Giving

Subtle.

Homophobia. Such a suicide driver.

It’s a touchy subject but extremely relevant today. Many individuals struggle to be accepted and to be able to function without the prejudice of others. We can say there are many changes in terms of recognizing gender but there are still many people who can’t come to terms with it or have problems dealing it.

Homophobia can happen in little, subtle ways. For the record, I don’t know how, why, what exactly caused some people to have it. Some people I know say it’s from trauma (early experience of molestation, mostly), some just don’t have the proper education or some are just heavily influenced by the society, whether religion or community, they live in.

I’m all for gender expression and I don’t think it was ever violent nor destructive. In fact, in my eyes, I see it as an expression of love and all it’s manifestations- self, others, life itself and environment. Most of the people I know who identify themselves as members of the LGBT community are also some of the most creative, most loving and most open friends ever. I know for a fact we view things differently but for me, it doesn’t make sense that there are still people who look down on them, who feel disgusted and feel weird even when they did nothing wrong. Was it ever wrong to be yourself and to love people with “the same parts”? Does individuality ever come with conditions? Does loving have restrictions?

I had my share of gender identity crisis once upon a time. Growing up in an all-female school, it was impossible not to go through a phase of crushing on someone and hoping you’d start a relationship with them.

Christine, Elleni, Ellen, Ella, Kim, Nikki. Just some of the ladies and lesbians I love(d). I know there’s more but I simply can’t recall them. No, I won’t go into deep, crazy details but it’s safe to say that these crushes helped me grow my heart more, made me love unconditionally, made me feel more free. It is from this experience I’ve grown to be a more loving, more accepting person and that every time I struggle to find the love I seem to want at that time, I emerge as a stronger, loving person.

Love isn’t just between a man and a woman. Love doesn’t have to mean you’re also feeling lust for someone. Love isn’t a privilege. Love is certainly not marriage and love isn’t being with your partner for 923759056 million years.

Love is about connection, affection, care, growth. No one ever set the ground rules for love and loving and yet we condemn those who express it differently.

Going back to gender, it all goes back to loving- yourself (accepting and coming out, for one), others (accepting and respecting, not tolerating) and the environment (kill society’s close minded views with kindness, by showing we’re better than what society dictates). Many members of the LGBT community commit suicide because they feel no love or hope for love because society has been so selfish in showing genuine concern for them. Discrimination, harassment, pure violence is an everyday thing too.

And what’s worse is that, we witness it and sometimes we can’t just fight back because you know nothing will happen. In fact, it’s like trying to pry a steel door open and after you kick it and beat it, nothing really happens except hurting yourself in the process. That’s how arguing with a closed mind is like. They may have their own reasons (and yes, you have to respect that) but it’s a different when they resort to being disrespectful and violent.

Here’s my example- Our company is having our annual Queen of the Night, a gay and transgender pageant, to raise funds for our Red and Black Fund (employee aid). There are some male office mates I talked to that seemed uncomfortable about it. I mean, they’d snicker and make rude remarks like “Why does it have to be a gay pageant? We have many beautiful real women”. I get your point but this month is PRIDE month and the pageant has been one of the biggest fundraisers we have (Filipino gays have a penchant for beauty pageants and it’s really great that they are all very enthusiastic about it). Besides, we’re looking for someone who could show you that the so-called “other” gender you all seem to think, can make a difference too.

I wouldn’t waste my time arguing with those that don’t agree or support this campaign. Instead, I’d focus my time making it happen for all the queens who want to make a mark in this world by doing good, by giving their advocacy a chance to recognized and supported.

You see, love can also save lives. Love can give people chances to discover the good in themselves. Love can transform a community. Love can make one discover their special gifts.

With all that being said, is there a way homophobia could ever go away? Would there be any stop to this hatred society keeps tolerating?

TBC.

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Planning.

It’s my first time to organize a full-blown company wide pageant. I’m so excited and nervous and anxious and dying and crazy and dying and planning and dying.

Mind you, this is our annual gay and transgender pageant. I’m a huge supporter/defender/member (I identify as pan-curious and you’ll hear more about it in the coming days) of the LGBTQIA and it’s such an honor to celebrate diversity, to celebrate the great things we all bring to the table not as a man or woman, but as a human being. For the first time, the pageant’s main focus is ADVOCACY. The pageant, Queen of the Night 2017, will serve as a platform for gay and trans individuals to voice out and show others what they’re truly passionate about and make a difference in the community.

As a humanitarian, it always feels great to be able to reach out to every community this world has to offer.

Miss Philippines.

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For the first time in my young, crazy life, I was able to do something huge without making myself look like a joke in front of everyone.

It feels good to be recognized and to represent the country. Some people do sports, some do pageants (can’t do both, sorry!) but I do it through serving. No crown, sash, trophy or belt could ever top the honor of helping children be safe, protected- gearing them up for what’s yet to come so they could achieve their dreams and help others too.

I vividly remember writing the nomination for this project. It wasn’t hard to fill out the form because I know the project through and through (my parents can attest to that!) and I had a gut feel we’d nail it. It’s not really how elaborate your projects are, it’s mostly how it would benefit people in the long run.

So yeah, I’ve been involved with Rotary for about 10 years now and Rotaract for a little over a year. It’s really humbling and crazy. I love this side of me.