SINGAPORE - He grabbed a metal fork, ready to defend himself.
But Mr Zack Ling wasn't being robbed or attacked.
The chef was introducing his girlfriend to his family at the dinner table.
"I was afraid that my father would do something violent," he said.
After a long silence, his father, who was a military man, said: "Okay. You have my blessing." His girlfriend, Ms Fanny Ler, sat beside Mr Ling at the dinner table quietly.
Ms Ler was formerly a man.
As the eldest son in a conservative Buddhist family, Mr Ling said his father had expected him to find a "normal" partner.
He said he used to drink a lot and hang out with gangs.
He even thought that all transgender people were streetwalkers.