Education: Key to understanding same sex relationships

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Saturday, February 15, 2014


“SO LONG as it doesn’t harm or bring about imminent danger to society, same sex relationship is fine,” Marky “Markey” Magallanes told Sun.Star.

Magallane is an officer of Student Alliance for National Democracy in Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (Stand-IIT).

He believes the Philippine society remains homophobic as discrimination and social stigma on gays continue to stress them.

He blames religion for playing a major role on putting social stigma among people involved in same sex relationships. “Religion sows fear among same sex couples for living non-reproductive lives and accusing them of spreading sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).”

Magallanes believes that having a family doesn’t have to be a male and female union to reproduce because some couples of the opposite sex couldn’t biologically bear children.

“To raise a family isn’t dependent on the capacity to bear children. There are children in orphanages who can be adopted. I can adopt one if my future partner would so decide that we will have a child. If that is the line of reasoning, then marriages without children can be nullified,” he quipped.

On the issue of spreading HIV and STIs, Magallanes said: “Gosh! Are gay couples the only people who practiced unsafe sex? ‘Normal’ couples do. And there are same sex couples who also do safe sex.”

“So what’s the point really? Why does this society abhor us? ”

Magallanes said the key to stopping sex-related diseases is education.

“The government should educate the people about STIs and HIV, and they should also educate not only gay couples but everyone on safe sex,” Magallanes added.

Love and discrimination

“I think people should stick to the principle that religion is all about loving one another,” Magallanes said.

When Magallanes had a partner for the first time, the first few months were horrible.

“We cried each time we were rejected,” he recalled.

The first in line to stop their relationship are their parents, he said.

Later on, his parents softened and slowly accepted his partner, however they had to deal with the bullying from classmates and friends.

“They think that our relationship is abnormal, thus, they disliked us.”

But as years went by Magallanes and his partner overcame the storms in their relationship.

“We crossed the storm of bullying. I couldn’t say that we were unscathed, we were calloused but it fueled us to understand more about the underlying reasons why the society is rigid on same sex relationships,” he said.

For him, what matters in the relationship is commitment, patience, mutual feelings, perseverance and a lot of guts.

“With those, we felt like we were so brave to come out,” Magallanes said.

He said the key to address the society’s rejection over lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) is also education.

“Homophobes and the people who despise us should be educated. They should know how we feel each when we are discriminated. They should know that we bring no harm to society,” Magallanes said.

Magallanes said: “Homosexuality is not a choice. So it is best for society to start opening their minds because people like us will keep on coming until the society will be liberated from the social stigma that causes discrimination on gay people. People should be educated.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 16, 2014.

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