You are my Christmas.

For so long, I’d forgotten how it felt like to look forward to Christmas Day. I always had to work, or had to go to a gathering I wasn’t excited about, or we just kind of sleep the day away. Those things are still part my Christmas equation, but it’s not so bad now. You have made things better exponentially. I love Christmas, and I love you, and spending Christmas Eve Eve and waking up on Christmas Eve next to you was absolutely perfect.

Like you said, we don’t know what’s going to happen, and we don’t know how our story will end. But we don’t read books to find out the ending, right?

But for now, let me just enjoy having you in my life. Let me watch you sleep on my couch at 3:30 am as I wrap last minute presents. Let me drag you to places I’ve always wanted to visit. Let me wake up in the middle of the night and watch you sleepily put covers on me when you think I’m cold. Let me spend time with your family and get to know how loving they really are. Let me get in a car and drive away with you. Let me take care of you when you’re sick. Let me love you the only way I know how – completely and unconditionally.

This season is my favorite time of the year, and sometimes it doesn’t live up to my excitement. But having you, waking up to you, being greeted with your smile – it’s like Christmas every morning. And lying down with you, whether under the light of our silver stars and the Christmas tree, or basking in the hectic glow of my TV screen, is the only way I would have wanted to spend the night before Christmas Eve.

There are moments when people just feel like the universe… likes them, and this year I feel like the universe is lining up stars and planets in my favor. God has been so good to me this year for giving me so much more than what I wanted, more than what I hoped for. And you are at the top of that list. This is gonna sound like a cliche (but let’s face it, everything I write is a cliche), but you make all the heartbreak and the mistakes I’ve made worth it, because they all led me to you. This year has been magical, and you, my love, were the center of all the magic. Christmas is about love and joy and believing in all good things. It’s about giving and peace and being with family. I’m glad that I have you to celebrate it with. You are my family. You are my Christmas.

I love you so much.

I just miss you.

Remember when I said you were my escape? How you take away the pain and stress and and burden of my work, of my family, of life? When I’m with you, life doesn’t exist beyond the comfort of your arms around me, beyond the ferocity of your hazel eyes. There is no restlessness. There is no hurt.

So what happens when I don’t get that break from reality? When for weeks all that I get to feel is mental stress, physical exhaustion, and the heartbreaking cases of very, very sick kids fighting for their lives? I get jaded. I get scared. I start to lose hope. I go to a dark place that I am sometimes not proud to admit even exists.

But you are the light in that darkness. Sometimes a few words from you is enough to keep me going, like a candle that lights up a house in a middle of a storm. And being with you feels like that bizarre 70 degree weather in November – warm and bright. You are a breath of fresh air, just what I need when my entire world is a raging sea and I’m struggling to tread water.

Not seeing you is ordinary. It’s inevitable. And the hours turn to days, and the days turn to weeks, and my need for you grows stronger. You have turned from someone that helps me get through a day into something that I cannot live without. You were caffeine, something I thought I needed to get through the day; something that helps me survive. But now you’re my drug, and I have to take a hit to get that high. Nothing is ever enough. And when it’s been too long, I shake, I tremble. I can’t think, I can’t function. It didn’t use to be like this. And this withdrawal – this intense need of a dose of you –  is scary, especially when I feel like I need it more than you do. Like you craving a specific flavor of ice cream. And me, I’m the junkie who sells her kidney to be able to afford my next hit.

I’m sorry if I’m being difficult or confusing. I was never good at explaining myself. So when you kept asking me what was wrong, I wanted to say all of this. I really, really did. But all I could think of was, “Nothing. I just miss you,” and I couldn’t even spit that out. Because all this comes from that, me missing you – when my bones ache to feel you again, and my hands search for that softness I can only find when your hair is between my fingers. All this comes from me craving your warmth, your fingers tracing lines on my skin. It comes from the look on your eyes when you look at me when you say things like, “You’re special to me.”  It comes from the sound of your breathing when you sleep, the one I vaguely remember. And how you slowly open your eyes and your lips mumble a slurred greeting.

