I went straight home after my shift. I was too tired to eat lunch but decided instead to take a quick shower before heading out to my birthday / family dinner. While in the bathroom, I rehearsed the lines I’ve thought of a few weeks ago. I practiced and practiced until I felt I was ready to face them. That was the time I started crying my eyes out.
I cried in the bathroom. I opened the faucet so people outside can’t hear me sobbing. After taking a bath, I stayed for a couple more minutes to regain strength and courage. I went out and pretended that nothing happened. I immediately headed to my room, wiped my tears, and put on clothes.
I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. As usual, I saw my father sitting while reading articles published online. I sat down on a chair behind him and started drinking water. Tears started to fall then. I tried to wipe them off but they just keep on coming. I then told my dad, “Dy, may sasabihin ako.” Tears continued to run down my cheeks while my dad asked, “Anong problema? Sa trabaho ba? Ano? Magsabi ka lang.” I sat there, still crying, and waited for my inner self to vomit all that I’ve rehearsed in the past weeks.
A few moments later, my mom opened the main door and came in. She saw us and asked what was going on. That made me even cry more. For a few minutes I sat there crying trying to say something but I just can’t. My mom eventually hugged me and told me that whatever it was, they were ready to listen.
A few more minutes later, I mustered enough courage and told them “Hindi ako straight. May boyfriend ako.” And I think my dad didn’t hear what I said and asked again, “Ano ‘yon?” And so, for the second time, I told them that I wasn’t straight and that I have a boyfriend.
My parents hugged me and asked if I am happy to which I answered, “Masaya. Sobra.” From then on, they went on telling me that somehow they knew and that they have accepted it. They continued with reminding me to continue pursuing my dreams and continue helping the Filipino people in any way I want to. #ParaSaBayan
Afterwards, we all decided to prepare for the birthday dinner. I headed out first because I needed to meet Neil who was inside a coffeeshop waiting for me. The initial plan was to “come out” during the birthday dinner. Neil wanted to offer emotional support. He asked to see me before the dinner. He was surprised, and of course happy, when I told him I’ve done it even before the dinner. Perhaps, this has been my happiest birthday so far.
I am lucky to have a family who stands by me no matter what. I know and I feel that this isn’t what they expected from me nor wanted for me. But what’s important for me is that they understand me and have accepted who I am.
The campaign for acceptance and not mere tolerance to LGBTQIA is far from over. I have started to commit myself to the campaigns against gender discrimination, gender equality & equity, and HIV / AIDS discrimination and stigma. I invite everyone to start the discussion. I invite everyone to be part of the global movement to stop HIV/AIDS and to start respecting the human rights of all people regardless of age, gender identity, social class, race, religion, and beliefs or principles.
One of the hurdles in the long struggle to tell the world about this is my religion. My family is Catholic. I am a Roman Catholic and a faithful believer of Christ. Most Roman Catholics would roll their eyes if they read this. Maybe even call me “gay”, “faggot”, and / or “sinner”. I may be considered a sinner for the many wrong doings I have done in the past but don’t consider me a sinner just because I’m “not straight”.
I have started to believe that God will forgive me for who I am if indeed being “not straight” or “gay” is considered a mortal sin. But I believe God is more than willing to accept me as one of His faithful sons. More importantly, I believe in God’s mercy and compassion and so should you.