For this blog post, I want to share with you the 1st ever episode of the Yes, We Gotchu! podcast. It’s about coming out in the Philippines.
Podcast Transcript: Coming Out in the Philippines
Welcome, Rainbows! 🙂 I’m Jiyuu, and you’re listening to the first ever episode of the Yes, We Gotchu podcast. Welcome to Yes, We Gotchu, your go-to support system helping you choose happiness and hope, because you’re worth it.
And for our first episode, I felt like sharing with you a deeply personal story — it’s about how I came out to my conservative parents here in Asia. More specifically, how I came out here in the Philippines.
I feel that it’s super important for me to share this story with you, because there’s a lot of people struggling with this. And if my own experience can help even just one person, then it’s worth it.
I didn’t choose to come out: coming out chose me. :))
What happened was, on our trip to Palawan, my mother saw me bring out my wallet to pay for our food. She must have seen my partner, Mirai’s, love letter to me…so when we went back home and I fell asleep, she opened my wallet and read my love letter.
I know what you’re thinking — privacy, much? Well, most Asian people can relate to me when I tell them that privacy is almost non-existent in an Asian household.
I woke up to my mother’s texts, and when I read them, I could only curse to myself.
Shit. What do I do?! She found out!
I was scared, helpless, mad and nervous.
She didn’t tell my father about it. When it’s just my mother and I together, she’d look at me with those lonely eyes, and say “It’s just a phase. You’re confused. You’ll get over it.”
And because I wanted to prove her wrong, I wrote a letter about my sexuality. I left the letter on our kitchen table. And I left home, because I was scared of my father’s reaction.
My father called me and told me to go back home because my mother’s crying. And he told me that it’s okay, because there are many gay people anyway.
I thought that was the end of it. But it’s not.
The next day, my parents asked me all about my sexuality. I didn’t want to share a lot of details because I was still so embarrassed, so their assumption that it’s just a phase grew stronger, day by day, until my father decided to scare the gay away from me.
“What did we do so wrong? What would the rest of the family say? How could you do this to us? It’s a sin! You’re going to hell.”
Hearing these hurtful things from a stranger hurts, but it’s tolerable.
But the voices who used to tell me, “We’re proud of you”
The voices who told me “You’re so smart because you take after us”
And the voices who used to tell me “Good night. We love you”
It was the same voice saying those hurtful things, and it broke my heart until I felt empty and depressed enough to want to take my life away.
They told me to break up with Mirai, and I said I did. But I didn’t. And then they chose to bury everything, as if nothing has ever happened. This was back in 2013.
In 2018, when my mother and I were eating Korean BBQ, I told her that I’m still gay. She was a bit shocked, but her expression looked like she expected for this to happen.
She asked if I was dating anyone, and even though I was, I lied and said that I wasn’t.
Last 2019, my mother told me herself that she knows that Mirai and I are still together. I cried, she cried. I told her I hid the truth because I was scared. She said “it’s okay, I love you” and I felt as if a huge burden was lifted from me.
Back then, I couldn’t talk about Mirai to my mother. But now, I can freely say her name and talk about her. My mother even tries to keep the conversation going, even if it’s a bit awkward for us.
Coming Out — It Gets Better
Back then, I just said I was travelling alone. But now, my mother knows that we’re travelling together, and she says it’s better because she always worried about my safety if I was just alone.
I got SO happy last month because they met personally again, after a couple of years! 😀 It was kinda awkward, but the vibe was so welcoming, and so open that Mirai and I cried tears of joy after. 🙂
And back then, I used to be so bitter. I used to question why God made me gay. I used to look for painless ways for me to take my life away.
But now, I understand why. I know that I was born this way, because I’m meant to share my story with struggling LGBTs, to help you realize that over time, it gets better.
I didn’t officially come out to my father again, but I know deep in his heart that he loves me in the way that he knows how. He may not love this side of me, but I LOVE ME. It gets better.
My mother who once told me that when I told her I was gay, she felt like she lost a daughter — is now telling me to take care and enjoy when I’m travelling with my partner. It gets better.
So if you’re struggling right now, because you’re thinking of coming out, or because you just came out, or you don’t want to do it yet — it’s okay. Because in the end, it gets better. So hang in there. You’re not alone. We’re all in this together.
Again, I’m your host Jiyuu, and thank you so much for spending time with me today here at the Yes, We Gotchu podcast.
If you can leave us a Spotify review or a voice message, it’ll definitely make our day. 🙂
Talk to you next week, Rainbow!
(Hey, if you loved this post, you’ll also like this next post on the best Netflix shows with LGBTQ+ characters!
Or if you’re interested, you can check out 11 LGBTQ+ Organizations in the Philippines you can consider supporting. 🙂 )
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