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Tata: ‘Advocating for equality need not be a grand gesture’

In the spirit of Pride in the Philippines this December, LGBT people were interviewed in the hopes of showing a broader spectrum of the community. Meet 29-year-old Tata, who believes that “advocacy can take many forms – you can choose to do well at work or in school and already that is a step in the right direction in terms of positive representation. A difference is a difference is a difference no matter how small.”

Tata

Age: 29

What she does: Brand and Content Manager for a software company

Hobbies/Interests: hanging out at coffee shops with a good book or spending a Saturday night with friends, w[h]ining and dining over good conversation ; Writing

Goal in life: I would like to think I’m in the right direction in terms of achieving my professional goals. The romantic in me would like to one day do away with happy impermanence and marry the woman I’m going to adore for the rest of my life.

I’m glad that our voices are being heard. I’m proud of those voices for being brave and I wish that many more would join in the clamor, of course in ways that do not alienate us from the society that we want to be very much a part of. Factoring in decades of religious conditioning, it’s a long road ahead but I choose to look at the little victories like how the number of fundamentalists in the recent UP Pride March have decreased (word on the street even says there weren’t any) and that the number of supporters have doubled. These are the things that fuel us to embrace ourselves more.

Advocating for equality need not be a grand gesture of fire and brimstone. The advocacy can take many forms – you can choose to do well at work or in school and already that is a step in the right direction in terms of positive representation. A difference is a difference is a difference no matter how small.

At 23 I found myself enjoying the company of a girl who would become my first girlfriend. I may have had an inkling prior – and the fact that I haven’t been with a man ever is perhaps an indicator – but I never really explored the idea that I would one day fall in love with a woman. Being with her felt natural and right. I may have questioned it for a nanosecond and if there were any misgivings, they were pushed to the back burner almost immediately. I was having fun and I remember thinking that I’ve never felt more free. It was just a deep sense of recognition that you’ve arrived at a place that you’ve been looking for all your life. It was then that I knew…

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Being queer is not a choice. Given half the chance, I wouldn’t choose to be a lesbian. Who would voluntarily submit themselves to a life peppered with challenges at every turn? I won’t.

That we’re out to destroy the sanctity of marriage – this is the most ill-informed, ignorant notion there is and also the most debilitating to the community.

I’ve never given a damn about what other people think. I wear my colors proud within reason. I’ve always been very open about my sexuality… but sometimes I’m thrust into situations where it’s wise to just nod and smile knowingly. I understand the struggle and on a bad day, my baseline sarcastic self would always have a retort handy. However, I feel that we don’t always have to draw our swords in this fight for equality and acceptance. I respect that there will be people who will never come around or understand. It’s just how the world works.

Written By

A sure-footed wanderer. A shy, but strong personality. Hot-headed but cool. A critic of this propaganda-filled, often brainwashed society. A lover of nature, creativity and intellectual pursuits. Femme in all the right places. Breaking down stereotypical perspectives and narrow-mindedness. A writer with a pen name and no face. I'm a private person, but not closeted. Stay true!

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