Be Heard, by Jenny

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Being raised in a relatively strict Filipino, Catholic family amongst the first generation, there was much expected of me. Especially being one of the elder grandchildren and cousins, I was supposed to set an example for my “adings” (younger relative) because I was their “manang” (older relative). I did not take this responsibility lightly and I hope that I was a great example to my brother and cousins: I was a straight-A student for my entire academic career; I graduated magna cum laude from nursing school and was the first in my class to take and pass the NCLEX and to secure a job after my nursing pinning ceremony.

I was not supposed to be gay. I did not come out to myself until I was 21 years old. I came out to my brother and cousins that same year. My aunts and uncles are unaware of my orientation. My mother and father are aware but are in denial and do not accept it. Up until that point in my life, I had been their perfect daughter. Now, they choose to not see that part of me. My parents did not realize that attending an all-girls high school and all-girls college would play a hand in my sexual orientation.

I have never felt discriminated against because I am gay, a woman, or a minority. I have never felt hindered by my sexual orientation. In fact, I felt emboldened by it. Coming out was the last part of myself I had to discover and in doing so, I am now able to become the person I am supposed to be. I feel comfortable in fully embracing all facets of myself.


Part of being of this community, living in California, I need to do all I can to pass marriage equality in my home state and in my country. By participating and being a part of the NOH8 movement, I know that I am on the right side of history. When you finally find love, find the one person you want to spend the rest of your life, and you BOTH want to take that next step forward, you should not have to take out a map. You should not have find which states you can actually get legally married in and figure out the logistics. For example, will your marriage even be recognized if you do not live in any of these 8 states? I do not understand WHY this is such a difficult concept for people to grasp. It is really simple to comprehend. It's just like marriage between a man and woman, just swap out either the man and woman, and replace it with another man or woman, depending on which way you swing. See, is that so difficult to understand? We are NOT asking for special treatment. What we ARE asking for is the same thing heterosexual couples get when they decide to enter into the sanctity of marriage. We are begging and pleading for equality. This is the civil rights movement of our generation. You can either get on board this train or get left behind at the station.

With the re-election of President Obama, I have an inkling that many more trains will be leaving the station. Do you really want to be the one left standing at the curb? Do you want to leave that kind of legacy behind for your children and grandchildren? As the United States of America, the most powerful nation in the free world and the pillar by which every other country is judged, how can we continue to deny something so fundamental as the complete acceptance of love? How can we have our government decide what "love" is or what is the right or wrong kind of love? Love does not discriminate. Simply put, love is love, so just let love in, people. To paraphrase that famous Magaret Mead quotation: "Never count that a group of small, committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."


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