Follow Your Heart

As someone who is confused about his sexual identity, growing up in a very conservative Filipino family is a challenge, especially when you are an achiever. Everyone’s expectation is very high! You cannot make mistakes because everyone’s looking up to you – not just your family members, but the entire community you live in.

Knowing that I am not “straight” growing up, I had to study hard and be an achiever in all aspects — hoping that the day I tell my parents about who I truly am and what I really feel deep inside, it won’t matter anymore. That what they would focus on are my achievements.

As a ”normal teenager,” I experienced having girlfriends. My parents and my friends were so happy about it. My high school teachers were ecstatic. Every time there’s a school meeting, they would not fail to tell the girls in our school that if they want a boyfriend, they should find someone like me who is an achiever and very active in extracurricular activities. (I graduated as Class Valedictorian in both Elementary and High School, and was also the President of the Student Organization).

Things changed when I got to college. That’s when I started to experiment and finally indulged in my urge to experience what it’s like to be in a relationship with the same sex. I used to be the one who takes extra care of girlfriends, but now being taken care of is the sweetest feeling I ever felt. It feels good to have someone who takes care of you and I truly believe that everyone is destined for someone! Trust me, the right person will come!

Right now, I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost three years and we are living together. What’s amazing is that both of our parents and family members are now okay with our relationship. He spends Christmas with me and my family and in turn, I would spend New Year with him and his family.

It’s okay to be afraid of uncertainties, but if we truly want to be happy, we should follow our heart. After all, love is love regardless of what other people say.

— Tristan