Why Coming Out Will Never End

When I was in high school, I used to think that coming out of the closet would be limited to family and close friends. When I told my siblings and clique, I thought that my job was done and my life would be full of rainbows and unicorns, and people would accept me. Now that I’m a little older, I’ve come to realize that it’s not the case. When I started college and had to come out again, I had to repeat the same explanation. I’m sure that I’m not alone in this. Amongst the top comments/questions would be the following:

How long have you known?

Are you sure?

It’s just a phase.

Maybe you just haven’t met the right guy yet.

But you don’t look gay.

I could list plenty more but I’m sure you all get the point. It’s hard when you can pass of as straight and people make assumptions based on how you look. When you start a new job, new gym, or meet new people, they tend to ask questions either to get to know you better or just make small talk. It’s complicated to answer when they ask if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend when you’re current status is your dating or in a relationship with a woman/man. You have to be conscious at all times about using a third person pronoun to hide a significant other’s sex. Not because you’re ashamed of them, but you’re not sure if the people you talk to are accepting of the LGBT community. Though not as close to you as your family, you see these people often and wouldn’t want to make your relationship with each other awkward. Because whether your interactions with these people are limited to the gym or daily at work, you don’t want to screw up the level of comfort you already have.

As we go through life, we’re going to keep meeting new people and make new friends. The next step would be to hope they’re okay with your sexuality and come out again. The questions people ask are pretty much the same since you went to school (if you came out during that period) or first came out , but over time you get used to it. You’re aware of the process and precautions you have to take. Hopefully one day, the social stigma with the LGBT community will end but until that day comes, you continue with this operation for the next 5, 10, 20, or even 50 years.


Why I Never Wear White

white

White symbolizes purity, innocence, and virginity. There’s a reason why it’s the main color used for wedding gowns. However, white has never sat well with me. I feel like I’m not worthy of that color. When I was five, something precious and innocent was taken away from me. As a child, my parents were rarely home and I was left with the house maids. For seven years I was molested, beaten, verbally and physically abused by them.  Then for another five years, my Father would beat me, and psychologically and verbally harm me as well. This post will not delve too deep into what those monsters did to me. That is a story reserved for another post.

What I went through for 12 years has obviously damaged my psyche and self-esteem. I don’t believe it when they say that child abuse victims fully get better.  Yes, it does get better but we will never be 100% okay because like a scar, their childhood trauma is deeply embedded within. But with time, therapy, and lots of love, we heal. We get can be well, drop the razor, alcohol, drugs, suicidal tendencies, and rebellious attitude (to an extent).

But I digress now. I wanted to write this post because every time I put on something white, it has never boded well with me. I can’t wear a white top without something black dominating the outfit and I haven’t worn a white dress since my high school gala (a gala is a white dress worn by girls during the first Friday of every month. It is a uniform so we all wear the same dress. It is a practice often used in private all girl Catholic schools in the Philippines). I usually dress like a stereotypical emo kid: black skinny jeans, fishnets, leather jacket, fingerless leather gloves, skull tops, studded collars and necklaces; you get the picture. I like this style because it symbolizes how I feel inside: strong, angsty, dark. Sometimes I try on a white dress but I put it back on the rack because I just can’t stomach wearing it. I look good in them but the meaning of the color was often emphasized while I was growing up so I just can’t muster up the will and courage to wear it even though I really want to.

I know that I’m just damaged goods now and I understand it’s going take me a while to find someone who will fully accept me. I’m afraid to open up to friends because I don’t feel like burdening them with my problems is fair and they can only listen for so long. I can’t remember most of my childhood life at home and the few I do aren’t very pleasant memories. I am getting better though. I’ve been fighting this battle for four years now and the depression has greatly decreased and I haven’t cut in a full year so that’s a plus. Occasionally I’ll get nightmares or flashbacks of things I never remember and at least once a week I fall into this black hole of depression which can last for as little as 30 minutes to a few hours. Compared to how broken I was in high school, I’ve definitely made a ton of progress.

