So yesterday was the Manila Pride March 2008 in Malate, Manila. I’ve gone to a June White Party once years ago, but never been to the December March. And I don’t think I’ll ever go to one in the near future. I guess being discreet and partly closeted means that one would naturally shy away from attending such “out, loud, and proud” affairs. But it’s not for lack of appreciation; I fully support equality and gay rights, like when I lamented the passage of Proposition 8 in California and condemned the raids on gay establishments. However, looking at the whole thing, the right question to ask regarding the Pride March is, “Are you proud to be PLU?”
My answer is no: I’m not proud to be PLU. But, I’m neither ashamed to be one. While I’m a proud Filipino and a proud alumni of my University, I don’t feel the need to have pride in my sexual orientation. I’ve gone through the phase where I could not accept that I was attracted to guys and I’ve eventually learned to accept myself for who I am, but I don’t think that it’s important to flaunt it.
I will admit that the reason why I am still mostly in the closet and why I try to be discreet is I don’t like to be discriminated against. I also don’t like people gossiping about me behind my back and to have their impressions of me clouded by their perceived stereotypes. I know it would be better in the long run if I come out and then educate the people around me about People Like Us and shatter their stereotypes, but my life is complicated as it is right now and I don’t want the added drama.
That said, is it possible to be proud while still being in the closet? I cannot answer that question personally, but one thing’s for sure: learning to accept and love oneself is the first step, and I certainly got that.
Photo from the Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center at Flickr.