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Op-Ed

Accepting yourself is not that easy, but worth it

Learning to accept oneself as LGBT may not be easy because of the way society still treats LGBT people. But contributing writer Cheska Robles says: “I believe that everyone goes through that phase where you question yourself, where you somehow can’t accept yourself because you’re afraid of what people might think or what your family might think. But once you’ve accepted yourself for who you are, some of the burden will be lifted from your shoulders.”

I’ve always doubted my sexual orientation back when I was in high school. I always had this hint that I was gay. That I was into other women. But I suppressed those feelings because I was thought that being gay was wrong. I was so afraid of what people might think, they might tell me that I’m probably doing something stupid by entering a lesbian relationship. I was also afraid of what my family might think of me. I felt that I might be rejected by my own family.

When I was in fourth year high school, I questioned myself again. I would talk to my friend over YM (back when it was still “uso”) and tell her that I think I might be gay. She asked me if that was how I felt with girls. At that time I really didn’t know what to answer because I was really confused and I struggled with my identity.

In college, I had my first relationship with a guy. For this article, I’d call him M. We were first year college then, young and somehow in love. We dated for three months and eventually drifted. Before we dated, I actually had a crush on this girl classmate of mine. I thought that she was a cool person and I just admired her. Again, I suppressed my feelings because I believed that it was wrong. That is why I ended up being with M. He was really kind, sweet and a proper gentleman. I fell in love with him although we didn’t really work out. After that relationship with M, I concentrated on my studies.

During my third year in college, I was drawn to another guy who was from a different college. He was in his junior year taking up Biology. At that time, I just shifted courses and I was a sophomore taking up Nutrition. We dated for a while, but it didn’t work out at all.

A month after we stopped seeing each other, I met this girl from a class I was taking in a lower batch. I’d call her D. And that’s when I realized I was really gay. I realized that the reason why I can’t have a proper relationship with a guy is because I couldn’t picture myself being with a guy.

I was always intrigued by this girl in my class. One night, I went out with my classmates from this class and she was part of that group. We were having fun, drinking and chatting. We obviously had a little too much to drink because I found myself kissing her. That was the first time I ever kissed another girl. That night, we also admitted to each other that we had feelings for each other. But eventually, we didn’t really quite work out as lovers, although we are still good friends.

From that moment on, I accepted myself. I accepted that I’m actually gay, that I’m into other girls. I was happier with myself, I was more confident after accepting myself for who I am. I didn’t question myself anymore about who I was, about my sexual orientation.

To be honest, it was a struggle for me to accept myself because I always believed that being gay was wrong. That was what society taught me, that being gay is wrong, being gay is not normal, being gay is a choice, it’s just a phase. But actually, being gay is not a choice, it is not a phase, and it is most definitely not wrong.

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It takes time to accept yourself for who you are. Some may realize they are gay at a young age and have no one to talk to about what they feel. In our society today, one may think that being gay is wrong. Just like what I thought back when I was in high school. It took me a couple of years to accept myself for who I am.

To whoever is reading this, someone who’s in the closet, someone who’s out or maybe someone who’s still confused, I want you to know you are not alone. I believe that everyone goes through that phase where you question yourself, where you somehow can’t accept yourself because you’re afraid of what people might think or what your family might think. But once you’ve accepted yourself for who you are, some of the burden will be lifted from your shoulders.

Anna Franchesca Robles (you may call her Cheska) is currently taking up Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. She has this passion to make changes by inspiring people with her experiences. She is an LGBT advocate and staunchly supports gender equality.

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