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.”
Leovy Mingi Dulay, 19 from Mogpog, Marinduque, always saw himself as effeminate even when he was young, even if “I started identifying as gay when I became a teenager. I knew I’m gay because I felt it.”
The youngest of two kids, Levy was not immediately accepted by his family. “But they eventually realized my importance as a gay person who is also their child,” he said.
One time, “my grandma once told me I’m still young, and that I still have time to find the ‘right’ girl for me. I told her, ‘Grandma, I know you want to have a grandchild from me. But I can’t promise you I’d marry a girl.’ She insisted: ‘You still have time. You still have time to think.’ But by now she already realized that I am 80% sure I won’t marry a girl.”
Leovy is now in his second year in college (taking up Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, major in food technology). He is somewhat okay now, but “I experienced a lot of bullying in junior and senior high school,” he said. “Nothing physical happened. It was more on verbal and emotional bullying.”
Leovy’s personality as a gay person started developing when he was in senior high school. “The gay people I was with taught me how to deal with those kinds of situations. They told me not to retaliate all the time. Because if you do, they fight back; they don’t want to be beaten. So I learned to just ignore them. They’d soon get tired; and then they’d realize our value as LGBTQIA people.”
Leovy is in a relationship now. He met the guy through chatting first, and “it evolved from there.”
Leovy thinks “it’s hard finding love here because you can’t tell for sure what the other person is really looking for. You don’t know if he’s looking for a woman, or he’s okay with a gay guy. You don’t know if he’s kind or not.”
Leovy said that he is usually with older gay people, not younger gay people like himself.
“When it comes to love, there are times when older gay people could be obsessed with love. They give everything for love. Younger gay people also give everything, though maybe not financially, just the love. Giving and receiving are parts of relationships. But when only one gives or receives money, that’s already wrong.”
FINDING A COMMUNITY
As part of an LGBTQIA organization, Levy said that organizing is important since the LGBTQIA group “can unite us, instead of LGBTQIA people fighting… over men. It’s better to have a group that helps deal with your problems. It can also inform us how to help our community.”
For now, “I noticed how many gay people in Marinduque focus on finding men. Not all, but I see some. And these men take advantage of gay people. Like when there are gatherings, these men harass gay people.”
Leovy wants younger LGBTQIA people in Marinduque “to join groups that will have good influence on them.”
And to people who still don’t fully accept LGBTQIA people in Mogpog, “if you know LGBTQIA people do no harm, or don’t hurt others, just think of the good things other LGBTQIA people did to the community,” Leovy ended.