How did it all start in the first place..
I know some of you are curious about it.. so I’ll put a post about it here.. not just for future references.. but also for clarification..
Nearly four years ago..
Country & City:
Philippines, Davao City
Jammy Palo; people call me “Jam” or “Jammy”
What did you come out as (gay, bi, transgender, use any terms you like here)?
I don’t use labels because it seems either too specific or too general.. but I came out as “a girl who likes girls.. a lot..”
What other words would you use to describe yourself?
I would call myself a “goof” or “silly” or “sweet” or a “romantic”..
But with regards to labels such as gay or bi or the likes.. I’m a lesbian really..
How old were you when you first realized your identity?
I realized my identity when I was in the 5th grade..
I was around 16 when I fully embraced, understood and accepted my identity and preferences..
How old were you when you first told someone?
I was 19..
Did you plan it? If so, how?
I wanted to tell my family about it.. but around that time, I was away for College.. I thought about writing a letter.. but I wanted to be honest and raw.. so I decided to tell them through calling them..
What made you choose that person to tell?
They’re my family.. I prefer that they know this from me.. rather than from other people..
Can you remember exactly what you said?
I can only paraphrase.. but I said something like:
JAMMY: “Mom.. Dad.. (takes a deep breath) I.. I like girls..”
MOM: “Oh.. is that what you wanted to tell us?”
JAMMY: “Yeah.. I like girls..”
DAD: “Okay.. you prefer girls..”
How did you feel?
I was scared as fuck.. but after our 1-2 hour talk.. I felt better and relieved..
What was the person’s reaction?
My dad thought I was pregnant, so he laughed a bit and we had a talk with regards to relationships and “safe sex”..
My mom was happy that I told them first about my preferences..
What did they say?
DAD: “Oh.. for the love of.. I thought you were pregnant or something..”
MOM: “You like girls? Oh.. okay..”
What was your relationship with the person like afterwards?
We’re pretty close.. we’re still okay.. we don’t talk about my “lifestyle” unless I open it up to them.. but they’re pretty okay with it..
What’s it like now?
I cannot say that it’s still the same because even if we do not talk about it.. it’s still something different.. mom and dad are open-minded and encouraging about it, but they let me know that not everybody is open to my being a lesbian..
If you’ve been outed unwillingly, who did it?
I think this girl that I like did though.. but I can only assume..
I had a crush on this girl.. I gave her a letter and a flower (but it was expensive, so I just did an origami flower) and gave it to her personally.. then she avoided me for 2 weeks.. I gave her space and time, because I think I made her feel uncomfortable.. and her close friends probably knows about me liking girls..
What were peoples’ reactions?
Glad to say, most of my College buddies are very open-minded and accepting about it (most of them are Psych majors, just like me).. but there are some who think that “it’s just wrong” and it’s “a sin”.. but I respect their opinions whether I like it or not..
If you’ve experienced homophobia etc, please give an example.
Just indirectly.. I get messages about how being gay is a sin, an abomination.. how I’ll go to hell because I’m gay.. I also get these “looks” as if I’m made of dirt because of me being gay.. it’s pretty indirect.. but it still hurts..
What does being out mean to you?
Being out would mean being comfortable about who you are and what you are.. embracing and accepting who you are and what you are.. to a point where it is okay if you show it to other people for them to see.. to a point where you let others know who you are and what you are..
What differences, if any, did your cultural background make to your experience of coming out?
Living in a country where being gay in general is still a taboo.. or being gay is an abomination.. is difficult..
It is difficult to still be in the closet, trying to find the “right time” to come out confidently.. or even come out as you are..
It is difficult to be who you are.. because people will like you, people will don’t like you.. and you have to stand your ground and proud of who you are..
But the fact that there are people who are willing to accept and embrace people who are gay.. that kind of gives me a bit of hope..
My family is half-and-half, liberated and conservative at the same time.. my mom said that my 2 aunts are lesbians.. my dad said that he knows some of his friends who are gay.. so they are alright with the fact that I am a lesbian..
What does the concept of the closet mean to you?
Being in closet would mean that you are still trying to understand who you really are and what you really are.. you are quite unsure of what you want.. you are still learning what you really want.. and you feel safer being in the closet because, whether you admit it or not, it is a safe place for you to be yourself..
What advice would you give someone wanting to come out?
Not every story of coming out is as “nice” as mine.. people.. teenagers.. kids.. came out to their family.. friends.. relatives.. in very different ways.. and the reactions are very different from one another.. similar maybe, but different..
It is such a scary feeling.. telling your family.. your parents.. even to your friends.. your relatives.. that you’re gay.. or you’re a lesbian.. or that you love a girl.. or that you love a boy.. that you want to BE a boy.. that you want to BE a girl.. that you felt like living in this body is like living in a foreign country.. that you’ve been hiding this and you wanted to shout it out loud..
If you want to come out.. do it at your own pace, your own time.. be comfy.. there are people who will still love you and accept you once you tell them that.. do it one step at a time.. to people who you trust.. then slowly but surely.. you can tell other people..
If you could do it all again, would you do it any differently? If so, how?
Nope.. I have no regrets with what I did.. I’m okay with it.. it’s still the same thing.. I told my family and some relative and friends that I’m a lesbian..
I am gay and I am proud of it.. I am still in the process of wearing that rainbow heart on my sleeve.. it’s going to take some time.. but I’m proud of who and what I am..
And usually.. it would mean another ordinary day..
But ever since I’ve been here on Tumblr.. it meant more than just an “ordinary day”.. it meant something else.. something important..
It is important for EVERYBODY.. and I’m not just talking about the people who are LGBT.. this is also for the people who are heterosexuals.. this is for EVERYBODY..
Thanks for letting me realize that as of right now.. October 20 is a VERY important day.. for everyone..
ME: Dad.. you know I like girls right?
ME: Oh.. cool..
DAD: Why? Don’t tell me you forgot.. you like girls remember?
ME: No dad.. it’s not like that.. I just forgot when I told you about it.. my coming out to you and mom I mean..
DAD: (slight pause) halaka.. ako pud langga [uh-oh.. me too my love]
Heehee.. now I know where I got my slight-memory-loss.. ^_^