Let’s get things straight, I’m not.
Photo by Carla Francisco.
I was supposed to write this during the Pride Celebrations here in Metro Manila last June but time was not on my side. Nonetheless, the celebration for equality never ends so here is my own little footprint on the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights.
Growing up, I never really thought anything of my crushes. If I think really hard, the first time I had a “girl crush” was back when I was 7 years old when I would always play with my neighbor, Len-len. I always admired her sense of adventure and audacity and the then-shy little me found it exhilarating whenever I would tag along with her. Back then, I was not aware about crushes and much less about LGBT. Back then, I just thought that I enjoyed spending a lot of time with this person and that’s it. It’s only later on that I found out that crushing on a girl is “bad,” especially since I was raised Catholic and I went to school in an exclusive Catholic school for girls. While I never had an experience of a priest telling the congregation that LGBTQIA+ relationships are bad (thank God), I did have an inkling because there are rules against girls hugging for too long in my school. Sometimes, when teachers would hear rumors that you might be in a relationship with another student, they would send you for guidance counseling and would even go as far as suspending you from school. From then, I never admitted my girl crushes to anyone except the very few that I trust. I always felt that it was wrong or that I’m going against the rules whenever I find myself falling for another girl. Also, I guess that it also didn’t help that I would also have crushes (and be in a relationship) with guys thus, I thought I just had crushes on these girls because I see them more often.
Had I been exposed to the LGBTQIA+ community, I would learn much earlier that there was nothing wrong with my sexuality. It was only when I went to college that I finally found myself identifying as a Bisexual. See, genitals are never a factor when I like somebody or decide to be in a relationship with them. I find that the most attractive part of a person is not what is between his/her legs; I usually fall for people with eyes that speak to you and humor that can make me laugh until I fall off my chair. I fall in love with his/her ability to listen with compassion and find happiness despite the terrible things that are happening to the world. I fall for optimism, positivity, but still having the courage to show sadness without thinking that it is a weakness. These things are far more important than their sex.
I currently have a boyfriend right now that I love tremendously. He has been with my through my highs, my lows, and quite a number of Pride marches. He sees me not as a straight woman but as a bisexual. That’s also another thing that I had to go through. People assume the bisexuality is a phase and that you will eventually choose straight or gay as an orientation in the future. Bisexuality is a valid sexual orientation and this does not change depending on your current partner. I am so lucky that my partner validates me and does not stereotype me as just someone who can help him get a threesome or someone who might choose a girl tomorrow just because. Bisexual doesn’t mean the person is a cheater or is not monogamous. Personally, I do not see myself in a polyamorous relationship and I have always been loyal to my partner. Everyday, as a bisexual, I always fight a lot of stereotypes both from the LGBTQIA+ community and the straight community. It’s tiring, but I know that it is important to keep fighting the stigma in order to make sure that the future generation will not face the same discrimination.
I sincerely hope and pray that the world will be a much kinder place for the LGBTQIA+. Right now, the Pride movement has won a lot of battles (right to marriage being implemented in some countries around the world, etc.) but it is still a long road towards winning the revolution. Nonetheless, I am proud to be part of this fight and I think the world is a much more beautiful place if we only allow ourselves to love each other without discrimination. There’s always a rainbow after the rain, and I am hoping that after all the struggles we would see a world that’s more accepting of us in the future.