I guess most of you have heard of former Supreme Court Justice Isagani Cruz’s homophobic column that’s full of hate and disgust against gay people. I cried over the fact that bigotry does exist. Gay people were reduced to a separate form of species, referring to us as: “their kind.” Just read it. I guess the thought that if someone dared to express his bigotry in print, then it made me think: how does my mom and sister REALLY feel? So we had a long talk about Mr. Cruz’s article and their true views about my being gay. Here’s what they had to say:
Mother: As an old person, I somehow agree with the stereotype because THAT is what has been perceived for a long time. But there is a way to present your point of view about certain things without being a bigot. Just remember, Jerome, you are my son and I accept you and love you. I may not approve of your choice, but I will stand by you no matter what. Nobody has the right to refer to my son as a “lesser being” for being gay given the fact that you are more productive and responsible as an individual, as a citizen, and as a man compared to the “machos” that Gani Cruz seems to “prefer” for our country’s sake.
Sister: Don’t be mad about the article. You don’t even have to mind it. I love you and I am not ashamed to say that I have a gay brother. You are the smartest, most intelligent, most handsome, and the fairest of them all. 🙂 Unlike some straight guys where the only thing that’s “straight” is their sexuality…nothing else.
Kaya whatever you say, Mr. Cruz, in the words of the divinest of all divas, Barbara Streisand, I will not let you rain on my parade! My family and friends (both straight and gay) love me. I’m smart, funny, and intelligent. I help the government achieve its goals and targets. I have fun…and I’m proud to be gay, a Filipino, and a human being! I guess you just need to be educated about the beauty of diversity…and most all, achieving unity amidst diversity.
So, my friends, heed my call for support for positive action. Bridget needs your support to educate Isagani Cruz that gay people (whether “decorous” or “vulgar” as Mr. Cruz so eloquently describes) are just like everyone else: not perfect but striving for perfection. May I request that comments be positive, sharing your own experience or someone you know of. Let’s shower Mr. Cruz with positive stories on gay people. I shall compile this and send it to Mr. Cruz. MY MOM VOLUNTEERED TO PERSONALLY DELIVER THE LETTER TO HIM. (rolls in laughter)
I hope you take time to participate in this endeavor and encourage others to participate as well. As a gift to you, I’m sharing once again the story on how husband and I met. That it is true that same-sex relationships can work. We are now on our 21st month…(applause)
FADE IN SUPERS
“HOW JEROME AND JEROME MET”
INT. TEKNOZONE INTERNET SHOP.DAY
ME browsing in Friendster in search of a date to end quest for the “real” thing. Was about to give up when…clicks on FURION’s profile and pic.
Hmmm…this one looks well traveled. What is that? A temple in Thailand? Wow. Been to places. He’s kinda cute pero mukhang nakasimangot. Mainitin ang ulo nito. Pero sige, let’s try sending message. (TYPES) Subject Line: Patience is not my virtue…. Message (this is the original friendster message I sent):
Struck by your profile. You seem to be very intelligent, smart, sarcastic, witty, and funny. You got me at “patience is not my virtue.” Hahaha! Forgive me for the Jerry Maguire plagerism. Ey. If you’re interested, drop me a line:
09182923072. If you want to know how my quirky mind works, visit my blogspot: www.aborrowedlife.blogspot.com”
I encourage you not to let go of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of my version of “The Amazing Race”….(well, that’s riddled with ambiguity and undertones so go and treat yourself to the subjectivity of that line. Hahahaha!)
Hope to hear from you soon.
Says in your profile you’re a Project Officer. NGO work? I’m a Program Manager. If you’re with an NGO, then I shall lift my glass and give a toast to serendipity.
Okay. Sent. Let’s see if he…(stops and looks at pop-up message: FURION has sent you a message) Wow. That was fast. (opens message *this is his original reply*)
Subject Line: Patience is not my virtue…nor is it mine
You’re wrong, I’m not intelligent, smart and
witty. But yes I am sarcastic and sometimes funny.
It took me ages to complete that profile of mine
and reading your blog just blew me away. Mukhang
matatahimik ako sayo.
But anyway, thanks for your interest. Yes I work
for an NGO as a lowly project officer. kidding.
And yes, patience is not my virtue. So if you try
to be all smart alecky and witty and madaldal to
me I will just walk away. LOL
So are you up to it? 09178****** is my contact
Oh…my…God!!! He gave his number. *kilig*
I’d prefer that you text or call me first. Makes me feel special in a autistic kind of way. Hahahah
Hey, we have the same first name btw.
And his name is also Jerome! Now I have to call this guy. (dials number)
JEROME (on the other line)
Uy, nice voice! (speaks) Hello, Jerome? This is Jerome.
Wow! Ang bilis naman. Nasa office ka ba?
Nope. Internet shop. Working away from the office.
(laughs and tucks imaginary hair behind ear)
Di masyado…(laughs again)
Tawa ka nang tawa dyan.
Of course! It’s because I’m a happy person.
So, you wanna meet up?
Tuesday? (that was November 12, 2004)
I love Tuesdays. (laughs again) Starbucks in Intramuros?
That’s fine. I’ll see you then.
Okay. (smiles in kilig) Bye!
(incessantly smiling after ending call)
CUT TO: PRESENT DAY
Ah, yes. He got me at “hello”—in query form. Since then we are already on our 21st month and it has been one hell and heaven of a ride. But everyday is just worth it. I love loving him. I love the thought that we can argue and debate on things (and hope that it won’t escalate into a fight). I love the fact that he never steps back on our game of intellectual tennis, standing his ground and matches up with me 100%. Some couples may find this difficult to manage but for me, it’s why we work. I love the fact that we are opposites (on my part, “surprised” would be more appropriate since he turns out to be the spitting image of the exact opposite of my ideal partner). He is a left-brainer and I am more of the right hemisphere. He’s a planner and I am the spontaneous one (oh dear. This blog won’t be able to accommodate the interesting times we have argued about the benefits of planning and the romantic nature of spontaneity. I remember the classic “ferry incident”. (cue video of ME and JEROME taking a stroll by the seawall)
(jumps and claps in glee at the sight of the Manila Bay public ferry)
Oh my God, babe! Let’s take the ferry…
ME/JEROME (blurts out in unison)
…it’s gonna be romantic/…it’s expensive
CUE TIGHT SHOT OF ME and JEROME looking at each other…waiting for a detailed discussion about practicality versus romance to ensue.
Yup. That’s how we are—the north and south pole. But I guess in diversity lies beauty. It’s a simple equation of “one plus one” of which the result is two different people trying to be one as a couple. (nice line, gives myself pat on the back) Sigh. I love how he keeps me up on my toes making every single day a new challenge; a new quest; a new adventure.
I guess for someone like me who is just starting to build a relationship (for the Nth time), it is really about the “real deal” more than the proverbial “right one”. It is about the real situations, the real fights, the real kiss-and-make-ups that makes it right for both of you…if not perfect. Whether it would entail sacrifices, big or small ones, it would still be perfect in our own standards. As long as the undying love is there and that he continues to be my true north and the yin to my yang, it will transcend flaws and shortcomings making perfection a journey and not a destination.
More years, babe! Mmmmmwaaaah!