#unpopularopinion GAY RIGHTS

I haven’t posted in awhile for reasons I promise to reveal in future blogs but for now I’m back here with a new website name. I’ll be making some changes and you’ll see that in the course of the coming months. Exciting things, I promise. For now, allow me to talk about something that has been bugging since I saw this video:

The gist of it is Austin, an openly gay teenager from a private school, was called on by his principal to ask him to ‘go back in the closet’ from whence he came. It was an all out inquisition if you ask me, calling his parents as if he cheated on a test or something worse and told them that he had to delete all his posts on social media regarding his sexual orientation and basically act like a ‘normal’ dude, whatever that is.

We all already know how I feel about gay rights. Granted I was vague about why I became such a strong advocate in the first place but I never faltered about my stance on it. I would be lying if I said wasn’t seething when I first saw this video but the logical side of me calmed me down enough to write this entry.

There are merits to the principal’s decision, much as I hate to admit it. Writing that feels like swallowing salty water when you know you’re about to drown. It’s a private institution, with its own moral code or whatever bullcrap the admin or  board of trustees feed the students to blindly follow. The principal may have A. had his hands tied himself or B. he’s just as homophobic as the rest of his academic peers. For his sake, I hope it’s A. because all he’ll need to get over his lack of spine is a bit push in the right direction which I hope this entry does for him. If it’s the latter, then he has some serious learning to do because regardless of what he believes there was a better way of delivering this to a teenager already having a hard time. If this is how you let every person whose going through the same thing feel then you shouldn’t be dealing with coming-of-age teenagers who might already be picked on every day for who they are.

There are enough bigots in the world. Trust me, these kids don’t need reminding.

I was 16 when my best friend of 4 years came out to me. He came out to a whole group of people he just met at uni before he told me and to be honest with you it broke my heart. Much as I tried, I couldn’t talk to him for days the way I used to even if he was going back to school in a week. If you’re wagging your finger thinking I’m no different from that principal, you’re wrong. That’s not it at all although someone who knew me less would have taken it that way.

I’ve been replaying in my head over and over again what I did to make him feel like he couldn’t tell me. He said it wasn’t a big deal, that he would have told me anyway but he didn’t and I couldn’t help but feel that there was something I did that convinced him I won’t love him anyway or more because he was honest with me. Was it because I come from a pious Christian family? Is it because I was in an all girl religious group in high school? I couldn’t bring myself to talk to him because so much guilt was eating me up like some terminal disease and it made me feel so sick.

I never talked about this because since then I’ve had some traumatic experiences concerning other gay friends and how they’re treated. I’m not always proud of how I defended them so I  usually just avoided the topic altogether. I’m not much for emotions as most of you already know but I thought it was important to share what I realized after that.

I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING.

I’ve always felt strongly about gay rights, always defended them in my head, wrote stories I never published supporting them but that was it. I never did anything openly to reassure anyone in my life that I’ll be there for them, love them and support them regardless of what their sexual orientation is. Not since recently at least. It doesn’t mean shit if you fight for them in your head. They don’t know that because often those who criticize them are louder than those who rally behind them. It’s unfortunate but it’s a fact, one which I hope this small blog from some unknown corner of world changes in some little way.

So Austin I may not be able to convince the world to be kinder and more accepting of you and those just like you, much as I want to, but I hope you know that there’s one girl, insignificant as she is to the statistics of 7 billion people, who celebrates you for who you are. Who you choose to love is just one part of you, albeit and important one, don’t let them box you for that. The world will get over their ignorance one day and you should know that you’re one of the reasons why they did.

Stay strong Austins of the world. We’re slowly finding our voice to fight for you.


 

As for my friend, you know who you are. I hope you’re reading this and feeling how much you are loved. If, my dear readers, you want to make someone else feel the same, share this blog and that video. Show them that we’re better than the jerks who treat them badly. #niceinternet #supportgayrights

for gay marriage

As I was browsing through some recent posts on Facebook, I read this from a friend.

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Forgive the agitation but that doesn’t, in any way, lessen the conviction I have towards promoting equal rights for all- yes, including LGBT relationships. It was never a secret that I am for gay marriage as I’ve said it a couple of times in my previous posts. (I’ll put the link below in case you wanna read it, for reference or what not.) Marriage is a civil institution and it only becomes a religious ceremony if a couple decides to do it in front of a denomination. Outside of that, it is more a practice of a civil right rather than a violation of some ecumenical belief.

The role of religious institutions has to be clarified because no way is society forcing them to swallow beliefs that are not amenable to them.  However if respect is given to their practices and beliefs then inverse respect is required of them as society decides on issues that are more social in nature. You can’t force churches to marry gay couples in the same way that these churches can’t bastardize societies favoring progressive awarding of rights.

