“Anak, is he also a gay?”
That was the one solitary question that my mom asked me when I told her that I started dating again. She didn’t ask about any personal questions, how we met, where he lives, what does he do or anything else. She just asked me, if he was also “a gay?”
I didn’t know what she meant by “a gay.”
I came out to my mom a couple of years ago. I told myself that I would come out to my family when I turn 30. I know for sure that they already know. But I wanted to formally come out to them. I didn’t have the chance to come out to them in person as I was living in New York at that time. So I called her. My mom and I are very close. We can talk about anything and everything. She can ask me about shoes, current events, latest celebrity gossip, etc. I guess that was one indication that I was different from my brother. But I couldn’t talk to her about my sexuality. So when the time came that I finally told her. It was a glorious day. I know our relationship would be so much better.
She said she knew, but she still cried. But I know, she was happy.
I asked her what she meant by “a gay.” Apparently, she has seen and heard of couples in the Philippines where one person is gay and the partner is a straight male. The gay partner usually supports the straight male financially and the relationship is based solely on this premise. It was sad. But true. And I understood why my mom wasn’t as happy as I am when I told her that I met someone and that I am finally dating again. She was more scared and worried about the possible new relationship. A direct opposite of my elation and excitement. But I completely understood her.
There are dozens of misconceptions about homosexuality, more so homosexual relationships. Even now that gay relationships are slowly getting accepted in most parts of the world, it is still a struggle to prove that a homosexual relationship is very much like any heterosexual relationship. That it is based on two people attracted to each other, wanting to be with each other and essentially loving each other.
I asked my mom about her dream wedding for my younger (straight) brother. She got excited all of sudden. She said she wanted to experience everything. From looking for venues, food tasting, designing the invitation, looking for the right paper, checking out wedding cakes and all the stress that comes with the wedding preparation. She ended with saying that it’s unfortunate that I can’t have that. I had to tell her that we can actually. But it’s just going to be a little different wherein, instead of a bride and a groom, it will be two grooms.
She was a little bit confused. Not because of the idea of two men getting married, but more of the fact that the sanctity of marriage was based on two people loving each other and committing to be with each other forever. She couldn’t see that happening with a homosexual relationship because of her prior notion on these kinds of relationships.
I can actually describe my mom as a modern mom. She thinks this way not because she’s closed minded or stupid, but it is because this is how gay relationships are presented to her in the Philippines. Both in real life and also in the mainstream media. Once again, it’s the sad truth.
I guess it is up to me to show her, tell her and make her feel that the reason why I remained single for a very long time was because I wanted to find someone who is perfect for me. Someone who I can share my life with and commit to be with. Not for any other reason, but because of true, traditional and unconditional love.
Just like any other heterosexual relationship.