Previously on Same Love
This is what I felt in the wake of my posthaste admission of "swinging both ways" on a local online forum. The short-lived elation was quickly doused by growing fears that an acquaintance or worse - a homophobic college buddy might find a way to connect the dots and trace my identity despite using a pseudonym to announce my belated crossover. I remember the immediate need for subterfuge. For I was a guy who was at long last in a loving relationship with a girl. Though the masquerade had brought me some time (I had already confessed to a gay phone pal a year before that I might actually be open to same-sex attraction), and might have dispelled "rumors" already circulating because of my "gentle" personality, (they often point out my bromances, when such concept has yet to exist)
I always knew that something was odd.
That I always get off when I lock my thoughts with the actor on a straight porn instead of gratifying myself while watching the woman being banged.
The events of 2002 resurface as a reminder of how far I've come, and how the world had changed after the Queer As Folk/Will & Grace revolution happening at the same time. In our day, a gay person is forced to act effeminate. People knew them as comic relief who would wear women's clothes and accessories and not men who happen to super-like other men. Our queer time was spent in the closet and in the chatrooms, where the day to day struggle for acceptance is being shared with the kindred.
I remember meeting strangers from online websites to tell my journey. Nothing more. And in some of those sundry and profound conversations about our lives, never did the idea of same-sex marriage ever crossed our minds.
Even when some European nations began making moves for such unions to be recognized and protected by the state.
The logic then was simple. Why push for something progressive when we can't fully embrace the person we choose to be? How can gay unions even be possible when the public at large thinks people like us are immoral, a source of shame in the family, and a bane to society?
Such were the issues of the day.
Little did we know that the seeds dispersed when GMA TV audaciously produced the TV news program "Out," and the great "Pink Peso" became a buzzword for marketing firms that everything we had worked for will eventually produce results. Here and abroad, the movement liberated thousands of men who were living secret and double lives. Going out and admitting your sexuality to the world suddenly became the trend. With the Western media in the front lines, lending their air time for LBGT causes, universal self-recognition was at hand. You will see gay people today - some of them contemporaries of our time announcing on social media their engagement to their significant other.
While much work needs to be done, including laws that will expand safety nets for men who carry HIV, and the complete eradication of hate crimes and speeches against gay people, I am fairly confident that the generation after us will no longer have to live in denial. That now and forevermore, being gay is not just a phase.
And that gay couples having children of their own is as ordinary as single mothers raising kids.