“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.”
For Leah Guevarra, coming out to her parents was difficult. They weren’t there, to start, since they were overseas foreign workers (OFWs). And so – fearful that they would not take the news well – Leah first came out to LA, her younger brother. Leah thought that due to their closeness as siblings, coming out as bisexual to her younger brother would be a step forward towards being open to others as well.
“I decided to come out to him during the time I was with my first girlfriend,” Leah said. “At that time, I was excited to have finally accepted myself and have found someone I can be myself with. I wanted to share this with LA so I went on to tell him.”
Leah knew – or at least expected – that LA would accept her. She believed in the bond that they created over the years; a “bond that not even sexuality can break,” Leah said.
Interviewed by Outrage Magazine, they recalled the night when she bravely went up to her younger brother and said seven “dangerous but freeing words”: “LA, I have a girlfriend. I’m bisexual.”
“Okay, cool,” he quipped. “There’s no point in me trying to change you because that’s who you are and I accept you as who you are because you’re my sister and I love you.” Then, he added: “I’m your fucking brother.”
Looking back, they can now laugh at that coming out moment.
As Leah expected, coming out as bisexual did not affect their relationship as siblings. If at all, it made it stronger. And this is something particularly Leah appreciates because there were friends and other people who didn’t accept her for being bisexual. “(I) didn’t mind because one million words of non-acceptance was nothing… compared to one word of love from my brother,” Leah said.
Having a positive response to her coming out to her younger brother made Leah a stronger person, and was also the stepping stone to her eventual coming out to her mother. It was LA, in fact, who explained to their mother that there was no difference if Leah loved a guy or a girl, or even both.
“I guess if it weren’t for LA’s courage, I still wouldn’t be out to my mum,” Leah smiled.
They now both stress that “when someone comes out to you, don’t treat them differently. Not being straight is not to be taken as a shock. A man and a woman love each other and no one objects; this is how (same-sex relationships) should also be seen.”