Franchesca*, 23, from Marikina met her ex-husband from a mobile clan**. At that time, she was pregnant – impregnated by and was eventually left by a straight guy. “I was so pathetic at that time,” she said. But she fell for his charms, having been “clanmates for two months then.”
At that time, Franchesca said she didn’t know he’s gay. Or, maybe, she just refused to see that he’s gay.
This was particularly when he offered to marry her, taking the responsibility that should have been given by the straight guy who got her pregnant.
Her family did not approve of their wedding. “Pinigilan talaga (They really tried to stop it),” she said. “Ang daming against talaga (A lot of people were really against it). But I tell you, if love strikes, kahit against ang marami, go pa rin (even if many do not agree with you, you’d still persevere).”
The two lived together for four years, so “he is the only father our child knows,” Franchesca said.
They have not disclosed to their child the gender identity of the father; or that he isn’t the biological father.
But after four years, the two broke up.
“My instincts told me something was not right,” she said.
In hindsight, Franchesca said that she may have known that “he will not change his ways of being gay”. “But I didn’t accept that reality. It may have been too much for me,” she said. What broke the camel’s back, so to speak, “was the lying; there was too much lying – about the real him.”
Franchesca thinks that her ex-husband may have had men while they were together. “Hinala ko, nanlalaki siya (I suspect he slept with other men).”
While Franchesca said that she hoped that he would have mended his ways for her and their child, it would not mattered if he’s gay. “It’s the lying that I couldn’t live with,” she said.
By the way, she already had four past boyfriends who are/were bisexual, coming before the gay ex-husband. “‘Yung iba, bi; siya lang talaga ang gay (The others were bisexual; he was the only gay guy),” she said.
With the two of them separated, the gay guy is no longer supporting their child. “May contact naman kami (We stay in touch),” she said. “Pero hindi na kami nag-uusap ng maayos (But we don’t communicate properly).”
In her heart, Franchesca may still hold hope for them to get back together. “I always asked him kung maayos pa ba kami (if what we have can still be fixed),” she said. But “magulo siya (he’s confused).”
She added that maybe they do not have closure yet because “I’m actually scared to realize na wala na talagang chance na maging okay pa ang lahat. (that there’s no more chance for things to get better). Or dahil ayaw kong tanggapin ‘yung katotohanang ayaw niya na (Or I don’t want to accept the truth that he doesn’t want for us to be together anymore)?”
In the end, Franchesca said that she just wants him to tell her that “once and for all, tapos na kami (we’re over). No denials; no lies. Just the straight truth. ‘Yun lang (That’s it).”
Since “he chooses to be the same as he was before, wala ako magagawa doon (there’s nothing I can do about that). That’s his life,” Franchesca said. “But I don’t want to ruin my life again.”
What’s interesting as far as Franchesca is concerned is her longing to find another gay (or bi-identifying***) male to be her next partner.
“To be honest, there are a lot of gay and/or bisexual men who are hot – hot faces, hot bodies,” Franchesca said, laughing. She, therefore, remains “curious about them.”
Comparing her experiences with straight and gay (and bi) men, Franchesca said that there are a lot of differences between them. At least in her observation, “mas magaling mag-sinungaling ang mga bakla (Gays are better at telling lies),” she said. “Ang mga straight guys, mas madali silang mahuli kung may iba (It’s easier to catch straight guys when they have someone on the side).”
Still, she said that she’s more appreciative of the gay guys. “Sa dami kong straight guys na naging boyfriend, gay lang nagpatumba sa feelings ko (I had a lot of straight boyfriends, but only a gay guy made me fall in love),” she said.
Because she is putting herself in a position where she could get hurt again by falling in love with a gay (or bi, for that matter) man, Franchesca said she is more cautious this time around.
“I have learned a lot,” she said. “When I fall in love again, whether with a straight guy or a gay guy, ayaw ko ma-in-love ‘yung tipong makakalimutan ko na naman ang sarili ko, and even my family, friends, and most especially anak ko (I don’t want to recklessly fall in love to the point of me forgetting myself, my family, my friends, and even my son).”
Franchesca added: “Magmamahal, oo. Pero kung iiwanan, then go (I’ll love again, yes. But if he leaves me, then he can go).”
Franchesca is aware that not many people may understand her search for a gay or bi partner.
“Yeah, I know gays/bi/trans or even straight guys won’t understand why I’m doing this,” she said. And she admitted that even she has mixed emotions with her attraction with the gender non-conforming.
With a wry smile, she said: “But we all know nowadays that gay and bi men (can be) hunkier and good looking than straight guys – no offense meant.” And for her, the physicality is important in the creation of the first impressions.
“Masasabi ko rin sa mga curious, why don’t they try hanging out with gay and bi men? Better yet, bakit hindi sila pumasok sa mundo ng mga gay or bi at baka sakaling mas mag-enjoy sila sa ganitong klaseng relasyon (I want to say to those who are curious: why don’t they try hanging out with gay and bi men? Better yet, why not try entering this world of gay and bi men and they may enjoyment in this kind of relationship).”
And in the end, “just, please, NO DISCRIMINATION!”
*THOUGH FRANCHESCA INITIALLY WANTED TO BE IDENTIFIED IN THIS ARTICLE, HER NAME WAS EVENTUALLY CHANGED AND HER PHOTO AMENDED TO PROTECT THE PRIVACY OF THE OTHER PEOPLE IN HER LIFE, INCLUDING HER CHILD WHO IS STILL LESS THAN FIVE YEARS OLD
**MOBILE CLANS ARE INFORMAL SOCIAL GROUPS/ORGANIZATIONS FORMED VIA MOBILE TECHNOLOGY (E.G. MOBILE PHONES) AND SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES (E.G. FACEBOOK).
***IN THE PHILIPPINES, THERE ARE MEN WHO ONLY HAVE SEX EXCLUSIVELY WITH OTHER MEN BUT WHO SELF-IDENTIFY AS ‘BISEXUAL’. THIS IS BECAUSE THE LOCAL TERM USED TO REFER TO GAY MEN – I.E. BAKLA – USUALLY REFERS TO EFFEMINATE GAY MEN; AND THESE MEN DO NOT SEE THEMSELVES AS EFFEMINATE, THUS THEIR NON-ACCEPTANCE OF THE WORD BAKLA. BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF A LOCAL WORD TO IDENTIFY THE SO-CALLED ‘STRAIGHT-ACTING/LOOKING’ GAY MEN, MANY USE ‘BISEXUAL’ WHEN IDENTIFYING THEMSELVES.