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Growing up bisexual in Batangas

Delmar Banaguas Cupit, 19, knew he’s #bi even when he was young. People weren’t always accepting, some saying #bisexuality is an “act”; but he says they should acknowledge “we can decide for ourselves.”

This is part of #KaraniwangLGBTQIA, which Outrage Magazine officially launched on July 26, 2015 to offer vignettes of LGBT people/living, particularly in the Philippines, to give so-called “everyday people” – in this case, the common LGBTQIA people – that chance to share their stories.
As Outrage Magazine editor Michael David C. Tan says: “All our stories are valid – not just the stories of the ‘big shots’. And it’s high time we start telling all our stories.”

Delmar Banaguas Cupit knew he’s bisexual even when he was still in primary school. Even then, “I was attracted to both men and women.”

His parents initially didn’t know he’s bi, “though I knew they wouldn’t have liked this,” said the second of three kids. “But they’re now slowly accepting I’m bi.”

No, “I didn’t come out to them, but they noticed I acted differently. When I moved, I was effeminate at times. At times I was more masculine.”

Fortunately for him, though, none in his family hurt him for being bi. “No one even said anything bad to me.”

Sadly for him, “in the community, discrimination couldn’t be avoided.”

Particularly, “some people said I was just pretending to be bi so I could be with women, and molest them.”

But even when he heard discriminatory words, Delmar said he stayed true to himself. “When you’re true to yourself, people will eventually accept you.”

In hindsight, Delmar said it was hard growing up bisexual in Batangas. “Here, there are people who say that being bisexual is an act.”

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Delmar is now taking up Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in Mathematics. “I took this course because a lot of people have math anxiety. I took this to challenge, to improve myself.”

Besides, “I will use this to show people that just because I’m bi, it doesn’t mean I won’t achieve anything in life. I will use this to inspire people. To share to them what I know. And share to them what I went through in life.”

Delmar was 17 when he had his first BF; they broke up, and he’s single now. At least for now, “I also want a bisexual partner. I tried wooing a girl, but that was only for a while.”

With girls, if they can’t accept his bisexuality, this becomes an issue. Still, “I dream of having a family. I want to have kids, have a wife.”

In retrospect, Delmar said that “for men and women to accept bisexual people, they need to truly accept them. They should remember they won’t live with the gossipmongers, but with the bi person they will be with.”

Delmar thinks finding love is hard for LGBTQIA people. “There are men, for example, who don’t accept LGBTQIA people.”

He knows that there are transactional relationships. But for Delmar, “real love is not transactional. If God gives unconditional love, why should men expect payment? People should just share love.”

It is, actually, also finding a person who will truly accept a bisexual person that Delmar said is the big issue for bisexual people in Batangas.

Unfortunately, this is not something that any LGBTQIA organization – particularly locally – help deal with.

Still – and at least – “LGBTQIA organizations help deal with discrimination and giving advice to LGBTQIA people to help better their lives.”

His message to younger LGBTQIA people? “Follow your heart. Be true to yourself. Accept yourself so others will accept you.”

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He knows, tough, that not everyone is accepting of LGBTQIA people.

“What I can say to those who still do not accept LGBTQIA people, or 80% of the population who still don’t accept us, is for them to slowly accept us. We’re also humans. We also feel. We’re part of this world. And we’re also children of God.”

To parents – in particular – who do not accept LGBTQIA kids, “accept them slowly, and don’t hurt them or do them harm just to ‘straighten’ them. Accept them completely because they were given to you by God.”

At 19, he knows other may think he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

But Delmar said that, yes, that’s true, “but we already have our own decisions in life. Even young people think things through. So we can show 100% that we are capable to decide for ourselves.”

The founder of Outrage Magazine, Michael David dela Cruz Tan completed BA Communication Studies from University of Newcastle in NSW, Australia; and Master of Development Communication from the University of the Philippines-Open University. He grew up in Mindanao (particularly Kidapawan and Cotabato City), but he "really came out in Sydney" so that "I sort of know what it's like to be gay in a developing, and a developed world". Conversant in Filipino Sign Language, Mick can: photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write (DUH!), shoot flicks, community organize, facilitate, lecture, and research (with pioneering studies under his belt). He authored "Being LGBT in Asia: Philippines Country Report", and "Red Lives" that creatively retells stories from the local HIV community. Among others, Mick received the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 2006 for Best Investigative Journalism, and Art that Matters - Literature from Amnesty Int'l Philippines in 2020. Cross his path is the dare (guarantee: It won't be boring).


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