As early as 15 years old, I knew I am a lesbian. But, I kept quiet then about it because I come from a very traditional Filipino-Chinese family.
We are so traditional that my father threatened to disown my brother when he dated a Filipina.
He said, you will not receive a single cent from me if you choose that woman. I saw my mother crying as she was begging him to end their relationship.
Given the chaos and emotional stress my brother, their only son, gave them, I didn't want to add to their burden during that time.
My brother and his girlfriend fought for their relationship for 5 years while I patiently stayed in the closet.
Perhaps, he got tired or maybe he just became practical but my brother ended his relationship with his Filipina girlfriend and married another Fil-Chi, less than a year after the break-up. It was all so fast and I don't know how they managed to organize such a big wedding with around 1000 guests.
My parents were beaming with pride.
A year after the wedding, my brother and his wife had a beautiful baby boy.
Everyone was happy.
I figured, it was the perfect time to come out and tell my family that I'm gay.
I have already graduated and I was doing well in my first job.
I was wrong.
My mom cried. My dad was stunned and walked out of the room.
The following week, my sister-in-law and my mom asked me out for coffee. When we arrived at the coffee shop, I was surprised that there was a boy waiting for me. He was around 26 years old.
So...apparently that coffee date was my first kaishao.
That night when we came home, mama kept asking me if I liked my date. I said, "Ma, I'm lesbian." She told me that it's just a phase and if I meet the right guy, I will change.
I didn't argue.
They attempted to introduce me to more boys. I always found an excuse not to go.
After a year of trying, my mom spoke to me. She told me that I need to get married because I need someone to take care and provide for me. Our business will only go to my brother. I told mama that it's okay, I have a job. She started crying again so that conversation went nowhere.
Back then I was really resentful because I felt they just wanted to save face. I wasn't too convinced that they were genuinely and selflessly concerned about my future.
I dated in secret, mostly I found my dates online because no one in my "Real" world wanted to acknowledge that I am gay.
At every birthday and wedding, my relatives asked me "O Meron na ba?". I politely turned down every offer to introduce me to some Fil-Chi boy. Pero may nakakalusot. I'd get invited for dinner and when I get there, trick pala un
Eventually I found someone at work. We just got developed. I can't explain how it happened.
My girlfriend only dated guys before me. I don't know but something just clicked between us. Perhaps, it was the all the late nights we spent working in the office.
After a year of dating, I tried to introduce her to my parents but they refuse to even let me finish my invitation.
I talked to my mom and told her na pagod na ako. I can't change. This is me.
Mama cried and said, "You know our only wish is that when we are gone, you will have a family of your own. That you will not be alone when you are old."
I tried to convince her that I won't be alone and adoption is always an options but she couldn't process it.
I saw the sadness and pain in her eyes. I felt guilty.
But this is me...I can't change myself.
So now, I decided to just keep this part of my life private. I'm still in a relationship with my girlfriend. Her parents are also in denial. It's such one big mess.
I'm not sure how this will end. But, I'm really sure that I can't be straight just to make my parents happy. I really can't
Note: Thanks Y for your letter. Thank you to all those who sent their letters too.