I understand that what happened wasn’t my fault yet a part of me still blames myself. What if I just spoke up more? Why didn’t I defend myself? Why did it have to go on till I was 16 before I took action? I am not looking for pity or attention. I just wanted to open this up because I don’t like telling my friends and family these things. People on the internet will judge me but I’d rather have it come from people I don’t know in real life.

The best I can wear is dirty white but I haven’t found a dress with the design I really want. I want a version of white that can express how I feel inside. Something torn but beautiful like my soul. I am dreading my wedding day because wearing a white wedding gown is really not something I look forward to. White symbolizing purity and virginity is a really old practice and I get that it’s the 21st century and all, but it’s still a popular belief.


Young But Technologically Illiterate

I am 20 years old and have been using a computer since I was 5, however, I can barely maximize its full abilities. I don’t know if I’m the only one who suffers from this but I am a 90s kid who sucks at technology. I either break it or can’t use it.

Here are a few examples:

  • I learned about Torrent at 18. My classmates have been using it since high school.
  • I only knew how to load paper in my printer without a paper jam a few weeks ago.
  • I break a phone every 6 months.
  • I have broken 5 digital cameras. I broke the lock, the zoom option due to dropping, getting it wet, etc. Digital cameras also hate me.
  • I don’t know how to use a scanner.
  • I can’t install RPG games. I leave that to my brother.
  • I can’t install any games. Period. Not even Sims.
  • I don’t know how to use GPS but the concept or when my friends use it amazes me.
  • When I got my laptop at 18, my brother set it up for me because I couldn’t do it.
  • I broke my laptop’s 2 USB ports the day I got it. I did not have a USB port for 8 months and had to rely on SD cards. I had it repaired and only one is functioning. Barely.
  • I learned how to make a powerpoint at 11. My classmate laughed and taught me. I was a new kid and didn’t understand my previous school teacher’s instructions on how to make one.
  • I have absolutely no idea how to use Excel.
  • I can’t print landscape.
  • I don’t know how to use the ‘Properties’ tab of a printer.
  • My 52 year old mother is better at printing than I am.
  • I can’t use html. That is why my blog looks so plain and everyone else has background colors and different fonts. Can you guys help me with this? How do you make your blogs look so pretty?
  • I hate technology.

These are just a few cases. I pray that I’m not alone in this. I love technology, don’t get me wrong. It’s very helpful but there are many times when I just don’t get it. My younger siblings laugh at me and though I know they’re only kidding, it still hurts a bit because I’m just not like them. Or most teens for that matter.


What Being A Teenager Has Taught Me

I am currently 20 years old and still consider myself a teenager (my late teens). For me, the age of 18-20 is like having one door to adulthood and the other is still in my teens. I get a few privileges and responsibilities of an adult but not all of them. I can go into a bar but not a casino. I can buy alcohol and cigarettes but not get married (there are very special conditions allotted for 18-20 year olds like pregnancy). The experiences I had as a teenager are still very fresh and I would like to share them with my readers. I believe that some may agree with my views and some may not. I respect that there are different opinions regarding this post and I hope my readers extend the courtesy as well.

ned

1. We’re not children but we aren’t exactly adults either. Just like Britney Spears song “Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman” we are something in between and we’re just trying to navigate our way in this world. It is not right to immediately classify us as children in the eyes of the law. We should have our own set of rules in the constitution for crimes committed by teenagers. The consequences for crimes such as rape, theft, and kidnapping by 13-17 year olds should be different compared to the same crime made by kids 12 and under and 18 and over. We also should not be treated like children. Give us more responsibilities and trust as we grow older. Being a teenager is our time to mature and we need to be more prepared for adulthood. Teach us how so that we can be safe and know what to do.

2. We’ll do stupid things. Let us. What I’m saying is that being a teenager is a time of experimenting and we’re gonna want to try a lot of stupid stuff that may or may not hurt us. The only thing parents and authority figures can do is regulate to what extent we’re going to hurt ourselves. If we want to try alcohol and see what it’s like to get drunk, then there should be a certain amount allocated to us. Enough to get drunk but not get wasted perhaps. There should also be an adult present when this happens. Not someone old enough to be a parent cause that takes away the fun but maybe someone between 18-25 like a cool older sibling or friend. Restricting kids in high school is just gonna make them want it more in college but without the supervision of adults. Safety is at risk even more. Teens will be curious about love, sex, drugs, and more so they need to know what they’ll get involved in. Forcing the belief of abstinence on students who don’t believe in it is not right (abstinence is for some, not all and it should be respected) so the importance of contraceptives should be emphasized. Drugs are very unhealthy and I don’t believe teens should involve themselves with things that can kill brain cells and are addicting but if ever they do, then health classes should educate students on all types of drugs and the consequences of trying out the more dangerous ones like LSD and heroin.

