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This entry was originally published in the author’s blog, Genesisms. We are reposting here with his permission. 

By Genesis Santos

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On the sixth day of the last month of the year, I stepped out of the shadows. I am finally free.

I was in transit that day, my mom was aggravated I never told her where I was up to, that I never went to church, that it was too late to be hanging out on a Sunday because there’s work tomorrow.

She was blabbering, but all I wanted was to get rid of the blues. I needed some fresh air, away from the weight of the world, or simply away from my adult responsibilities. Technically, the air was not that fresh as I braved EDSA to meet my friends, watch ‘The Little Prince’ and chill.

She asked me if I’ve been having problems (at work, personal, spiritual). I am mentally fine, as far as I am concerned. Work is very dynamic yet challenging, and I love it; my personal life is better, and I apologized for not going to church. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride since December came to my life, and I can hardly bear it, I explained.

I dropped the call, my battery’s not enough to survive the long conversation with her, and I was exhausted.

She then texted, “Who are you with? Are you dating someone now? Do you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend?”

That was it, I told myself. This is not the perfect time to get rid of questions I, myself, wanted to answer since I was a kid. This was the sign I’ve been asking, the make-or-break opportunity that will determine the reactions of people who matter to me is here.

Think of the many times you’ve hidden, of the silences you threw at them when they’re all confused. Remember the first Barbie doll you touched and played with. Remember the first catwalk you did, with your towel as your skirt, and your sister’s school shoes as your stilettos.  

Think of your first childhood drawings of gowns, of Sailor Moon, Fushigi Yuugi, and pictures of Aaron Carter posted on your wall. Recall the first time you told your friends that you can’t be with a woman, and asked for their acceptance. Think about the diverse people at your workplace, and how comfortable they are in their own skin.

Grab the opportunity.

So I did.

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I told her, “Wala akong girlfriend. Hindi mangyayari ‘yon. Boyfriend, pwede pa, kaso wala” (I don’t have a girlfriend. It’s less likely to happen. Possibly a boyfriend, but none as of now.). I ticked Send.

She never responded over text. I was nervous, relieved, and happy all at the same time. Imagine the heavens opening up and there is a ray of light from up above. Think of all the happy songs you can think of, and play it in the background. That’s the feeling.

I opened the gates, entered the house, still shaking, and I wanted to keep the mood light so I did me. I’m home! I greeted. I saw my mom calm, ironing our clothes, with a sigh of relief on her face. We never spoke about it, but the ambiance that there’s no hiding emanated. I went to my room and stared for the next five minutes at the ceiling.

You don’t hide from family, as they are family.

Right now, a couple of weeks have passed, everyone knows who I am, and my closest friends are the best cheerleaders ever. I had the guts to tell the world how happy, free, ecstatic, and optimistic my world is. I am more comfortable in my own skin, I am more delighted, and my bond with my family is stronger than before. To be honest, I never needed to tell my family my sexual preference, but I realized the more I don’t address it, the more confused life gets, the more they get confused.

I felt that I owe them the reality they deserve, and it was worth the wait.

The best feeling in the world is to know yourself. It is, by far, the greatest chance to take. To understand yourself, accept who you are and who you are not, is the best risk that yields best results.

To happiness and greatness! Cheers!

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