Thursday, May 20, 2010

I ain't Hiding, you know.

I was giving some people a lift on my way home from work when a relative gave me a short but very meaningful and touching message:

No matter what, Tobie, basta we love you.  Basta happy ka.

It still amazes me how much support and acceptance I have received from my family, and now as well from my cousins, ever since I came out last April 21.  It was a touching and liberating experience, to say the least, and my parents have been tremendously wonderful and supportive that I be happy and be myself.  Their love for me has not diminished in any way whatsoever.  

Coming out was a choice I decided to make this year, even if the roots of considering doing so was already in my head as early as back when I wrote this post.   There was that post when I very openly considered if it was time to do so.  (What stopped me was another bowl of fruit worth of explaining which frankly, is water under the bridge.)  There were the attempts to "jumpstart" the discussion with a picture that suggested Rocky and I were more-than-friends.  There was me joining the Gay Pride March last year.  There was my anger towards how the Ladlad Partylist was so clearly discriminated against.  Ultimately, there were many "attempts" to come out and to "initiate" the discussion of being gay -- and ironically, it would take me having to ask for a face-to-face meeting with my parents to finally get around to really doing it.

I have been out to many friends and some co-workers.

My bisexuality has been the topic of discussion among many curious friends, religious officemates, and open-minded acquaintances.  It was the topic of a documentary back when I was still in DLSU (and I think the tape is still somewhere there) and was the source of inspiration for many of the works I have produced in my life (the least of which is my online comic DILIMAN).

While not openly discussed in my blog prior to my coming out, I have never intentionally kept it a secret to anyone else save for my family and their immediate circle of friends.   While the me everyone sees and knows isn't any much different from the me as myself, I did play the pro-noun game, if not outright lie, before when I had to talk about my relationships and other similar topics.   I had a ex whom my parents knew to merely be my friend.   I've had a male stalker whom my parents merely understood to be some weirdo haunting me (and not someone who fell for me and didn't take my "no" as "no."  But I've never really had to "hide" since save for such details, I've always been and always acted the same way.  I might not be as rough and macho as most men are, but I was never effeminate or interested in cross-dressing as a lifestyle, or wearing make-up or foundation, or any of that jazz.   In all my relationships, be it with men or women, I made it clear that I was bisexual.  I made it clear I am what I am and that I wasn't turning straight or turning purely gay in the relationship.  I was still bisexual and will always be bisexual, but I was loyal and faithful and will always be loyal and faithful.  At some point, I highly considered coming out to my parents and telling them I was ONLY gay, just to make it easier for them to think I had "no hopes of changing back" (since there was nothing I was going to really change "back" into anyway), but ultimately decided it was best to come out, tell them I was gay (meaning not straight), admit that I was bi, but to help them accept things more, stress that I was happily in a relationship with Rocky and that wasn't going to change anytime soon.

It was out of respect (and admittedly, fear) of my parents that I didn't come out much sooner.  And while many friends and co-workers new the truth about me, I knew that it would be wrong to be more open about who I was to the rest of the family if I didn't clearly discuss things with my parents first.  While it was not unexpected that there have been some rumors going around about me being gay (probably attempts to out me sooner by unhappy ex-partners or enemies, or maybe simply rumors born from the fact I wasn't the usual macho and tumble guy) I felt that if my parents were to ever learn definitively that I was gay, it was best something that came from me.

(Am realizing this post is a rambling mess, but I need to write this all out while its in my head)

I'm not hiding anymore.

After having finally told my parents, I am now being completely honest about myself and about who I love.  There might be those who would think my not having them in facebook or having my facebook wall private is a sign that I am hiding things, but truth be told, I live my life as a very open book.  Had it not been for facebook's recent Privacy issues, I'd still leave my facebook account open for all to read.   I am, however,  selective of those I add as contacts to my account.  When I first joined, I added anyone and everyone whom I knew.  But when I got exposed to how certain people used facebook merely as a means to insult, annoy and insult other people (family members to boot), I realized I wanted to limit my facebook contacts to people whom I trust will enjoy hearing updates from me, and vice versa.  As far as family goes, I only have my brother Mike, my sister Tracy, and my cousin Janna as contacts.  No one else.  And frankly, it is going to stay that way.  One can read this blog however and see how open I've really been.  Pictures of my partner abound, as well as entries regarding love like this one.

Even pictures of my past partners, both men or women, can be seen here.   I am proud of each relationship I have had in my life, and I remain very blessed to have met and gotten to know so many different people.   I don't see the need to formally make public declarations to family regarding my coming out, and frankly I don't think it will be necessary considering how fast gossip and news-sharing can be in a tightly knit family.

What I will say is this:
I am out and if you have any questions, feel free to drop a question here, send me an email, give me a text or invite me out for coffee to talk about things.  I'm not afraid to discuss my journey in life that has finally lead me to being able to proudly say I am in a relationship with Rocky Sunico.  I am very thankful of all those who have been supportive and very patient with me.  And ultimately, I have no doubts that by sharing and talking, I may yet help others who might have been forced to go through their own journeys in hiding, or forced to deny it is still going on.

I know I almost did.  And I almost died trying to pretend I was someone else.

So thank God for showing me I've still a life to live that he wants me to live.
And frankly, I know he loves me no differently now than before.

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