#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

Embedded image permalink

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

Embedded image permalink

The Veronicas

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

Embedded image permalink

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

#PrideMonth entry 1: my best friend

Five years ago (in uni), I was blessed with the most amazing debate partner anyone could ask for, and he’s still one of my best friends. Everyday, I’m grateful that he is who he is and that I got to meet him. If there was anyone to discriminate against him – call him names, deprive him of rights, belittle him, I will not sit idly, and watch. I’ll make sure they (whoever they are) understand that no one deserves to be treated that way. As much as I can logically argue for rights, I would admit that LGBT, in particular, is a personal cause for me. When I hear people say that gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry or adopt kids, they’re saying that my best friend who, for the past tumultuous six years of my life, has been a rock and a supporter, is not good enough to reaffirm his love for another or build a family just because of his sexual preference. That, I cannot stand. Who you are and who you choose to love is not reason to be treated with any less dignity than any other person. You deserve to be seen as an equal because you are. 

for gay marriage

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

Untitled2

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. 🙂

here’s to GAY RIGHTS

262332-anti-gay-london-bus-adverts-promoting-gay-cure-techniques-banned

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.