Anh brought to tears by star’s heartbreak
KYLIE Kwong has opened up about coming out as gay to her parents and losing her baby in an emotional episode of Anh's Brush With Fame.
The celebrity chef and her now wife Nell lost their son Lucky in 2012 after he was born premature.
Kwong told Anh Do she "cried for 10 hours straight" after Nell's waters suddenly broke and they rushed to hospital, where doctors gave them the devastating news their son would not survive.
"In the end we felt blessed he lived for six days … inside Nell, alive, and then he let go. But the six days was profound," she said.
Kwong was able to say goodbye to Lucky with the help of a Zen Buddhist teacher who performed a spiritual ritual over Nell's pregnant belly.
"It was so important because we got to be with him, we got to mother him, we got to say goodbye to him," Kwong said.
"What did you say?" Do asked.
"I said, I really love feeding you," Kwong replied, choking back tears as Do also cried.
"I said I want you to know that your mother is the most amazing person in the world and that you are very, very loved.
"I said to him that I want you to know that we have always loved you, and I promised him that Nell and I would always look after each other."
Kwong also recalled how she came out as gay to her parents at age 19 and how it nearly tore her tightly-knit Chinese family apart.
After telling her mother Pauline, Kwong waited another six months before breaking the news to her father Maurice as he began to suspect she was in a relationship with a woman.
"One night we're having dinner, it was a weeknight and dad just like lost (it), he just snapped because he had been sensing over the weeks that I was seeing someone and he knew it was a woman," she recalled.
"Everyone just froze and I thought, 'oh my goodness I'm going to have to tell him soon.' ... (afterwards) he came into my room he said, 'so darling are you seeing that woman?' And I said, 'yes Dad I am, I'm gay,' and I just told him."
While he thanked her for being honest, Kwong said her father just couldn't understand why she was gay.
"And he said, 'it's Wednesday, I want you out of the house by Saturday. From this moment I disown you as my daughter,' he said that, he said that sentence," Kwong said, drawing a shocked reaction from Do.
But after two "very quiet" nights in the family home, Kwong was woken by "quick footsteps" outside her room.
"I woke up to my father's sobbing face on my pillow. And his whole kind of energy and demeanour was of this vulnerable, a lot kind of smaller presence, beautiful presence," she said.
"And he's like, 'oh my darling, I can't do it to you, you're my baby. You're my little girl and I just can't do it to you. I just can't, I can't. even though I don't understand your way of life I can't throw you out.'"
Kwong said she was proud of her father for changing his mind as "he was 52, he dropped 52 years of ego just like that, he just dropped it … he came around and then of course when he dropped ego, all of the beautiful emotions arose".
Kwong went on to have a "wonderful relationship" with her dad, who remained one of the biggest supporters of her career until his death from prostate cancer in 2006.
Anh's Brush With Fame airs 8pm Wednesdays on ABC TV and is available to stream on ABC iView