Since I started this blog, and multiple iterations of it on Tumblr, I have contemplated a lot about writing this blog entry. It is painful, but liberating I think. I am bisexual. And this is how I want to come out to the world.
At the time of this writing, none of my real-life friends know. It’s easy to come out online, hiding behind a cartoonish avatar of sorts. It’s harder to come out in the real world though. I
have been hiding in the closet since I was in grade school. Partly, that was because the religion I am in views homosexuality and other types of queerness as immoral and sinful. And I
believed that for the longest time. I even had to unlearn it to stop hating myself because I was being
But a part of it is also because I am afraid of how people would react. Although I have never told anyone about my sexuality, people have always noticed that I might be part of the LGBTQ+ community. Growing up in a family of mostly women, I have never been afraid of being in touch with my feminine side. That has led to countless of times people called me insults and bullied me.
I was young back then, and I thought I was gay. That was all I have ever known, that there were three genders: the male, the female, and the third sex (gay/lesbian). And I started to get confused when I have had flings with girls back in my teenage years. I was actually grateful; falling in love with women gave me hope that I might have finished my gay phase and that I was now a straight man.
In all those times I fell in love for women, a noticeable change in composure and demeanor was present. I was very noticeably more masculine, and people have told me about it. And it made me confident that my gay phase was indeed beyond me.
But everytime a fling ends, I go back to crushing over men and women. I noticed that I was romantically attracted to women, but sexually attracted to men. During one of those flings, I feel sexually charged for the person I love, but that wasn’t the point of the attraction. I feel romantic attraction to men too, but only after I realized that I like them in a sexual way. This is how I realized that I am bisexual.
As soon as I realized my sexuality, I accepted it. Being with online friends, mostly on Twitter, gave me more knowledge. And you know what they say about knowledge, that it is power. But sometimes ignorance is bliss.
Filipinos mostly have a very distorted view of the LGBTQ+ landscape. For bisexuals like me, we are what they call silahis, or the experimental. Others classify us with gays, and by extensions, the labels they give them (immoral, filthy, and sinful).
I have best friends that I found from college, both straight men. I have always acted gay around them, showing them my feminine side most of the times. I even joke around them, at times those jokes becoming sexual although I have never been sexually attracted to them. My reasoning behind it is to give them hints, and possibly help them be more accepting of who I am when I come out. Being straight men, they have never experienced the same struggles I have had, and I want to be as understanding as possible. I have seen telltale signs of them being homophobic, but I love them enough to understand that it’s not their fault, and that it’s the environment they grew up in and the bad experiences around queer people that gave them such a distorted mindset of the LGBTQ+ community.
Another problem is the internalized homophobia within the community itself. I have heard of stories where bisexual women were more accepted than bisexual men since two women kissing is seen as attractive, while two men doing the same is seen as disgusting. Bisexual people, even inside the community, are also seen as more likely to cheat, with people reasoning that we have more people to cheat with.
For the longest time, I have not felt safe to come out, even as people around me have long known I might be queer. One of the reasons is that I belong to a Christian religion that stigmatizes homosexuality and treats it as a sin, a disease to be cured by faith and the love of God. Another reason is that the anxiety I have that the few friends that I have had along the way might have a new, but distorted, view of who I am as a person.
My coming out story starts on Twitter. I have a stan account dedicated to Lady Gaga. Being in a circle of online friends that are mostly queer and supports an artist that fights for the rights of queer people, it felt more safe to come out to a group of strangers online. As I expected, they were very welcoming. They offered virtual hugs and supported me on my journey of coming out to everyone in my life.
Next was my aunt. Of all the people in the world, her opinions about who I am is what mattered to me the most. And coming out to her is the most bizaare and amusing thing I’ve experienced. I
have always known that she’s accepting of gay people, and I have talked to her about the differences of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. And the story goes like
this: we were in our house, having our lunch. And out of nowhere, I told her
Gusto ko na ma-in love.
Hala, bakit ngayon? Saka na kapag 25 ka na, she answered.
Ngek, ang tanda ko na no’n.
Marami ka na rin kasing pera no’n, she said.
Para hindi na kami mag-aagawan sa suweldo mo.
I just laughed at that statement of hers. Growing up poor and being the eldest in three brothers, I was expected to provide for the family ever since my mom died when I was 11 years old. I was treated like the promised messiah that would get us out of poverty. And because of our family dynamics, it has been a running gag, and we’ve been joking about it.
As I was laughing from what she just said, she asked me the scariest question that I, for the longest time, have feared would come from her.
Boy ba or girl?
I didn’t have time to think! In a split second, I thought fuck it! Bahala na, I’m gonna have to deal with this din naman sooner or later.
Boy, I answered.
And the only thing she said was
The painful awkward silence afterwards almost felt homophobic in and of itself. However, it was broken by the next thing she said.
Basta ang suweldo mo ha, akin ’yon.
Hala, eh paano ang pang-date namin? I jokingly asked.
Mag-ambagan kayo! Parehas kayong lalaki ano. Maghanap ka ng may trabaho.
It’s a very comical coming out experience. And I owe it to my younger self who worked so hard to build a family dynamic that would be friendly to a bisexual me coming out.
I have not cared about people’s opinons since then. If my aunt accepted me, I do not have to seek anyone else’s approval. The rest of my coming out process has been subtle. I have started including the rainbow flag emoji on my social media bios. I have also started tweeting about my own experience with bisexuality, mostly comical. And I tweeted them with the goal of my friends seeing them.
I have not talked to them yet. The pandemic has made us unable to see in person, and with our busy schedules, even a video call is virtually impossible. The only way I could let them know, and finally come out to them, is to mention my would-be significant other (which is nowhere to be found as of the moment), and tell them that, yes, I like girls and boys.
I have not come out for a long time because I never felt safe. But I think it’s time for me to do so, even just to have a semblance of liberty in me. It will be a long battle, but I think it will be a worthwhile one. Especially since every single person owning their sexuality contributes to the normalization of queerness in a very conservative and homophobic society. This is of course with hopes that one day, the LGBTQ+ community will be fully accepted and not just tolerated.