June is pride month. It’s basically LGBT rainbow all over the major cities around the country. Possibly, around the world too. With great awareness and social breakthroughs within the past decade, I’ve lived in a generation where the rest of the society is pressured into acceptance to promote equality. But are they one and the same? Growing up gay, I’ve never experienced being shunned by my parents. Of course it wasn’t the first course of preference, but in my mother’s eyes–she accepted who I was, because she wasn’t when she was my age. I think I was 14 years old when she outted me, instead of me outting myself. The love letter I received for my birthday from a girlfriend I was distantly dating from another all girl’s Catholic School happened to land at my mother’s hands. Why? ‘Coz she could be a little bit nosy, but maybe just really ninja. Oh the dreadful feeling of getting caught is the worst. Especially if you have predicted the repercussions of the shenanigans you’ve just done. But in my case, it was the total opposite–my mother is gay too. So, she doesn’t only get it, she lived it: the good, the bad, and the ugly. So dealing with my gayness was more of like icing on a cake she didn’t really wanna eat, but it’s nice to just have that cake and eat it too…so that was THAT.
So what is tolerated in today’s society as oppose to actually having equality and acceptance? There’s always a fine gray line in between state lines, where you were raised, who your parents are, what you see in social media, your immediate community, and if you happen to live in a big city or a small town–it’s tough. It’s difficult and always tough to feel included and part of something, can you imagine if you were queer? In my own experience, I think I’ve never really truly felt discriminated against or separated from the normal people, until I lived in the Midwest (2003). I was a triple threat: Lesbian Filipino Woman. Growing up in a very big and busy city like Manila, maturing in a University culture, ‘diversity’ is the way of life and ‘discrimination’ in every sense of the word was personally for me only a textbook description. I had no idea that this actually happened irl.
There’s always more than a struggle story above yours. And as for me, I never thought of it as a coming out story ‘coz I’ve always just been kinda ‘out there’ plus my mother was always the accepting parent of my flaws and quirks and my gayness. She was there for every break up, both from girls and boys. I crawled up in her bed in the middle of the night, because I literally felt like my heart was breaking from a girlfriend who told me we couldn’t be dating anymore. I mended each heartache with my mom and her monitored free supply of Jose Cuervo for both me and my friends. My story, it wasn’t a struggle at all–it was as normal as a tween in the 90’s with every normal heart ache you could ever think of. Having my mother always there for me was the understanding that literally my mother was always there. So if I have words I can’t get out of my mouth, she would miraculously guess whatever it was bothering me. At the end of the day and with every coming out story, they are usually not created equally with happy endings. For this I truly feel for all my LGBT brothers and sisters. Your coming out story is something you do with so much PRIDE, and not all of them are happy endings. It’s PRIDE month, and I know each of us will probably reminisce this every year…and each time you do, it does involve your Dad or Mom. Equality is what we work for in society, but mostly acceptance is what we yearn for as human beings.
First and foremost, acceptance from the very people who gave life to us–for they brought us into this world, truly OUT & PROUD.
Happiest PRIDE to everyone. It’s 2018, let’s have more than acceptance but compassion for one another.