I had a very nice chat with a very good friend today. It started out with a voiced concern over my choice of relationships. He was asking me, well, quite well-meaning, how I would contend being in a relationship that, well, does not bear fruits - children he means. If I had not known him the way I know him, I would readily dismiss his commentary as a heternormative judgment of my relationships. But since I have known him to be an open-minded and good person, I obliged the conversation. Maybe it's also a chance to educate a would be straight ally in this long-winding and never-ending battle on marriage equality and gender acceptance. Because you know, it gets tiring to always be on the defensive and always explaining your choices to people who cannot be bothered to look beyond their own petty circumstances and biases. But I felt a genuine concern from this friend so I guess it merited a good discussion,
First of all, I'm bisexual. It means that I am attracted to both men and women, so it's a bit short-sighted to chalk it all up to having non-fruitfuil (childless) relationships. I mean, you know, I could very well fall in love with a woman and we can have all that, and the kitchen sink too. Though admittedly, the last couple of relationships I had involved someone of the same sex, but still, it does not take away that possibility for me.
Secondly, not all relationships have children as an end all and be all. I have seen a lot of heterosexual couples who have chosen to remain childless. It may be an economic thing, it may be a medical thing, or it may just be a spontaneous thing. They just don't have children and that's that. Does it take away the legitimacy of that union or relationship just because they choose to not have children for whatever reasons they want? Which brings me to a secondary point here. The problem with conforming to societal norms is that, it does not take into consideration that each relationship is as special as the next one. The details and considerations are different from any other. Relationships don't come in one mould. They are as special and as unique as the thumbprints for each individual. And to demand that each one of them conform to a held societal standard is unfair. Relationships are personal. Hence, adopting this societal norm for couples to bear children is unkind and unrealistic to say the least. What more with homosexual partnerships.
Third, do we really need children? Maybe we should also question the reasons behind wanting children. Do you want them because you feel it is a gift of nature to be given the care and nurturing of a young individual or do you feel it as a measure of one's success in life? Is it for the altruistic reasons of rearing and caring for a child in continuance of the good of the human race and as stewards to a good life and future or is it a badge that we brandish to make us feel complete and accomplished? I believe that another human life is a gift and a wonder and it should not be used for selfish purposes of making one feel his own achievement and completeness. This gift comes to us as a responsibility and a privilege and not as a matter of right. It's not as if we can just go to a store to get a nice dress because it looks good on us. I believe that if we adopt this view, then maybe, herein lies the reason why we have so many failed parenting and many shattered children nowadays. Besides, the world's population continues to balloon uncontrollably. If we do not have our own lives at a manageable condition, why the hell would we want to bring in someone innocent to share in this savagery we call the earth? If you cannot even make ends meet and cannot figure your own life, why the hell would you bring someone in, whom, you have the obligation to guide towards a good life? Isn't it ironic, don't you think?
Fourth, like I said before, relationships are as special and unique as they come. To answer the question, I am in such relationships because I believe I am in love with the other person and that he or she feels the same way towards me. Why are we to stop from wanting to be together just because we cannot have children? Can we not hope to share each other's lives and be witnesses to each other's wonderful journey? Can we not want to have dinners and coffee and endless talks and dreams shared, ours or as a couple, under the moonlight? Can we not want adventures and trips together? Can we not want to build a future, a home, or want to close our eyes at night, being hugged secure, or wake up in the morning to their sour breaths, or go through the day knowing that we do not need to be alone anymore? Can this not be enough reasons to be with someone? Is that not as valid as they come?
Finally, I believe that until our relationships are dignified by the ability to be recognized under the law then we should not be required to subscribe to a societal world view from those who enjoy such privileges that we are not given. Why? If we have children, either by scientific ways or by adoption, are we given the same rights to claim tax exemptions or to exercise parental rights the same way those whose marriages are recognized does? Can we go to games and activities and family days and what nots for our children without raising eyebrows? Are we accepted to raise children in the same way the heterosexuals do without meeting a lot of hate and judgments and vehement objections to start with? Then, if that is not the case, then why saddle and expect the same things of us that you do? You do not want to give us those rights and privileges, why expect the same responsibilities from us? Unless we could all level off and accept the fact that we are as good as you, or even better than you to be parents to our children, and our families receive the same support and the same protection then do not expect us to honor whatever traditions it is that you have taken upon yourself. The disparity only grows more apparent unless and until you accept the fact that we too want the same things, not as homosexuals or anything, but as human beings who are capable of the same love, both parental and spousal.
The struggle is long and hard, but I believe that we have gained so much grounds and we are winning. Well, not really us, but love. Because if it is not love that compels us to do what we do, then I believe we have already lost from the very start. Unless everyone accepts that love is love is love, and that this love defies boundaries and distinctions, then we will never be able to level off. As for me and my choices, I am only defined by one impetus. LOVE.
And yes, after all these abstractions and deconstructions, at the root of all these, is LOVE. And yes, I believe that in the end, no matter how long it takes - LOVE WILL WIN!
Mabuhay ang mga LGBT at MABUHAY ANG PAG-IBIG!