Over my lifetime, I have developed some pretty high standards when it comes to friends. I require my friends to be honest with me. I require them to put relatively the same amount of time and effort into the friendship that I do. I don’t ever try to control who they talk to or what they do with their lives, but I do expect them to have a certain amount of respect for my feelings and the people or things I do not wish to be involved with. And for the most part, none of these things are ever a problem and most people have absolutely no trouble meeting my expectations.
But as I have become more and more open about my sexuality, I am developing another standard. It’s one that a lot of people meet with ease, but that several people are falling short of. It’s the requirement that my friends…
When it comes to lesbian dating, there are many gray areas in terms of etiquette, rules, and roles. You’re both women after all and it even gets a bit more complicated if you’re both femmes. Do I have to open her door, pull out the chair, or wear pants? The last question may be a bit funny but on my first date with a femme lesbian (who I met online); I couldn’t decide whether I should wear pants or a dress. It may sound a bit silly to some, but it is a real question. I didn’t know what kind of girl this person was into. Does she like butches or femmes? Do I have to lead or will she prefer to? I just assumed that since she saw all my profile pictures and they were in either dresses or skirts, she would already know that I was extremely feminine.
Now, the next question – who pays? Personally, I think it’s the person who initiated the date or wanted to go out first. Of course, the other party should at least try to offer to pay for her share but sometimes, women like to feel taken care of and we don’t always mean what we say. Sure, she’ll offer but sometimes, I know that she doesn’t really mean it. I even informed her a few days ahead that Lunch is on me but she still offered when it was time to pay. Like the “gentleman” that I am, I refused and insisted.
However, if you don’t think that it’s working out and you don’t want to feel obligated to go out on a second date, then pay your share. I once went out on a date with a girl who my friend recommended. We spent about an hour and a half walking and talking around the mall but I could already tell I wasn’t attracted to her. I’ll talk about this experience later in another entry. So we decided to have lunch at Bonchon Chicken. When we got to the counter, I paid for Chapchae noodles that we could share and my own lunch. She asked if I was sure if I wanted to pay and said yes but secretly, I didn’t really mean it (like I said, we don’t always mean what we say), she was the one who asked me out after all. Though I didn’t want to feel obligated to go on a second date and feel guilty that I just ‘used’ her to pay for lunch so I’d rather pay my way.
So there you have it. If you initiated the date, then you pay. It makes you look chivalrous, not cheap, and makes a good first impression. However, if you were invited to go out, it is optional if you let the other girl pick up the tab or if you want to offer to pay a part of the bill. If you don’t feel like the date is going well, then pay for your own food or half the bill.
I hope this helps fellow lesbians or gives others an idea of how a lesbian date goes. Note though that not all the rules here apply to the entire lesbian community and it is just based on my personal experiences.
Whenever I commute and have to walk home, there is this long road that I dread walking. It’s full of construction workers and cars. Often, there are trucks too with their windows down and I can see the drivers. It wouldn’t be so bad walking here every day but there’s just one problem. The CAT CALLS. I REALLY REALLY HATE THEM. Men, please stop it. You are not giving a woman a compliment by cat calling them. It’s offensive and it is just downright street harassment. It makes us feel vulnerable and scared sometimes. What’s worse is that there is this Filipino habit of saying *psst* *psst* to a woman passing by and it is a form of cat calling. Please tell me, why do you do it? Do you actually expect a response from us? Is this your way of trying to pick up girls because if it is, I can guarantee you that it will never ever work. I’ve never had the urge to give a guy my number or ask him out after being disrespected in such a vulgar manner (granted, I’m also gay but that’s beside the point). Not all men do this and those who do are obviously lowly people who haven’t been brought up with class OR etiquette. I will not stoop down to your level and insult you, much as I feel like degrading what your ego’s consider one of your most important, if not, THE most important body part.
However, I will say that we are not pets or objects that need your approval or “compliments.” Why do you disrespect women by doing this? A woman brought you into this world and she did not spend 9 months carrying you and bearing the pain to disrespect the opposite sex. How would you feel if you saw your Mother or Sister being treated like this? Or what if it happened to you? Doesn’t feel so good does it?
There is no discrimination when it comes to cat calling. I have friends who come in all shapes and sizes and at least once in their lives, it has happened to them. It doesn’t even matter what we wear. It can range from the milder forms of “hi ate” /“hi girls” to *psst *psst* to “Uy! Sexy!” and my personal favourite, HOOTING and SHOUTING like a bunch of animals. When I was an undergrad, there was a time I had to go through this EVERY. FUCKING. DAY. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes, I just wanna punch the living daylights out of these creeps.I deserve to be able to walk home and not have to worry about this every day just because I am a woman.
While browsing through my News Feed, an article was shared by one of the Facebook pages I follow. The topic was gay marriage and I was greeted by a picture of two men kissing. It was about two Filipinos who took part in a “Holy Union” and got married. I checked out the comments and was appalled at what I saw. There was a mixed reaction from the people and though there were supporters, many still leaned towards seeing gay marriage as “disgusting”, “sinful” and “sodomizing.” Some even said that it was gross or looked gross because it features “two men kissing.” So if it were two women, would the reactions have been different? There are many people here who support the LGBT community and I’m grateful for that, however, for all my country’s claim to be liberal and boasting about equal rights for women, the acceptance of homosexuals still has a long way to go.Thankfully, we do have laws that allow us to migrate to other countries if we get married to the same sex, provided that it is legal in that country. I do believe that one day, marriage equality will happen in the Philippines, however, I’ll either be really old or dead when it happens.
