Ian, Human Resources Executive, Manila, Philippines

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Adrian, in his own words: “Being gay is being who you are. It is about authenticity in everything that you do, unafraid of what people might think or feel about you. It is about freedom to choose who to love. It is about being resilient despite oppression from the society. It is about being an outlier and proud of it. It is about challenging the status quo and standing firm on being unique. It is about celebrating and valuing differences. It is about being a community.

Climbing the corporate ladder as a gay man is difficult for me. People tend to put labels and compare gay men with people who work in salons. That did not stop me for working hard. Every day, I try to outdo myself. I train and study really hard to get an advantage. I see my situation as opportunity to make a statement. Now at age 28, I am the youngest member of the senior management team in our company.

My ex-partner and I frequent the province to visit my parents, though I have introduced him to them as my best friend. When I received the new iPhone 4, I gave my old phone to my dad. So excited, I forgot to delete photos and messages. My parents discovered that my ex-partner was more than a friend. While washing the dishes, my mom went to me to confirm the relationship. She promised that she will pray for me every Wednesday and dedicate a novena for me to so that god will change my preference. They are not okay with my lifestyle. Since then, my relationship with them was not the same but I make the most of every opportunity to make them feel that I love them.

Manila has an active gay community. There are hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs, who deliberately market themselves for LGBT. Despite religious issues, Filipinos are starting to accept the idea of homosexuality, largely due to media, gay celebrities and other contributing factors. LGBT-themed indie films have grown in numbers, thanks to the support of few establishments who advocates equality. Filipinos are used to gay stand-ups and comedians who perform on television and in bars for weekend comedy shows, which are almost always sold-out. Sad thing, however, I haven’t heard someone with power or influence who really came out of the closet and supported LGBT causes. While on the other hand, Quezon City recently passed an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance to ensure gender equality and promote LGBT rights.

(Advice I’d give my younger self) Take it one day at a time – don’t spend too much time wandering and searching for answers that only experience and encounters with people can provide. It’s always 101% or nothing. Give love, expect nothing in return, have no regrets. Love can always be renewed.”

2 comments

  1. Pingback: It’s always 101% or nothing. | Sa Kabilang Banda
  2. Christine F.

    First off, Ian I congratulate you for braving all the sea of senseless hatred against those who remain true to themselves. This senseless antagonism is bred from centuries of chauvinism—can’t blame them, from the viewpoint of evolution being a real man meant doing what other men ought to do. You have to be a testosterone-filled human being whose hypothalamus calls for the bestial desire for female flesh, the urgency for aggressive behavior or respond to something mundane like hunger.

    This, of course coupled with the obsessive and nearly maniacal drive for supremacy; whether bringing home the day’s hunt or in today’s terms, rising to the top of the ladder. One’s whole existence is hinged on being the quintessential alpha male. This is why you can’t blame the world for having those bigots. People like you Ian, have made past that barrier. I’ve always found you the intelligent guy that you are and I never took that sexuality against you. Just like you, women also experience that bias that we can never reach our fullest potentials just because we aren’t men. Just because you like people like yourself does not make you any less of a talented human being. In fact, I find no support whether in science or logic that intelligence, greatness, and humanity exclusively belongs to the domain of our patriarchal society so stubbornly hung up with the alpha male supremacy.

    So don’t mind the labels. Shun them. Never mind those glass barrier ceilings that prevent those who do not belong to the big boys club. We have far more talented beings in the pool of humanity who never get the chance to show the world that they too can be destined for greatness.

    What makes human beings far superior from the rest of the animal kingdom? It is the human capacity to go beyond our basal instincts and make way for a more rational sense of embracing plurality or diversity and realizing that there are talents far beyond the safe havens of our myopic views. The myopic tendency to be misogynistic is a remnant of our instinctive past. We ought to evolve and transcend all that is hormonal.

    That is why I’ve always admired you in all respects. You have evolved from the early humans whose existence depended on how well they react to instinct and hormones. Humans today are far more sophisticated than that. Bigots belong to the cro-magnon era for they can never appreciate the evolution of the human brain for greater things.

    Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you can never kick the ass of those big boys who to this day are hung up with their phalluses. Hahaha! Sorry, I know you like them; but hey, you’re better than that!

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