When ‘Marry you’ plays

Society plays a vital role in shaping the way we view the world, including how we perceive and accept love in all its forms.

Maybe, marriage isn’t for me to pursue.

During weddings, people see sparks of joy as couples come together. The celebrations become more bountiful and memorable when the church bells begin ringing, rose petals start falling, and Bruno Mars’ Marry you starts playing. Just like every other kid who attended their first wedding celebration, I started hoping that one day, I would get to witness such an event with my significant other.

However, a bittersweet feeling started brewing within me the more I attended weddings. While I always appreciated the warm company, I felt disdained because all I saw were celebrations for the union of a man and a woman.

It was only ever the bride walking down the aisle with her gown and a man wearing his suit. Even for guests, people were divided between sexes; there are male ring bearers, flower girls, best men, maids of honor, and bridesmaids. Just like how everyone was divided, I realized that these events were always binary, painted in black and white cases by societal norms.

As I grew older, I felt more and more pressured to have a partner of the opposite sex. Every time I would attend family reunions and parties, I would hear the question, “May girlfriend ka na ba?” from my grandparents and godparents. Their remark made me feel like I already needed to prepare myself for marriage as I progressed through adulthood.

I didn’t want to tell them that the reason why I still didn’t have a partner was because of my sexuality. So instead, I made myself busy by partaking in multiple organizations and activities, so I could at least use my tight schedule as a reason for not having enough time to be in a relationship.

It was only during my time in senior high school that I started hearing stories of same-sex relationships and marriages. Although it was encouraging, I still didn’t want to come out because some of the people around me still think conservatively.

It’s hard to desire true love if the environment I grew up in didn’t make this possible or acceptable at the very least. So I kept most of my feelings to myself and shared them only with the people I trusted so that I could still stay in touch with my authentic self.

As of the moment, I can at least live with peace of mind as societal norms are slowly becoming more inclusive. It fills my heart knowing that today’s children aren’t bound to see only heterosexual relationships like I did.

I can only wish for myself to be in the shoes of proud LGBTQ+ couples. Although I may not be actively supporting them in public, I salute them for being brave enough to show their true colors and giving people hiding behind the closet—including myself—a beacon of light.

But even with rays of hope, the Philippines still has a long way to go in accepting queer communities. Up to this day, the SOGIE Equality Bill remains pending in the Senate, ultimately leaving members of the LGBTQ+ community threatened as discrimination persists. There aren’t also any compromises that legally recognize same-sex relationships as civil unions and domestic partnership benefits are still non-existent in the country. Only time will tell whether the new administration will take further steps in securing the rights and opportunities of the community. But for now, the light at the end of the tunnel seems bleak.

I may have prevented myself from truly expressing my emotions and feelings, but I do not want to remain in this disposition—in this state. I do not want younger generations to feel insecure and unrepresented. Even if I may not be publicly conveying my support, I hope that writing this piece anonymously will provide people with hope and encouragement.

I further extend my gratitude to those fighting while still inside closets. As long as we fight for our rights and expressions alongside LGBTQ+ advocates and allies, the world will come to a point where all forms of love will be wholeheartedly accepted.

The LaSallian

By The LaSallian

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