Friday, October 16, 2009

Why it's Always Better on the Other Side

I remember a time when my mom nearly beat the crap out of me for two reasons: first, she got home to find her make-up kit ransacked and in complete disarray, and second- every shade of her eyeshadow and blush-on were caked on my face.

I was eight. What really happened was that my fourteen year-old female cousin decided to make a Barbie out of me. She wrapped the kumot around my scrawny frame and put make-up on my face, then asked me to parade around the room while she chanted “Miss Universe!”

I thought I was so cool, looking so pretty. That was, of course until my mom walked in and manhandled me to the bathroom to forcibly wash my face while I was crying and mascara was running all over my face.

Throughout high school, she grew more concerned of me as I grew into an adolescent. She was worried that I’d have a hard life if I was indeed gay, so both my parents did what they thought they could to “straighten me up”. They would show disapproval especially if I showed signs of being effeminate- which actually never quite changed me, instead made me just even more skilled at hiding it.

When she celebrated her 50th birthday and I was all grown up, I finally had the courage to tell her that I’m gay. I mean, this orientation was certainly not my deliberate choosing, and I still refuse to believe the notion that gay people are simply maladjusted or have some sort of personality problem. People can label me all they want, but for me the two most important things were that I accepted myself (how else would I have self respect?) and that my mom at least acknowledge it.

She did. And all those years of my struggles, my overcompensating by becoming an overachiever just because I thought people would see me as worthless because I’m gay- they all faded away just as darkness fades when the sun comes up. My mom’s blessing meant so much to me, because my biggest fear was that she’d stop loving me as her son because of my orientation.

The next step of course was to come out to my friends, to come clean and finally put a stop to questions like, “Why are you not married?” or Why don’t you have a girlfriend?” There were those who applauded my honesty, there were those who were apathetic, and finally others who were disgusted. I suppose everyone has a right to their own opinion and how they feel about things, but as far as I’m concerned- it is so liberating to finally be myself. I have repressed a large part of who I am just because I was afraid people would not like me- now, all I can say is “better for people to hate me for who I am, rather than like me for who I am not.”

My mom’s acceptance and understanding taught me the value of unconditional love and how very few people have that. After I came out, I felt like I could just share a laugh or enjoy a friend’s company without worries. My mom taught me I’m just as worthy a person as everybody else.

2 comments:

rudeboy said...

Awww, that was sweet. And good for you.

I have yet to officially come out to my parents, but I'd like to think none of us are that dense. It's more of a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy at home.

Still - it would be nice to be done with it.

Thadie said...

@ I agree with you, its still better when they acknowledge it talaga. Besides, what's the big deal? sexual orientation is only a small speck of one's personality, not encompassing the person's character

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails