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Maureen: ‘Learn to love yourself before anyone else’

Meet Maureen, here as part of #KaraniwangLGBT, which Outrage Magazine launched to offer vignettes of LGBT people/living. “Love your parents while they’re still alive,” Maureen says. But what if they don’t love you back? “Then the hell with them! Learn to love yourself before anyone else.”

This is part of #KaraniwangLGBT, 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 LGBT 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.”

Growing up in the province, Maureen recalled how she used to be punished for being effeminate.

“What were the punishments?” I asked.

Ayun, pinapunta sa bukid para magtanim (I was made to go to the farm to plant crops),” she said. And then with a laugh: “Ending, nilandi ang mga farmers (I ended up flirting with the farmers)!”

In 2006, she moved to Manila.

Mahirap din ang buhay dito. Kung may salapi, happy; kung wala, sorry (Life is hard here. If you have money, you’ll be happy; if none, you’ll be sorry).”

But at least for now, she can’t see herself anywhere else.

Having been away from her parents, she said: “Mahalin mo ang magulang mo habang buhay pa sila (Love your parents while they’re still alive).”

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“But what if your parents don’t love you?” I asked.

BAHALA SILA (Then the hell with them)!” she laughed.

Then she turned serious. “Matutunang mahalin ang sarili (Learn to love yourself) before anyone else.”

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