kapitbisig with bunso into the undiscovered country

not my first choice, but obviously this is one of his favorite pics.  Here it is, Bunso.  Cheers!

not my first choice, but obviously this is one of his favorite pics. Here it is, Bunso. Cheers!

[ blogged with permission from the subject below. Maraming maraming salamat for all the birthday greetings, special mention to SJCS 82 kabatch, Alphan brods and Rehab II inmates, grateful acknowledgment to all those who visited My Aunt‘s wake, thought a kind thought and whispered a prayer for her.  Thanks for reading!]

Marching in the Gay Pride Parade is less exciting now that my parents support my sexual orientation. – unknown

When we bump into each other at the Gay Pride Parade, remember to look surprised. – unknown

Here is a little tip for all of you. Don’t come out to your father in a moving vehicle. – unknown

I’VE OFTEN conceded that when it comes to our kids, you can only attempt to impose or imprint so much of yourself on them before acknowledging them as adults like yourself, as co-equals and peers in God‘s creation.  You can impose a lifetime of religion, philosophy and worldview on your progeny, but you are being breathtakingly naive if you think that they will buy into your party dogma even ten effing percent of the way in.  Using another oft-used but timeless phrase when it comes to parents of incipient adults : it’s not about you.

I already heard a bit from his brother and sister here and there, but Bunso gave me a precious gift when it came to his gender orientation : his honesty and thoughtfulness in telling me himself.  No umms, ahhs and wishy-washy hesitations of being neither here and there when it came to probably one of the most important things about his life that he would tell me.  Papa, I’m gay.  You probably know already but here I am telling you, and I hope you still love me for what I am.

Well, not that dramatically and I edited a few words, but essentially that is how he told me and his stepmother.  Oh, how I loved him more for that !

Setting aside the usual stereotypes and fallacies associated with gayness, let me be a proud, politically incorrect parent for a moment and describe Bunso : he is a highly intelligent, handsome and articulate person, who has all the right (and wrong) reasons to wear false masks and hide behind facades to camouflage his gayness, as so many have done (and continue to do) before him.

To his credit, he didn’t shout it out to relatives from the previous generation.  He kept his “proper” self pinned on and showed just enough to hint to others that there was much more inside.  He definitely didn’t declare it prematurely unless he was sure a relative or family friend wouldn’t turn out judgmental or homophobic.  He was all-out ready to come out, but not recklessly.  Again, I doff my Liza Minelli beret to him.

But after migrating to a tolerant, progressive-thinking country, it was too much for him to resist the inevitable.

Things came to a head when he treated Mahal and myself to dinner soon after his first sweldo (paycheque), where symbolically he showed his appreciation for our moral support and encouragement.  Interestingly, it was the same week the gay marriage bill was passed into law in our temporary adopted land.  In no uncertain words, he told his dad and stepmom : this is a celebration of the gay marriage law as much as it is of my new job, guys.  WE WON!

That, and the previous declaration he made, pretty much formalized how he was and is.  I did my best to indicate and manifest to him that we would love him no matter what, but just the same I considered it my bounden duty to apprise him of the realities of being gay (as if he didn’t know).  I said something like this:

You know that you will always have our love and support anak, especially now.  But outside family and friends, forgive me for being blunt, but you will not always have an easy time.  In fact, you should expect not to have an easy time, in work, among strangers, and especially among strangers.  

I didn’t say so out loud, but he knew my subtext: not only are we by nature a marginal group because we are migrants and newcomers, your gayness excludes you further, not per se but in many situations, anticipated or otherwise, unintended or not.  It is, after all, uncharted territory, undiscovered (and sometimes dangerous) country.

Youth that he was (is), he brushed aside all these uncertainties, and dismissed all our apprehensions with a metaphorical que sera sera.  Emphatically, I am and should be ready to declare my gayness because of the road paved by the blood, sweat and tears of my predecessors.  Acceptance of my ilk as a reality in society is an idea whose time has come.

Standing on the shoulders of giants, my son sees the future.  How could I not be proud of him? (thanks for the paraphrased aphorism, Sir Isaac Newton!)

***     ***     ***

I confess that everyday is a new day for me when it comes to being by his side, figuratively of course.  His journey is mine, as well as his triumphs and defeats.  I can only be there for him as he dives head first into the undiscovered country, but one thing for sure : his destiny, unique as it is, is his own.

Proud of you anak, love you always, and thanks everybody for reading!

3 thoughts on “kapitbisig with bunso into the undiscovered country

  1. Pingback: sweets for my sweets | YLBnoel's Blog

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