Coming Out

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By Angelo Esperanzate, contributor

I’ve always felt that my mom knew I was gay. I can’t count how many times she’d confronted me in some way in the past, often weird and funny, but I’d always denied it.

It’s hard. It’s true that the Philippines is slowly becoming a more accepting society, embracing the world of gay people. However, it is still easing itself into recognition and reception of homosexuality on a nuclear family level. Bitter is the flavor that the country tastes when discussions of homosexuality come up. But at least there are talks, right?

I’m lucky. I am one of the fortunate few who have relatives who are open to the idea of diversity. Truth be told, I think they rejoiced in the fact that I finally came out. I told my mom one night that I was going to be out on a date. At around half past nine, my mom called and asked if my date was done. Since I was near her office, she offered a ride home. I said yes. When she arrived, I introduced my date, and she didn’t even flinch when I introduced her to a guy. She handled it pretty well, I believe.

I didn’t really plan it. I just came to a point in my life where I was comfortable with whom I really was and I wanted the people I love in on it. People praise me for my bravery about telling the truth, but I don’t see it that way. I actually took the easy way since my family already kind of knew about it. It just took me a while to be comfortable with admitting it to myself. For all I know, my mom was rooting for me to be gay. But she’ll never admit that.

So, here are the points that I can share about when you finally decide to come out.

Author Angelo Esperanzate


For me, this is the most important of all things to consider when coming out. I wanted to be free of the lying; that’s why I told my mother. But what’s your reason? What is your end goal for coming out? If you know the good and the bad that’ll come of it, is it worth it?

Some people might be disillusioned when they come out to their peers and encounter bigotry and hate, in contrast with the stories of people who successfully came out without any problems. If they know their intention for disclosure, they’d have something to hold on to if and when what they want to happen doesn’t come to pass. Remember, this is still a very conservative country. If you have a foundation of purpose to hold on to, the details of coming out will soon fall in to place.

It doesn’t hurt to have hope. Just be realistic, and keep faith in your reasons.


Whom should you tell? Who are the people you should trust with your sexual preference, gender association, or choice of whom to love? It all depends on your goal. Like in my previous point, you have to ask yourself the question: why do I need to tell them?

For some people, they don’t really care about who finds out. It’s their business, anyway. But if you really want to start off small, always start with people who will understand. Others say, start with your closest of friends, but there are times they’re the ones who are first to judge. I experienced this first-hand. So, think before you talk. In my experience, it’s always easier to disclose to someone whom you know is gay as well. Just make sure that person isn’t going to spill. Again, it’s a trust thing.

When, where, how?

If you’ve got the first two down, I think these next three are just minor details that’ll come to you. You might find yourself talking about random stuff and then you decide to just go ahead and share. You could plan it, yes; others choose to go that route. But more often than not, it’ll just make itself felt and wham, bam, thank you Ma’am, you’re good to go.

Just one more thing: don’t force yourself. It’ll happen. Always remember to go back to the reason behind telling people that you’re gay. Coming out of the closet isn’t the easiest thing to do, and you want to make sure that you have people to catch that trust fall you’re making.

You don’t have to make a big bang. You could, but you don’t have to. Just be mindful that if you do decide to come out, you won’t feel the need to go back in. Be strong, because it does get better.

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