Calling people demonic because they’re born a certain way and pressuring society and governments to do the same is not only below the belt, it’s inhuman. I know there are rational, level-headed and more understanding members of churches; there are a lot in fact so this is not a generalization rather a portrayal of those who go overboard.

photo from heydoyou.com

It obviously pains me that my best friend who believes more in the sanctity of marriage than I ever will can’t be wed because he wants to be with another man. While I who in no way imagines marriage in my future ha that as an option. You can say this issue is more personal than it is logical for me (which almost never happens) but it does not dilute the truth in it.I don’t think pulpits should be used to demonize people for being different, for being born who they are just because norms dictate us to.

We are a far better humanity than that; I still honestly believe that.

*Writer’s Note: Just to be clear, I am not for abortion. I’ll discuss it some other time. I just really needed to talk about gay rights especially when it comes to relationships and the manner by which religious institutions ‘convince’ the public what to believe.
**Links:
  1. https://byunanonymous.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/paint-the-town-gay/
  2. https://byunanonymous.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/my-new-normal/
  3. https://byunanonymous.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/gay-and-great/

in support of Pugad Baboy

Pugad Baboy Comics is one of the literary institutions in the Philippines that presents social issues plaguing the country in a satirical and more appealing way. For years, it has successfully targeted dictatorships, corrupt politicians, illogical beliefs and smothering policies through its witty comic strips and not once has Philippine Daily Inquirer (the news paper that prints it) has ever apologized to anyone the artist may have offended.

Credits to PDI for this photo

However after receiving negative remarks from St. Scholastica and other all-girl universities for the comic strip above, PDI quickly apologized and suspended Pol Medina. A few days later, Pol decided to resign from the news paper. Many artists condoned the action taken by the news paper and some even lashed out on the conservatism the Catholic schools are showing towards the freedoms of artists.

My thoughts:

(On nuns consenting to homosexual behavior) I don’t think nuns consent to it however there was really little they could do. They couldn’t really expel students on the basis of being a homosexual. This I know coming from an all girl, extremely conservative Catholic school.

(On how the parties are reacting) St. Scho has the right to react a certain way considering it was singled out and the claims were contrary to their image and stance. Imagine nuns being portrayed as hypocrites then indirect advocates of homosexuality.

However, taking it out on the writer is unreasonable. He too reserves the right to think a certain way. That’s how society works. That’s how media works. We can’t condemn people because they offend someone especially considering the nature of his pieces. They’re satires for crying out loud. They’re supposed to be offensive, they’re supposed to disturb you and make you think.

Nota Bene

To Pol Medina, please don’t stop drawing and writing because you are an important Philippine artist and a unique voice that speaks to people like me who prefer a creative, witty and humorous take on life’s harsh realities.

gay and great

Disclaimer: This is a repost from one of my best friend’s blog. He was my first debate partner and one of my closest confidants in college. His post was disturbing and frankly, I just wanted more people to be aware of his struggles. For those who have been (or are) in the same shoes, my support and prayers go to you. Trust me when I say I know it’s tough. I hope this cheers you up or at least leads you on.

I am GAY, and that is not wrong.

Yesterday I have heard the greatest insult I have had in my entire existence – all because I am gay.  And to make things worse, it was from a woman whose professed faith seem to have the monopoly of truth and right. (nothing against those who come from her dominion, it was just the impression made yesterday)
I was asked this, Brent, alam mo nman diba ang tama sa mali? (Brent, you do know the difference between right and wrong)
It was asked after a friend and I talked about my current ‘dating’ status. As you know, I am dating a gay guy, a university teacher, a performer, a Catholic – basically a decent member of the society. Both of us don’t cross dress, both of us have decent lives to live, both of us are educated in catholic institutions. Both of us are choosing to be honest – and true.
The question alone was not offensive, but what followed after was way below the belt. Considering she did simply bat in, in our conversation. In a nutshell, she was telling me that I was born a man, thus I have a ROLE to ASSUME. She further continued that a relationship between two men is a sin, and that we should be punished – by death. That was quoted from Leviticus.
As a writer, I do know subtext. And with what she said, she nullified my very existence. That as if, all of me, all because I am gay, is wrong. That my very ‘being’ is as if a dirt bag. Mali ang buhay ko (My entire life is a mistake), to put things in perspective.
Ouch. F*ck Yeah!
It was uncalled for, and it was insulting.
But I shut up, all because I know better about RESPECT.
But it disturbed me so much I decided to share my piece here.
I am GAY, and that is not wrong.
Let’s put it this way. Following her line of thought that man is made in the image and likeness of GOD, it is therefore innate in man the ability to LOVE and to be (and do) good. In such premise, is it wrong then to HURT after falling for a man and realize that he is not in love with you? In the context of love, if I love someone (and granted I do not do anything all because it is ‘wrong’) but my heart feels pain because it is suppressed, it is hurt; WHY THEN DOES IT FEEL AFFECTION, for the first place?
 

