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A pastor’s lessons for younger LGBTQIA people who want to have forever

Rev. Joseph San Jose, pastor of Open Table MCC, shares lessons for LGBTQIA people looking for forever (yeah, it’s hard work; and yeah, you don’t necessarily need one).

Wisdom from Rev. Joseph San Jose, pastor of Open Table MCC, an LGBTQI+ affirming church in Mandaluyong City, as he and his partner – Lawrence Baterina – mark their 8th anniversary.

Photo by Anna Shvets from

Someone asked me what wisdom I could say to chicklets and twinklets to have forever.

1. There’s no forever.

Don’t look for one. Don’t expect one. Hindi porket 8 years na kami ni Lawrence means “forever” na kami. It can break anytime for any reason or for no reason at all. It is simply a decision one makes daily.

2. Wag magmadaling tumanda or “mag-forever.”

Wala nga kasing forever. Enjoy your youth. Commit all your stupidity when you’re young and thereby learning from all of your mistakes and heart breaks.

3. Speaking of heartbreaks – experience and love many times over.

I had the joy and the pain of 11 relationships before Lawrence. Five of which broke my heart and two of which I broke their heart. Isang mayamang karanasan at pagkatuto Ang makaranas ng maraming Iba’t ibang pag-ibig sa Iba’t ibang mga tao. They will also prepare you for your life-partner to be (kung meron).

4. Only after 11 relationships did I finally realize that I don’t need someone to feel loved and to experience true happiness.

Nung dumating ako sa puntong okay na akong maging single and maging masaya sa pagiging single saka ko nameet si Lawrence.

When I finally loved myself and were content with my own happiness (while serving the Lord, LOL) that’s when I believe I attracted the person who is equally in love with himself and we came together to form a unit and share our love and contentment. And even now we sometimes talk and affirm that even if we do break up (knock on wood), each of us will be okay. Wag mo hanapin sa iba ang pagmamahal at ligaya na dapat unang mong ibinibigay sa sarili mo.

5. Gusto mo ng maasyos na relasyon dapat maayos ka rin gurl.

Nag-eexpect at naghahangad ka ng maayos na relasyon at karelasyon pero Ikaw mismo magulo at hindi mapirmi. That goes back to loving yourself and being happy with your own person and your own life. Tsaka kung bagets ka pa, mamukadkad ka muna. Work on your career and your own character. Grow as a bekling.

6. Space and distance.

Hindi kailangan ang magjowa ay palaging magkasama or karay-karay sa lahat ng lakad. Respect the individuality, some autonomy, and the personal life of your jowa or future jowa. May sariling set of friends ang jowa mo, let him be with his friends without you and vice versa. At hindi kailangan friends mo ang friends nya and vice versa. Pwede naman pero kung hindi, okay lang din. Wag ipilit. Gurl wag possessive. Wag toxic. You still need to grow and be happy individually. Yung mga matatagal kong out of the country was good for our relationship ni Lawrence.

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7. Relationships evolve because people evolve.

No relationship stays the same. Change happens with each individual and with the relationship. Hopefully it is for the better and for the deepening of the relationship. Pero it is possible that you may grow or evolve apart. That’s life. Just be conscious that in the changing and evolution of relationships, dapat intentional yung wanting to stay together and making it work.

8. We’re gay. Wag ipattern sa cis-hetero relationships.

Part of the evolution of relationships specially for same sex couples is the intentionality and the acceptance na wag itulad sa straight people ang ating relasyon even as some things will naturally be the same regardless of whichever sexuality. Gurl di ka vavae. Power top wag ka pa-hypermasculine.

9. Understand even when it is hardest to understand your partner.

Let your love be bigger than your conflicts and whatever mistakes each you can commit. Well, with the exception of physical and emotional abuse.

10. Hindi ka nagjowa para maging stressful ang buhay.

You should feel like home to one another. Kung hindi lang din, itigil nyo na yan. Masyado ng stressful ang mundo at ang buhay nating LGBT+ sa lipunang puno ng muhi at diskriminasyon, wag nyo na dagdagan pa sa pagiging batong pinupukpok sa ulio ng isa’t Isa. The goal is to be home to each other and for your relationship to feel like calm and peaceful waters.

11. Lastly, hindi lahat ay magkakaron ng jowa for life.

That’s a fact. Kaya babalik lang tayo sa katotohanan na dapat una tayong maging masaya at kuntento sa sa sariling nating buhay at pagkatao. Of course, it is also true na paminsan-minsan pwede mo maramdaman ang kalungkutan ng pagiging single and that is alright. Still your love for yourself and your own contentment should overcome and overpower your loneliness.

That’s why you should also focus on your friends and family. Love has many faces and they are already present and available in your life. Even if you are single, the truth is that there is no moment that you are not loved.

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