Dear Nanay,

I am 21 years old, a senior college student and hoping to graduate with Latin honors by March next year. I know that my academic standing makes my parents very proud of me, which I used to hear about from them. I love them very much and I’m not doing anything that would hurt or disappoint them because they have high expectations from me. As much as possible, I’m trying to be an ideal son. However, there’s something in me that they don’t know. No one in our family knows that I’m gay. I started to feel that I was gay when I was in high school and I’ve been able to keep this secret until now.

My father comes from a conservative family and he’s very vocal about his unfavorable judgment of homosexuals. Even my friends don’t know about it. I also had girlfriends before. I am afraid that the people around me might know about my sexuality. I am afraid of rejection.

I sometimes feel guilty and tend to hate myself for having these kinds of feelings. Honestly, I hate being gay. It hurts whenever I hear disapproval of the third sex and I’m tired of keeping my feelings to myself and acting like a real man.

These situations bother me so much. I want to behave normally like I’m supposed to. The opinions and judgments of people that I love matter most.

What should I do? Should I act on what I feel as a gay person? Should I tell my family about it and face the consequences or should I just keep it to myself? — N

Dear N,

First of all congratulations on doing so well in school. I know how hard it is and how much work it takes to do so well for four years. Keep it up and I really hope that you finish with honors when you graduate in March.

With regard to your problem, unfortunately I think only you can decide whether you will tell your parents and friends or not. The circumstances are a little different for every person and I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all solution.

I can understand why you would be scared. But I also think that society today is much more accepting of gay people than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Iba na ang panahon ngayon. (Times have changed now.) There are many openly gay people who are very successful in different industries. And I think the stereotype that gay people have suffered from in the past is slowly being eliminated.

If I were you, I would just accept the fact that I was gay and be proud of it. Don’t be ashamed. You are not “strange.” You are perfectly normal.

It might be difficult for some parents to accept that their son is gay. But I think they will eventually learn to live with it and accept it because you are still the same son they had before, the same son they love and are so proud of. Wala namang nagbago, diba? (Anyway, nothing has changed, right?) In addition, the sooner you tell them, the sooner they can start adjusting.

Lastly, you cannot keep the secret forever. Magkakabistuhan din iyan. (The truth will eventually come out.) So the sooner you tell them, the less you will have to suffer in silence.




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