sex without their wives knowing.
“Even a 60-year-old man, old enough to be my father, has offered to have sex with me and wanted a relationship. In retrospect, I thought it was really weird.
“Because of my openness, there are gay men who actually asked me whether I wanted to have sex with them.”
He thought that gay issues were still a very taboo topic in Malaysia.
“My purpose of writing a gay novel is not to discriminate homosexual people in general, but to shed some light on gay issues and to bridge the gap between the straight and gay people. After all, everyone is equal, regardless of age, gender, race, religion or sexuality.”
Malcolm said there are gays everywhere and many are afraid to come out for fear of social discrimination and family pressure.
“But I think that as progressive and dynamic human beings in this modern age, we should be more open about gay issues. Our deep-rooted mentality has to change.”
After years of observation and having encountered friends in such relationships, Mejin concluded that gay relationships were different compared to a straight one.
“It would be interesting to show how gay relationships really work in real life by writing this novel. It’s something very different, and the revelation may shock some people.”
Malcolm also hoped that through this novel, people would be able to accept gay people.
“We’re all the same. God made everyone the same.”
Malcolm has also written a children’s series (Zany Zombie), and a young adult novel (Cool Diary), which have been published. In an effort to promote literacy among children, including those from rural areas, Zany Zombie has been made available in all rural libraries nation-wide.
“I’m glad that Zany Zombie is made accessible in rural libraries,” Mejin says.
“I wanted to encourage more young people to read because reading does not only empower an individual but it is a mental and emotional gratification as well.”