what it TRULY feels like to be transgender

What I’m about to post doesn’t need much introduction. Lee Mokobe, an inspiring, South African poet has better vocabulary to express what I feel. Her words will speak not only to your mind but hopefully, your heart.

What does it truly feel to be transgender?

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#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. 

#teaminternet youtuber TYLER OAKLEY

As the hashtag was coined by the queen himself, I though why not start with the self promotion genius that is Tyler Oakley. I’m gonna assume that as you’re reading this post, you’re one of 3 people: a. You’re a loyal subject who has watched every video, RTed every tweet and donated so much money and time to his causes. YOU LOVE HIM and are happy you at least breathe the same air no matter how much long that air may have traveled. b. You’ve heard of him, not really seen any of his videos or just a few of them. c. Who the hell is Tyler Oakley? (You’re missing out!)

As you may have already guessed, I’m a proud A. I adore Tyler, what he stands for and how he delivers it.

I’m aware that there’s haters out there, as there is for everyone. Thus making the 4th kind of person. If you’re one of them, you can either find another entry that’s more suited for you to read because there’s no way I’m slamming my queen (loyalty counts for something) or you can read on and find out more of the greatness that is this cotton-candy-colored-hair human being. You never know, you just might like him after this. *wink*

IF YOU FEEL LIKE A LOSER

THE ‘BOYFRIEND’ TAG

Tyler Oakley Interviews Michelle Obama

After all those videos, I think Tyler’s happy disposition and no nonsense stance on issues he feels strongly about is more than enough to give you a glimpse into his character and his usual vlogs. If it’s not, then here’s a run down. He’s a twenty something youtuber with videos that range from self image pep talk, coming out tips, thoughts on books and movies to opening fan mail and answering silly questions from devoted (slightly stalkerish- *coughs*ME) fans. Although he’s well known for his humor, fashion and pastel hair, he supports very serious campaigns like the Trevor Project, a group that focuses on suicide prevention among LGBT since 1998. Last year Tyler wanted to raise a hundred thousand dollars for them and ended up with half a million. Now that’s an achievement, proving that good people come in all forms and packages- sometimes REALLY colorful packages.

I’ll end this entry with Tyler’s 2014 round up and with my fingers crossed that you loved his videos as much I do. If you do, subscribe to his channel linked below and find time to support his campaign to raise half a million dollars for his birthday this month, again for Trevor Project.

LINKS

Tyler’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/tyleroakley

To chip in with your donation to Trevor: http://prizeo.com/tyler

 

 

 

#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

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.

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/

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.