THROUGHOUT my childhood, I have always known that I was different. I used to mimic what other girls do, hung out with girls more than boys, and preferred playing with Barbie dolls than toy guns and toy cars. Because of that, I discovered that I was homosexual.
Growing up in a religious household, I had this notion that being a homosexual is sinful. People made me realize that because they would use it against me and tell me that God only created two sexes: a man and a woman.
I was living in constant fear that my parents and friends would reject or disown me if they knew that I was gay. Luckily, when I admitted to my friends and classmates about my sexual preference, they accepted me for who I am.
Finally, I felt like I belonged. It felt like a weight has been lifted upon my shoulders. My parents, on the other hand, were still unaware of my sexuality. They had second thoughts about it, but I kept denying it to them. I was afraid my feelings would get hurt or that I would hurt them.
Once, I saw documentaries about gay people coming out of their closet. Everyone had different experiences. Some were accepted in their family, some were disowned. The thought of being disowned by your beloved ones, especially your family, is a frightening thought.
I thought about it, long and hard, that I wanted to keep my sexuality from them until I graduate in college. I had this mindset that if they disowned me, I would still work my way in this society, get a job, and live a life on my own.
Hiding my true self from my parents was difficult. It made me feel guilty that they don’t know who and what their son truly is. My whole life, I was lying to them and it was unhealthy.
Until one day, my mother asked me the billion-dollar question, “Are you gay?” Then, all of a sudden, tears were flowing down my cheeks as I was saying yes. My mother embraced me in a tight hug.
Now, I’m living my life out of the closet and I am now truly free. The lesson I learned here is that you should always remember that no matter what your sexual preference or what problems you may face, people will be there to accept you, listen to you, and help you in your times of despair.
You are not alone in this world. Just look at the bright side of things and then you will come to discover that there is always a rainbow after the rain. (Juan Genaro D. Halog, Ateneo de Davao University intern)