3.Don’t clip our wings. School doesn’t help. We have voices, ideas, beliefs, dreams, and aspirations. What I’ve notices is that the traditional school system is not a very good place for them. It’s very restrictive, political, and limiting. School forces you to conform to the norm and be like everyone else. If you don’t there are consequences. People, be they students or teachers find you strange and may even prevent your imagination from growing. The environment isn’t exactly very healthy either. Going to school is like a warzone and I can blame this due to the social hierarchy. Those who are classified as nerds, weirdos, freaks, and outcasts always get the short end of the stick. Just talk to them and you’ll know what I mean. Or perhaps once upon a time, you were that kid as well. Favouritism is rampant and it’s always those who are popular, wealthy, attractive, and well-connected who can enjoy school more and get way with things that other students can’t. School may not be all bad because one does make friends and socialize but sitting down for 8 hours a day with barely any breaks is not conductive to learning. It gets very boring and tiring. I’m serious. Parking my butt on a hard wooden chair is very uncomfortable and exhausting. Listening to teachers drone on and on is boring and students can’t be blamed for daydreaming because we can only listen for so long. The change of pace in college where I had fewer classes and longer breaks was a god send and helped retain my attention in classes longer. This really should be adapted in high school. You’d be surprised at how much better the students can pay attention.

There will be a part 2 for this once I’ve thought of more ideas. Perhaps you can comment below some of your lessons and I’ll be willing to expound on it and credit you in my next blog entry. I didn’t think a lot of people would be interested in what I have to say but as I made more blogs entries, I’ve gotten quite a good number of followers so thank you guys. This has inspired me to continue on. With that, I wish you all a Happy New Year and thank you for making my first year in blogging a memorable one.


Being An Asian Who Doesn’t Like Rice and Effects of Barely Eating It

Rice is an important part of Filipino and Asian culture. For most Filipinos, it is eaten every day at least twice. Lunch and Dinner (Breakfast too but this depends on the person). I may be a bit different from my Asian counterparts because I am an Asian who does not like rice. Ever since I was a child, friends and family find me weird because I barely consume the same amount as them. While most people eat at least 1-2 cups of rice per meal, I only have a few tablespoons (1-3). This isn’t even because I want to eat rice. I do this because I can feel everyone staring and judging me for not being like them. They think I’m weird and there is something seriously wrong with me. Even my family thinks this way. When friends notice this for the first time, they automatically assume I’m on a diet or strange for not liking rice. They wonder why I don’t eat nearly the same amount as them. Also, I don’t like wasting food so when I go out for lunch with my friends; I have to eat it because most college meals are automatically served with rice. I eat about ¼ cup just so it won’t go to waste. I still don’t like though.

rice

Why don’t I like rice you may ask when most of the population consumes them? I just don’t. For me, it’s pretty tasteless (like paper). Filipinos eat white rice with nearly everything, even fried chicken. Unless the dish has sauce, I don’t want to eat it. It’s just not my thing just like how not all Koreans like Kimchi. However, my family can’t live without rice so it’s always there.

I’ve recently stopped eating rice. Sometimes I go days without it and it has been having a strange effect on my body. I feel cold a lot now and I don’t know why. The only thing that has changed is how I’ve drastically reduced my barely there rice consumption. My room is really warm yet even though the only thing that’s on is the fan, I usually need a blanket. This is weird because I used to need the air conditioner but now I barely do. The weather’s still the same so I really think it’s the rice. Maybe it’s because I’ve been eating it for 20 years and the sudden halt is doing things to my physiology. The first day I didn’t eat rice, I was freezing. No joke. It was like a really bad fever but nothing was wrong with me. I was bundled up with only the fan and the maid was panicking and forcing me to eat rice (what made her think this was the cure, I don’t know. She just panicked when I said I didn’t eat rice the whole day) but I refused. It was only the next day that I caved and ate some to placate her worries.

