Growing up as a gay man in a religious country like the Philippines, I consider it a struggle to conform to my country’s expectations to avoid being discriminated. Despite the emerging number of people who are tolerant enough to accept my orientation and the vast exposure of LGBT celebrities in the media, bigotry still exists within the confines of Philippine society to this day.
I’ve started with the dictionary definition of camp not so much for what it does say but rather for what it doesn’t. You will notice straight away that it doesn’t say gay, some definitions may say that that style is favoured by some in the gay community but it doesn’t mean gay. The reason I mention that is because I have had many conversations with people and even been disciplined in work for describing things as camp and people insist on telling me that this is me bringing gayness into everything.
I am a gay, cis woman. I have attended private, Catholic schools my entire student career. I know how lucky I am to have this opportunity- but as member of the LGBT community, sometimes I don’t feel so lucky. While having the funds to attend this schools and the privileges to be accepted, I am not truly accepted by the students, faculty, and staff because of how I love.
Have you ever felt like you needed something to feel better, but that thing was terrifying to you? I do, all the time. I’m terrified of getting top surgery. Not because I think I’ll regret it, but because of all of the things that could happen. I’m a non binary 21 year old. I was blessed and cursed with a very femme face, and an ass to boot. (All the puns intended.)
I recently came out as nonbinary this year. After 20 years of concealing my need to be my true self, I’m finally able to express my gender or lack thereof freely. When I first came out, there was a lot of questions. Like, way more questions then when I came out as queer. Questions like “so..are you a trans man then?” Or “do we have to use they? It’s not really proper English.”
All my life, I have been pretty good at fitting in. Or at least, maintaining the appearance of fitting in. I lived with this idea in my head that I could become anyone I wanted to – anyone who’s better, who’s not weird, who’s somehow perfect. I grew up in Ukraine. A country now wrought with pain, trying to figure out its place in the world – somewhere between its communist, conservative past, and a bold, progressive future. I think it’s ironic how, in a lot of ways, my story overlaps with that of my country.
At 16 I liked the things a lot of boys did. I liked pretty girls, loud music, cheap beer, and dreaming about being a rock star. I’d formed a “band” with my best friend, there was only the two of us, and I wanted to be the lead singer, but couldn’t sing in tune, so settled for playing bass.