Miguel - Philippines

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I am Miguel Victor L. Maravillas, 18 years old and currently living in the pearl of the orient sea also known as "The Philippines" To live in a country that was built upon the book of god, Homosexuality is still a hot issue regarding ones state of mind. Especially if you were gay.

For one, If you were gay, they would call you the most vulgar and disgusting phrase I ever heard. "Salot sa Lipunan" or meaning, "Plague of Society" and to tell you the truth, I've been called that name for so long I decided to actually believe it. Also, being gay here in my country meant that when people saw you with your partner, they would automatically assume that your partner is a gold digger and all gays want from their partners is sex which is degrading and disgusting.

I grew up in a family that wasn't entirely religious though we weren't exactly on the verge of becoming an atheist. We still regard the word of god more than anything but when you're growing up gay, you get a lot of firestorms in your way.

When I was in Sixth Grade, I already knew that I was different from the others. I just didn't connect with the other boys in my class well enough and started hanging out with girls a lot more often, from that, people began having the suspicion that I was gay. I got mad of course, to be accused of off something I was really confused at really made me angry. I ended up having a fist fight with my classmates because I couldn't tolerate being called 'gay' in our Christian School.

I eventually transferred school and the same thing happened, people kept calling me gay to the point I was being considered as a joke. I transferred from one school to the next and the same old question kept popping up. "Are you gay?" I eventually turned on a blind ear and pretended to not hear their gossips about me and such. Evidently, I just began to accept the realization that maybe I am gay, and I just lived with it in secret of course. Only my closest friends knew the truth even though they suspected it a mile away.

But in 8th grade, I decided to create an open letter to myself late one night. The message composed of with me admitting that I was gay and that I liked this boy in my class but he was like the other homophobic guys in my school that I ended up crying. Then the next day after school, I got home and saw my ENTIRE FAMILY sitting in the living room with their eyes glued on me. I was already nervous at that moment but when my eyes flickered over the MY LETTER that was now on the coffee table, I swore I've never been so nervous in my life. I wished that the ground would swallow me whole because my family knew about who I was, they knew and I was scared.

But then my mom came to me, asked me to sit down and looked at me straight in the eye and asked me. "Are you gay?" I froze, I had no more excuses left, I was in a dead end and I only had one choice. To tell the truth. So, I mustered up all the courage I could get and spoke the short word "Yes" I waited for her reaction and the next thing I know, she hugged me tightly and told me it was fine and that they knew I was gay a long time ago. I felt like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders.

Now that I'm in 11th Grade, I began to embrace my sexuality by just keeping my head aimed high. I learned that there was no way I could control what people thought of me if I was either a sex-fueled predator or a whore on his way to his next booking (sex with pay) but I'm neither of those, I promise. Anyways, I still get criticized and talked about because of who I am, but what can I do? I can either dwell on how people think of me or I can live my life the way I want to and to not give a care on those who choose to oppose me.

Now, my connection with my whole family is stronger than ever since they supported me throughout and I love them deeply. I'm luckier that most kids with the same situation as I am and I learned to be thankful for that.

Sincerely, Miguel. (I'm also on Wattpad, @miggymigsvictor

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