I really don’t know why I wrote this. Whenever I travel to other Southeast Asia countries, they also consume a lot of rice. I guess I’m just really weird like this. I don’t like rice and nothing or no one is gonna change that. The entire country can think I’m a freak for all I care but it is what it is.


Set Your Tatas Free And Reject The Female Torture Device Known As The Bra

I hate bras. They’re unnatural. Every time I put one on, it’s like I’m wearing a breast restraint. That’s what they should be called: breast restraints. The straps dig into my shoulders; the wires for “support” feel like a harness pushing my breasts into an unnatural shape that this patriarchal society deems beautiful and every time I close the hooks and eyes at the back, it reminds me of a seal that I am bound to wear this contraption for 8-12 hours a day till the day I die. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration and there is no certain way to know if I’ll still be wearing bras when I’m old and saggy but yeah, I think I’ve made my point.

burningbra

When I was nine, I was one of a handful of girls who started wearing brassieres. My mom bought me this cheap trainee bra and every time I could, I would leave it in my closet. I would pray that no one at home would notice that I wasn’t wearing one underneath my school uniform. Fast forward to eleven years and I still hate them. I have taken a stand against bras. Whenever I can, I would skip wearing one. I’ve tried many substitutes (undershirts, nipple tape) to prevent nipple show but none really seem to work. The best I’ve found is to wear thick shirts with a lot of print so that they wouldn’t show. Most of the ones I have are kinda ugly but I still wear them anyway cause at least I’m comfortable.

What has been my family’s reaction ever since this stand? Well, I get nothing but crap for it. My sister complains that she can see them jiggling and she swears that the nipples show (they don’t. I spend a long time scrutinizing myself in front of a mirror to be sure). Before I leave the house, my maid would catch up and check my chest to see if I was wearing one, yell and makes a fuss that I should run into my room and grab one. I don’t. My mom doesn’t like it but she makes the least comments. My brother is more concerned about nipples showing through.

When I’ve told my friends about this stand, everyone’s main concern seems to be to make sure that my nipples don’t poke through. Seriously? Why is it that when a guys nips show through his shirt, no one gives a damn but when it’s a woman, it becomes scandalous. I hate the fact that breasts have been sexualized so much that a woman can’t even breastfeed her baby without getting crap for it. News flash people, that’s what they’re for. Breastfeeding stations aren’t always available and no mother likes seeing her baby go hungry. God gave us mammary glands to feed our children milk, not to have them restrained and decorated in expensive cloth, frills, and ribbons. Men, do you know what wearing a bra feels like? Try wearing a pair of pants that don’t really fit you but force yourself to zip and button it anyway. After a few hours, there should be some red marks on your skin and the feeling of comfort from setting something confined free. It’s not very comfortable, is it? That’s the closest description I can find.

I get it that women with bigger girls need the support and of course it’s important to wear them when exercising but I believe that bras should be optional. Complaints about how nipples show through? Well deal with it. Everyone has them. They’re sagging? They’re supposed to. With or without bra, gravity will take its natural course. At the end of the day, when I remove this contraption and can at last breathe with peace, there is no feeling more tranquilizing. On the days I go braless, I feel more confident, comfortable, and natural. If I could do this every day, I would.

Ladies, what are your thoughts on the bra? I’d really like to know your opinions and find out that I’m not the only one who feels like this.


There Is No Such Thing As A Pure Filipino and The Loss of the Filipino Identity

Whenever I notice a foreign feature about my classmates or friends, whether it’s their chinky eyes, freckled skin, fair complexion, or a feature that I know is not Filipino, if they do know what it is, they would respond by saying that they are pure Filipino. This is not true. There is no longer such a thing as pure Filipino. Or there are, but they belong to the indigenous groups if the Philippines. The traditional Filipino is short, brown skinned, has kinky hair, thick lips, and a flat nose. These groups are few and live far away from society. They have avoided the foreign influences of our country.

