Jeremiah, in his own words: “I came out quite late to my family. I was 24 and at that point, my family had already been living in Canada for 2 years. Before that, we lived in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country where homosexuality, while tolerated to a certain extent, was frowned upon. It was all about timing since at 24, I was already more sure about myself and I was ready for the worst. I wrote a letter to my parents and left home that day before they woke up. I thought that writing down everything was the way to go as it will allow me to put more thought on what I was about to say without the possibility of being interrupted. As well, I thought that it would be good for my parents, as they will give my parents the time to read and process everything. I turned off my phone that day and made accommodation arrangements elsewhere. After a few hours of being out of my house, I got this email from them:
‘We’ve read your letter. Thank you for being honest. Thank you for trusting us.
Papa and I have been praying for you and John every night. You are God’s gift to us and we will love you for what you are. Continue striving and be the best you want to be.
Go home tonight. We will welcome you with our loving and tight embrace.
We love you very much and the whole family will be with you through thick or thin.
Papa and Mama’
After reading that, I was just a puddle and a mess. I could not think of another event in my life that gave me that much relief and joy. What made it even better was finally going home and getting a hug from my parents. While it was not exactly smooth sailing after that, I have to give my parents a lot of credit for keeping their minds and hearts open as they eventually came to terms with my sexual orientation.
Coming out definitely boosted my confidence in that it made me true to myself – not only in terms of my sexuality but also with my passion and dreams. It made me reassess my life goals and change my mindset from just conforming to other people’s expectations to finding the inner strength to pursue what I really wanted all along. From working in corporate, I decided to go back to school to give my dreams of having a career in music and theatre a chance. I am currently finishing a degree in opera performance at the University of British Columbia and I couldn’t be happier.”