Here’s a link to the article and screenshots of the comments. I do apologize for the horrible paint job. I decided to remove the names and pictures of these people to protect their identities. Also, since most of these comments are in Filipino, I have translated them in English. :)
Last night, my Mom gave me a slice of coffee cake and I decided to pair it up with a glass of hot chocolate. I was looking for my regular Milo (a popular local brand of chocolate and malt powder) sachets but realized that I didn’t have any on hand. I spotted some Milo for Adults that my dad gave me and decided to give it a shot. Worst. Mistake. Ever. Well, it didn’t taste bad but I thought there was something wrong with it. I poured the same amount of water as I would have with my regular Milo sachets but it tasted bland, like a protein shake without enough flavouring or hot chocolate with too much water. I didn’t like it. So I got another sachet and thought that maybe I just needed to put more chocolate in it. It didn’t work. So I was eating my cake and drinking substandard hot chocolate with it. I was not happy. I still had a sachet with 2/3 Milo in it and like most Filipino children who love Milo, I decided to eat the powder. An even stupider mistake. One mouthful and I was running for a glass of water to wash away the taste. I was thinking, ‘What the heck is this? This is not Milo.’ It tasted bitter and weird.
Then it got me thinking. Most of the grown up food versions of my childhood favourite foods are actually similar. For example, I tried the grown up version of this powdered milk that I’ve been drinking for 16 years and found that it tasted very bland. Like the flavour was reduced to ½. I didn’t like it. So even though the milk I drink is only supposed to be for those 13 and under, I am not changing it anytime soon. I also tried the adult versions of cereal. I never really liked the taste of oatmeal so I’ve been trying them as overnight oats instead. It tastes pretty alright but it can get kind of tiring. But it’s the only food I know that’s low fat and can keep me full for a few hours. I tried oatmeal plain and the taste does not appeal to me. I always drown it in Milo, powdered milk or Milo + Coffee-mate (a local coffee creamer brand). I tried Muesli and I kinda liked it. I prefer it cold and it’s like a tastier version of oatmeal. But it I were given a choice, I’d rather eat Froot Loops, Koko Krunch, Milo Cereal or Frosted Flakes everyday for Breakfast. However, these are not very healthy and can only keep me full for an hour and half.
This experience has made me realize that it’s just like growing up. I have to trade pieces of my childhood for adult versions of it- it’s no longer acceptable to make my parents buy all my stuff, not care for my health and eat anything and everything I want, commuting (though with a helicopter mom, I have yet to master this), and independence. I can keep listing others but most of us already know what it’s like to grow up, and not everything is pleasant. Working for your own money vs. parents giving it to you for example. The money an employee makes may be bigger than her/his allowance but spending money from their own sweat feels different. It’s harder and can give you second thoughts on spending that money on a Starbucks drink when you could buy a whole meal with it. However, I don’t think I’m gonna give up Milo, my childhood powdered milk, or stop eating sugar loaded cereals anytime soon.
I befriended an amateur photographer in school and she wanted to use my style for one of her portfolios. I normally dress like my idol, Avril Lavigne. For 8 years I’ve admired her style and most of my clothes have a punk/rock theme to them. Not a lot of people dress like this in school (or at least, I rarely see them) and since I wanted a nice profile picture for Facebook, I decided to give it a shot (pun intended).
On the day of the shoot, I encountered my first problem: self-consciousness. I have very low confidence in myself and became aware of the people staring at us. It wasn’t to gawk but just stares of curiosity but it still made me feel insecure. My friend who is used to these things told me not to fret and ignore them but I couldn’t so I dragged her to the most secluded spot around where there would be fewer people to notice us which just happened to be the open air parking lot.
Then I bumped into a second obstacle: posing. I would occasionally watch America’s Next Top Model however, when it came to executing the models poses, I was at a loss. It was very stiff and awkward at first because I was basing it from what I saw in magazines and ANTM but eventually it became easier and more natural. I even started being less conscious of the staring people when we moved to the garden and that’s definitely a plus!
Another dilemma was facial expressions. I just got so used to saying ‘cheese’ for most photos that I couldn’t make anything else. I tried to make it look sullen and brooding but my face ended up looking more like a grimace instead.
I’ve posted below some of my shots, both good and bad. The first two are the decent shots and the last two are the not so decent shots. My smile and posing is rather awkward, especially the last two but with time and experience, it definitely gets better. The smiles are all the same but I hope to improve that soon. I really don’t know what to say over the black and white photo so I’ll leave that to you to judge.
So to all future amateur models out there, don’t agonize over the cameras and staring people! It definitely gets better because the first time’s always the hardest! Eventually I did improve and I’ll post more photos soon.
While watching The Internship, a scene came up of the main characters enjoying the view of the bridge early in the morning after a drunk night of partying. Why did I pay attention to this? Because 4 of the 6 people were 21-23 years old and they were actually enjoying the view and not just taking pictures to immediately post on social media indicating than enjoy the view. I am growing up with a generation of people who are more concerned with what is happening in the digital world than in real life. I am 19 years old and I hate cell phones. Seriously. It’s not unusual for me to be eating with my fellow teens and all of them are more focused on their phones than enjoying a decent conversation. Sometimes we’ll have a group photo after they’re done Instagraming their food and posting it on Facebook still, I don’t enjoy it. When I was taking CWTS, EVERYONE on the jeepney was just on their phone listening to music. These people were friends. They knew each other but it was so quiet. Had it been the same trip 1-2 years ago back when I was still in high school (phones weren’t allowed), I’m sure the ride would have been noisier and filled with life. What is wrong with these people? I feel like technology is taking the humanity out of us! All we do is look at screens these days. Please tell me I am not the only young person who feels like this. I don’t really have an attachment to my phone. After all, the only person who constantly calls is my mother.