Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I remember a very good friend who no longer is. To make the long story short, the issue as it stands, is that I allegedly, unwittingly and maybe inadvertently outed her to a cousin of hers. I would like to maintain that I did no wrong though, because the said cousin was in fact 'in the know,' as to her sexual orientation and gender identity - or more so, her sexual preference. The last time I was in Manila, I had a talk with a Master Novelist. I was happy that this senior writer is open-minded. Funny and fun how we got to talk about LGBT issues and even Lady Gaga and the anti-Gaga's. He said that there will always be 'demons.' Year after year after year, Religious institutions have demonized an artist or two. There will always be an 'anti-Christ' and a Devil incarnate to their minds. He also thinks that given time, the issues we have will no longer be an issue. Sexuality and SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) included. I really admire him and I, more than ever, look up to him. It came to the inevitable question then - was he gay?
Not that it matters, but for the record, the question begged to be asked. As a rule, I really do not care whether someone is gay or not. I only care to know 'officially' if such a person is my type - meaning, I am entertaining thoughts of getting it on with him. This makes for the viability of whether or not I take my chances. Otherwise, it's a non-issue. While it would be great to count among the growing number of us in the LGBT Community a person of high intelligence, great literary achievement and brilliance, it really did not matter. Though there was an openness to our conversation, it stopped me dead in my tracks. Then it hit me. Why is asking someone's sexual preference an almost taboo thing? Why can't we just ask for the sake of asking and not be afraid that we might be unnecessarily putting the person on the spot, or that it would be too personal or unprofessional? I braved up and asked him anyway, and he said no, he was not gay, no he doesn't mind my asking, it was all in context, and no he was not offended. I believe no one should take offense. A question is a question is a question.
Although I respect the decision of persons whether they chose to be out or still in the closet, what begs to be taken a look into is the reason why this is so? Who would want to consciously suffer and suffocate inside a deep, dark and dank closet of secrets? I believe this is because of the prevailing attitude of people towards the LGBT Community. It could spell trouble for some with their work, their religion, their career, their families and for some, it could even draw the line between life and death. Such is a serious matter. Some people refuse to come out because there is a hostile world out there, beyond their closets, and that is why, some people would chose to suffer in silence. I still believe that coming out is a personal choice. No one knows better when to do so, and no one can make the decision to do so except the person himself. He knows best his circumstance. On the other hand, I believe that most, if not all of these fears are basically imagined and magnified. With the proper positioning and the right support group, it can be done. The odds may be insurmountable and the stakes may be high, but it CAN be done! Nothing beats the feeling of being free to be the person that you are.
I wish it is as my novelist friend say it is - that given time, the issues we have will no longer be an issue. I dream of a world where sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity is not an issue. Where the simple thought of asking someone his or her gender preference is not a matter of propriety but a matter of fact, and no one thinks about 'outing' someone as a bad thing to do because it really wouldn't matter anymore. I dream of a world that would rejoice in someone finding love without qualifications as to sexuality or gender. I dream of a world that would nurture such loving relationships and would encourage people to embrace the light and not push them to the deep, dark, and dank corners in the name of anonymity and fear. I dream that no one be demonized because of his or her sexuality. I dream of a closet free world where everyone relishes the light and is free to be whatever he chooses to be, and to be able to make intelligent determinations for one's self. I dream of a world where sexuality is a non-issue. I will try my very best to give everything I have and everything I can to make such a dream a reality. I am OUT, I live, I love, proud and free. I am Bisexual!