I grew up a strong kid, being the third and the youngest child.
Throughout those years, I knew something was awkward in me that I seldom saw among my age group and I tried fighting it.
By now you may have an idea of what I?m talking about.
When we were much younger, I was the defender of the group. I am physically fit and could outrun any boy in my town or give them a tough defensive basketball game or even play a one-o?clock tennis game. I could also intimidate anyone my age, but no one knew I was trembling inside.
One day, I had a fight with a bully and came out the winner. We ended up both hurt and aching. Maybe that?s how I earned the respect of my close friends. I was their hero because I usually sacrificed myself during our childhood games. They all carried those memories with them and some even became my admirers and beaus.
I only had three girlfriends and looking back made me wonder why it ended so soon. Some said I was their ideal guy?good, intelligent and athletic. Still I wasn?t at ease with myself. It took me 29 years to realize, accept and understand that I was gay. I was in denial. This shouldn?t be happening to me. There is no hard and fast rule in being gay. It isn?t like waking up one morning and saying to the world that you?re gay. In my case, it was a gradual process.
A book even mentioned that aromatase deficiency leads to feminist traits among males, a hot subject that most scientists recently linked with homosexuality. When I finally told my friends that I was gay, they said it was a joke. Today, pretty girls flirt with me, and I just let them. It?s up to them to find out. I wrote you not to encourage young people to be like me but to teach them the importance of knowing themselves?to ask for help if they think something is bothering them. A number of kids go into drug addiction. Others commit suicide because they feel ?abnormal.?
What?s important is they continue being themselves: that people around them rid themselves of discrimination and homophobia. Gays are equal to everybody?educate not eradicate.
You are lucky to be living in this age of tolerance. We may not all be backslapping each other and promoting gayness, but the fact is it is an accepted reality. Many have come out of the closet and openly discussed their liberated lives in media. Gay rights are now a hot topic in public forums, deliberated by lawmakers, and voted on in referendums. A milestone in human history has been reached. We have become somewhat inured that barely an eyebrow is raised anymore when some new personality proclaims him/her self gay. It is probably frowned upon now in the far-flung remote villages or mountain towns where people still live in caves and haven?t seen an airplane.
The important thing is for gays to be comfortable in their own skins, no matter what. And do you honestly care what the constipated minds of bigots think? So long as you don?t infringe on the rights of your neighbors, or bamboozle the comfort zones of others?live your life as you see fit.
Just tell those still living in the dark ages that we?re now on the ninth year of the new millennium! Isn?t it time to already aerate or thoroughly sweep away the cobwebs of their dirty narrow minds?
(E-mail the author at email@example.com, Subject: Lifestyle, or send your letters to Inquirer. Log on to www.pbs.gov.ph and listen to Ms Marcelo co-host the program ?Kalikasan Vigilante,? 7:15-8:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, on dwBR 104.3 FM.)