God has made every being in his image and likeness, thus, by nature we tend to choose what is RIGHT and GOOD. The society, granted the biases that culture and practiced religion have imposed upon it, has a notion of what is right. BUT GOD KNOWS BETTER. HE gave us a heart – for which we can listen to, when in doubt.

I have served, during my Ateneo years as a head for my organization’s personal spirituality formation. And I did pick up something from there. That our relationship with GOD is within, that it is a personal relationship. Though there exists structured religion, it is not the foundation of truth, nor is the bible (which was written and construed by man). TRUTH is within us. It equates peace and contentment, and it is found after journeying within. I felt so insulted when she said those things because she did not even recognize my formation, my personal discernment, my personal relationship with GOD. She talked liked it was way apparent that I was wrong – and she was right.
Lastly, I would like to stress that no one person in this world has the right to know what is right for you. Guided by whoever you conceive your creator to be, HE(she) would never let you go on a wrong path. There is so much the world tells us, but for those who know better, society is never a perfect structure – and so is religion. So there are no definite ROLES that one being should assume to. Being a man, a woman, or gay (bi, transgender or what have you) is something that we are called to be. And no one has the right to tell another who he should be.Society is flawed; take for example those that dictate that women ought to be owned by men. Religion is flawed, talk about those faiths that promise the monopoly of salvation. These can be used as guides though – but there is one thing that our creator has had given us. It is something that, no matter your race, your religious affiliation, your educational attainment or spiritual formation, remains untainted by evil. GOD gave us our hearts, the foundation of our freewill and rights, it feels pain when wronged and delighted when listened to, thus it is through which we may know RIGHT and the TRUTH.
My heart tells me that I am wonderful, that I am beautiful – and yes, that I am a sinner, that I am flawed and imperfect. But it tells me that GOD loves me – and it is okay to be gay.
 
I just hope though that others could afford every gay guy the respect he deserves; that since not one in this world is perfect enough, may we find peace in our own hearts that there is a greater reason behind why we are the person that we are.

 —

This was my comment to Brent’s post.

It is not wrong or selfish to seek affirmation and respect from others because we are social beings and we value relationships and image. However, I know (because I’ve seen it) that you are stronger than your worst critics. You know you’re great. You know the people who love you, love you regardless of your orientation. It matters less what she thinks, I love you B. Gay or not, you are an amazing person. In the words of Carrie, “If being gay is you then it must be good because YOU ARE GOOD.”

PS To the girl who clings to the principles of the old world, know when to change. Understand your compass to right and wrong then get back to me. 🙂

here’s to GAY RIGHTS

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Ad by Stonewall, a gay rights campaign group

I am not shy nor reluctant about my stand on gay rights. I believe that respect is due to this sector as they pursue and demand for the rights they so rightfully deserve.

Most critics would say that destruction of traditional morals start when we accept changes that do not agree with the norm. I do think, however, that we, as rational human beings, should be capable of assessing which of these beliefs are worth keeping and which are fossilized errors worth reviewing. Once, women were accorded with much lesser rights than men. This fosters the then accepted patriarchal idealism. Men are better. Men rule. Men are important therefore we women have no say in matters that are as important as men. We can’t vote, have political inclinations, be sexually satisfied or be powerful in the workplace as these offend the rights and in my opinion the ego  of pre-gender equality men.

Gay rights are human rights.

Today, we support feminism and its consequences like affirmative action in the workplace and shared responsibilities at home. Society accepts that although men and women have different niches and functions in the society, they are to be considered equal and therefore, awarded the same rights and ability to pursue them. The errors of the past were corrected by a more progressive and open-minded community of individuals who are not afraid of deviating from a set of accepted norms to find better ways of looking at things, ones which are fairer and more respectful of our shared humanity.

The same principle applies to offering the same level of respect for the orientation of our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community. Beliefs and traditions are time-bound and should continue to progress as the humanity that abides by it also progresses. Although I do not wish to offend the traditional moral institutions and lobbyist groups which believe in eternal damnation for this sector, I hope that you recognize that the respect you require of us in terms of honoring tradition is the same respect required of you for the change in society that supports gay rights.

We have seen the effects of bullying gays into becoming something else, not respecting them and stripping them of their rights to be with their partners. It’s never going to get better. The mudslinging and hate will continue unless the we decide that it ends now, unless we promise to foster respect despite our opposing beliefs. We can agree to disagree, refuse each others belief without the hate and obvious disregard for the other’s dignity.

Some people are gay.Get over it. 

As for the population of this world who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and everything in between, hang in there. Change comes with opposing views, thesis and anti thesis. Sooner than later, more people will realize that you guys, like women, also deserve to be treated respectfully, equally and humanely. Until that time, know that you have at least one supporter right here who promises to press on and support you.