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Op-Ed

Worrying about your very existence as part of everyday for a typical homosexual

Cheska Robles writes about the difficulties of coming out, considering how many people continue to frown upon LGBT people. “I worry. I’m sometimes scared because sometimes, when people find out you’re gay, they suddenly change their perception of you,” she says.

It’s funny how you can sense when someone is awkward when they see same-sex couples being or acting like normal couples. Today, I was at this coffee shop and saw these two girls who seemed to be in a relationship. It was pretty obvious that they were in a relationship or maybe just dating because one of the girls had her arm around the other. I saw this guy was about to sit on the chair facing them, but then he saw them and he gave them THAT look many straight people usually give, and sat instead on the chair facing away from them.

That action itself by that person made it pretty clear to me that he didn’t like what he saw. Maybe if it were a straight couple, he would have changed his seat. He might have just stayed there since all he was doing was watching videos on his phone. And since he was just watching on his phone, he shouldn’t have minded that there was a lesbian couple in front him acting like a normal couple. Honestly, the two didn’t even seem to be too touchy with each other, and they weren’t like the usual straight couples we see who – as we say – needs to “get a room”. They were just talking and being happy with each other’s company.

On Twitter, I saw a post a friend of mine made. She was saying that she can’t seem to show her love to her girlfriend because she’s somehow afraid of what her co-workers might think, what her students might think, what the parents of the students might think, that if someone from her work sees her, her boss might know and she might lose her job. That’s a lot of worrying. This is one of the reasons why it’s difficult to come out, especially if you’re in a new work place and you are not sure if the people you work with are accepting of members of the LGBT community.

Worrying about what people might think has become a part of the everyday life of a typical homosexual. When you’re with your partner, sometimes you worry about what strangers might think of you. You worry about making people uncomfortable. You tend to worry about how people will perceive you.

It’s a lot worse when you see people you know who do not know you’re gay. You become afraid of what they’ll say to you, you become afraid of what their judgment of you will be. When it’s work related, you become afraid of your boss finding out and possibly losing your job when your boss isn’t okay with it.

I constantly worry too. I constantly worry about what people think when they see me with my girlfriend. I worry when someone who knows someone from my family will see. I worry. I’m sometimes scared because sometimes, when people find out you’re gay, they suddenly change their perception of you. It’s like for them, they don’t know you anymore just because you’re gay. This shouldn’t even be the case. Our orientation shouldn’t even determine what kind of work is suited for us. Our orientation shouldn’t have us lose our jobs. So what if you’re gay? That doesn’t mean your work habits are bad. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It doesn’t really mean anything. Being gay is just like being straight. The only difference is one’s orientation.

It makes me wonder why it seems so difficult to accept that same-sex relationships are the same as heterosexual relationships. Why do people think that being gay is not normal? Why do people cringe when they see same-sex couples show their love for each other? It’s the 21st century and I think it’s about time that people start accepting that homosexuality is normal. I mean yes, I cannot force people to believe that homosexuality is normal, but people can’t force me to believe that homosexuality doesn’t exist or isn’t right. We all have our own opinion about homosexuality.

But where do we begin? How do we begin? How do we begin to accept each other’s opinions? We can’t always push people to accept homosexuality and they also can’t push us to believe we are wrong.

Anna Franchesca Robles (you may call her Cheska) is currently taking up Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. She has this passion to make changes by inspiring people with her experiences. She is an LGBT advocate and staunchly supports gender equality.

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