It was my sophomore year of high-school. I tried to act like everything was okay but I was miserable! Whether I was at school or looking up at the ceiling late at night, questions would creep into my mind. Was I really gay? And if I was, how would I live my life? What would my parents think? What would they do? And my friends? My Filipino/Roman Catholic upbringing had taught me that being gay was a sin. I felt that I had two choices- 1. Come out and deal with whatever happened or 2. Live with the secret FOREVER. I decided to go with the latter. I hated keeping the secret but back then my fear outweighed that. I tried to forget it. I tried to find ways to escape dealing with it. I became depressed and at times, contemplated suicide.
Somehow I had come across a quote, “It is better to be hated for who you are than loved for whom you are not.” It inspired me and I had decided that I couldn’t keep living the way I had been. I couldn’t imagine keeping my secret forever. I came out to my siblings first and then my friends, and to my surprise they were all accepting. It was terrifying and liberating all at the same time. I told my parents last. They didn’t disown me or force me into some sort of religious therapy like I had feared. But their initial reaction was “you’re not old enough to make that decision!” They also blamed a slightly older love interest into “turning” me gay. I can’t quite remember anymore but I don’t think I bothered to tell them that they were the last ones I came out to! As for blaming my love interest, sometime later my mother admitted that she always knew I was gay. It’s been 8 years since then and my parents are supportive and accepting of my sexual orientation.