This is what pure Filipinos look like

This is what pure Filipinos look like

Let me give a brief history lesson based from what I have learned in school. We have been colonized by the Spanish (333 years), British (for two weeks and this fact isn’t really know), Americans (50 years), and Japanese (3-4 years). Long before that, we were trading with our Asian brothers and sisters through the bridges that connected Asia to each other, at least until the tectonic plates moved and we were separated. Then we had to travel through boats. Some of these traders have intermarried with the Filipinos. When our colonizers came, many settled in the Philippines and married our people. With all these intermarriages going around, obviously or blood would be mixed. Unlike our Japanese, Chinese, and Korean counterparts, we do not have distinctive features. I have posted a picture of my graduating batch and as you can see; our eyes come in all sizes, skin tones in varying shades, and different height statures.

This is what Filipinos look like today.

This is what Filipinos look like today.



Whenever I travel to other Southeast Asian countries, I’ve noticed that depending on our features, we can blend in anywhere. In China, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand, I’ve seen Filipinos who I thought were locals (in that country) until they spoke Filipino. Of course, we would not be mistaken as pure Chinese, Malay, etc but a mix of different races. The locals in that country would ask if my family was part *insert foreign race here* and we would say no because we honestly didn’t know or yes if they asked if we were part Chinese (we are).

Even our language is a mixture of different words. There are Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and plenty of other foreign words thrown in the mix. I think we’re even going through an identity crisis because of all the foreign influences we have. I do not know if this is a good thing or a bad thing (the effects of colonization). Our language, culture, food, and actions have been influenced by many colonizers, most especially by the Spaniards and Americans.

When the Spaniards colonized us, they have stripped us of our identity and if I were to be honest, I wish the other countries just left us alone because they have fucked us up. Badly. They removed us of our religion, government, culture and before they came, we actually had equal status with men. I remember back when I was twelve, this half Spanish classmate of mine tried to defend her country by saying that “had the Spanish not colonized us, we would still have remained like the Indians.” These were her exact words and I think what she had in mind was the image of Indians from Peter Pan (which I know is a popular stereotype). I wanted to smack her head then and there because contrary to popular belief, our white colonizers did not save us and we were already an advanced civilization before they came. We had our own writing system for crying out loud! Here is a link to show what we were like before the Spaniards “liberated” us: http://www.filipiknow.net/life-in-pre-colonial-philippines/. This doesn’t mean that I hate Spain (though to a VERY small extent, I do). Yes, I detest their ancestors for what they did to my countrymen but at the time, the incredibly corrupt friars and priests who took over our country were hiding what they were doing from the Spanish government. At least from what I was taught in school, when our national hero went to Spain, he realized that the Spanish officials the King sent were not doing their job and were hiding it from him. Spain really had no idea what was truly going on in their colony because of the Friars deception.

So what really makes a Filipino, a Filipino? I am a Filipino and proud of my heritage and culture. But we have so many parts of the Filipino identity that was given to us, not our own. From the Spanish, we have siestas, food, religion, beso-beso greeting, money (we use Peso currency), Spanish surnames (common ones are Sanchez, dela Cruz, Garcia, Carlos, Lopez, etc) and the Filipino version of numbers is the same ones used in Spain. From the Chinese – food, clothes (camisa de chino, loose trousers, wooden slippers), toys (tops, sungka, cards, and kites), respect the elderly, and importance of eldest children (this isn’t applicable to all families). Then from the Arabs, we have the Islam religion, Roman numerals, government, use of calendar and several words used in the Filipino language. I could make an entire list of all the foreign influences in this blog but there are too many to mention and it might bore my readers. Heck, when I was an elementary student, for many years I had to make a list of each country that influenced us and what they were. At the time, I knew them by heart.

So what was the point of this entire article? I wanted to give my readers a brief background of the Philippines and the different cultures that have influenced us as well as its effects. Who knows, maybe you’ll go here and wonder why we don’t look alike (unlike the Chinese, Koreans and Indians). Guys, not all Asians have slit eyes. ) The Philippines is a melting pot of different cultures and this makes us pretty unique. I love my country and culture and wouldn’t have it any other way.


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