#PrideMonth entry: #LoveWins

I have never been more proud to be human than today. It’s not a shock to everyone that I support gay marriage. In fact, I think we should all just call that marriage. You should have seen my face when my sister said, “It’s done. We can love whoever we want.” We looked at each other and smiled. All I could think was:

FINALLY!

Finally, I don’t feel as alone. #LoveWins

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If this hasn’t flooded your notifications on every social media yet, then let me do the honor. US SUPREME COURT JUST LEGALIZED GAY MARRIAGE NATIONWIDE.

US, one of the most culturally diverse countries, now allows the freedom to love. For weeks (well, months, even years actually, but it intensified recently), there had been parades, gatherings and discussion in every part of the country, and now all their worries are laid to rest. Obama delivered on his long stance to support gay marriage, to support the equality of rights, no matter the sexual orientation.

Huffington Post said:

“The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love.

The decision is a historic victory for gay rights activists who have fought for years in the lower courts. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia already recognize marriage equality. The remaining 13 states ban these unions, even as public support has reached record levels nationwide.

The justices found that, under the 14th Amendment, states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize same-sex unions that have been legally performed in other states. Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. In a rare move, the four dissenting justices each wrote an opinion.

The lead plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges is Ohio resident Jim Obergefell, who wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse on his husband’s death certificate. In 2013, Obergefell married his partner of two decades, John Arthur, who suffered from ALS. Arthur passed away in October of that year, three months after the couple filed their lawsuit.

Obergefell was joined by several dozen other gay plaintiffs from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee who were fighting to be able to marry and to have their marriage recognized in every state in the country.

In the majority opinion, the justices outlined several reasons same-sex marriage should be allowed. They wrote that the right to marriage is an inherent aspect of individual autonomy, since “decisions about marriage are among the most intimate that an individual can make.” They also said gay Americans have a right to “intimate association” beyond merely freedom from laws that ban homosexuality.”

Link to the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/26/supreme-court-gay-marriage_n_7470036.html?ir=Black%2BVoices&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000051

Join me in celebrating a major breakthrough in our fight to support LGBTQ rights all over the world. This is a massive win for us. To be honest, I don’t think I can contain my happiness nor can I vividly convey it through my vocabulary, so I’m gonna let the pictures of those who stand with us in this cause show them for me. #LoveWins

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The Veronicas

Gay couples in Texas begin obtaining marriage licenses: http://bit.ly/1dlAUGe

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Huffington Post: “This is what it looks like when #lovewins http://huff.to/1Hko7lx

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how to give it to him straight

(no pun intended)

Let me start by saying this isn’t an easy post. I went back and forth. I finally decided to publish it after having a long talk with my cousin who convinced me that this is indeed AN ARTICLE WORTH WRITING and that I shouldn’t be scared about what people will say or how they’ll react because I never was before this anyway.

 

I know. I think I’ve always known you’re gay and a part me of thinks you’ve known for awhile too. I won’t insult you by describing the times you made me realize it but like Bobby’s mom said, ‘You always know.’ I don’t know if in the many conversations we had, you tried to tell me. If you did and it didn’t work out or I just wasn’t listening well enough, I’m so sorry. I can get caught up in the noise sometimes and you know we’re a noisy crowd.

There are days when I feel so helpless because I can’t just hug you and tell you it’s gonna be okay. You haven’t even trusted me with your secret yet so all I could do is wait for the time when you’re ready. I wanted to write this for when that time comes. This will be the proof that I’ve always supported you, whoever you are and whoever you choose to love.

It won’t be easy because we still live in a society where you’re an anomaly (that word hurts me more than you know). Trust me when I say it’s all gonna be okay. I’m here for you. We’re all here rooting for you. When the harshest, most painful slings from others and even from people you love come, I promise to stand beside you and just be around for whatever you need.

I want you to know how much I love you. I hope when you finally get to read this you’ll be a proud, happy and free man.

photo from comingoutjournal.tumblr.com

I am reaching out to all those who were in my position or those in his. What should I do? I don’t want him to think no one cares. WE don’t want to make the mistake of just ignoring it but in the end make him feel unaccepted or that he can’t tell us anything.

 

***

Note: Bobby from the entry is a reference to Prayers for Bobby a 2009 movie exploring the life of a closeted gay Christian finally coming out to his family and how being ostracized drove him to take his own life.

 

 

 

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/

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. 🙂