By Reighben Labilles
Marlon Toledo Lacsamana , I have lived and died and remade myself so many times, and created as many iterations of myself until I got it right. I was so consumed with cutting ties and moving on from stressful people and situations that I failed to see creepy things happening about us and the advocacy we used to share.
Dear God, who the fuck are these Pinoy Templars? They’re freaking profiling us, not just you and me, and talking about us like we’re some insidious threat to society! Just look at what they posted online:
This is just so utterly creepy and weird. I found them online when I googling myself (that’s another story for another time)…
The thing that a number of hardcore conservatives fail to realize is that we do not want to impinge on their right to have an opinion or express their beliefs. What we want is to help establish laws and a society where it would be illegal to make someone’s life miserable (or at extreme cases, non-existent) just because we don’t conform to their belief about morality, God, laws, and society.
All I seek as a gay man, born and made this way by Nature, and by the Divinities that Govern Man, is that I am able to live a peaceful life where my happiness and ability to love and ability to function and grow in society is not curtailed by anyone else. My gayness does not deprive conservatives of their religious freedom. They are free to believe whatever they want, as is their right in a democratic state – where the rights of the minority are protected despite the prevailing opinion of a majority.
In the exclusivism of their religious establishments, organizations, and prayer groups, they are free to vocalize their doctrines – so long as they do not spread hatred and malice and violence about people who do not belong to their neat perceptions of reality.
To any conservative who may stumble upon this post, I ask you to think of this:
1) Recognize that what you believe about God is but through the writings and sermons of men – fallible and imperfect as anything on earth. What they may have written, said, and passed on may be divinely inspired, but it was still filtered through their very human mind.
2) That human mind has gone through many cycles of exposure, immersion, and reflections to many beliefs and experiences, some of them good like the concepts of selflessness, compassion, unconditional love, forgiveness, and kinship. Many of them more damaging then good, like beliefs that certain races, sexes, and identities are either abhorrent, inferior, or aberrant, like misogyny, homophobia, racism, classism, religious intolerance, et cetera.
3) Now visualize that you are in the presence of an omnimax god, all knowing, all and ever present, and all powerful, an entity who is the summation of everything, would you think that such a being would:
Hate and condemn a man or a woman for loving and being attracted to the same sex?
Hate and condemn a man or a woman for expressing their inner identities and world views?
Hate and condemn a man or a woman for enacting this love and attraction to others in a mutually- consenting manner?
Conflate/mix-up concepts of these natural occurrences to actual acts and states of sexual misconduct and abuse?
4) And now consider this: the Christ taught his followers to not judge, to not condemn, but to understand, to forgive, to accept, and to love. In the context of that dictum, where do your opinions of LGBTs stand? Have you looked at it objectively? And please do not immediately think of us as sex offenders, there are far more straight men AND women who have violated the opposite sex, and the youth.
5) When you think about it, I as a gay man, with husband and keeping a quiet life, trying to make it in this world, who did I hurt by simply being me?
6) And then think about our situation, a world where often denying who we are is the safest way to go so we don’t get killed, kicked out of school, fired, or driven from our homes. Isn’t that the greater injustice as compared to the conservatives’ feeling of being offended?