I don’t need you to do anything, and I’m sorry if I scared you or had you worried, or if you felt guilty for some reason. Tears just come when they want to come, I guess. It’s nothing. I just miss you.

Mahal kita

When I left the Philippines, I had to leave some pieces of my culture behind – some pieces of myself behind. Everything changed, my family, my home, my plans, my dreams. And until recently, I didn’t realize that it also changed some of my expectations of love.

Like most girls growing up, I wondered what it would be like to be in love. From what I saw, it was sweet, slow, innocent. Culturally, that’s what it commonly was. I had in my head some images of traditional Filipino courtship, of how I imagined my future relationships would be. And then I left. And I had to leave those expectations behind. It wasn’t exactly easy to get used to a different view on relationships, but it wasn’t terribly hard. I didn’t mind it too much. There were a few things that I missed here and there, but none of it really mattered to me. 

Until you said, “Mahal kita.”

Words have always meant a lot to me. Not necessarily more than actions, but sometimes they get pretty damn close. And my culture is a huge part of who I am and why I do the things that I do. So it shouldn’t have surprised me how much power those two words had on me, how much weight they had when they rolled off your lips. I’m not sure you understood because I’m not sure I understood either. But I know that during those seconds, I felt like I got a glimpse of the kind of love I’ve always imagined, the kind of romantic love I grew up watching other people have. I didn’t think I would ever get that, and that would have been fine. But you have managed to tell me how you loved me in a way that meant a lot to me in so many different ways. No one has ever said that to me before, and you said it with urgency, with utmost sincerity, in a language that my entire being aches to hear.

That’s just so you, isn’t it?  Giving me a piece of you, sprinkled with tiny pieces of things that resemble me, too. And every time I think of that moment, I start to shake. That’s how powerful that moment was for me.

I hope this is making sense. And I wish I could have said this in person, but I don’t do well with expressing how I feel. I’ve been trying to find the words to tell you how much that meant to me, but it’s been weeks and I’m still struggling. So this will have to do.

And of course, mahal din kita.

 

How many ways can I say, “I miss you”?

It was hot and humid when I walked you to your car. The sky seemed to be mocking us, the sun shining in the exact opposite way I felt. You got in you car and left. I slowly walked back to my room.

The bed remained unmade, the sheets tangled. Our bodies still on the bed minutes – hours – after we’ve left. The pillows thrown on the floor with the same carefree abandon I felt when we woke up, not knowing, not caring, what the world outside my room was doing. I stayed on my side, and for days I wouldn’t be able to lie on your side. Because it was your side. Nothing but a pillow taking your place for now.

I laid my head down and felt cold. Is this what it felt like not to have your body on top of mine? Your finger prints on my skin have not washed off. The traces of your lips have not washed off. And I am reminded of your hazel eyes looking at me, searching, drinking it all in. When you kissed me with the ferocity of a thousand lions – passionate, urgent – all my breaths staggered, gasping, as you took my breath away. And you, holding me, pulling me in, far from the reality we’re putting off, as I discovered life in the nook of of your neck. My fingers lost in your hair as i remind myself to breathe.

And then you were gone. 

In Portugese, there is no way to say “I miss you.” There is only a way to say, “I feel your absence.” You are like the last song I hear before turning off the radio. The last few notes of a melody hanging in the air. You were playing in my head over and over again. It was the last form of you I had, and it lingered. You lingered.

Hell is holding you in my sleep and waking up alone. 

 

You Were My High, Then You Were My Low

And through everything, despite everything, I cannot forget the fact that you are a guy. That you have certain needs, needs that I’ve been depriving you of, I guess. That’s why the physical stuff is easy for you, tempting even. But I need this to be clear.

How much I care about someone and how much they care about me are directly related to how physical I want to be. It’s about how much I’m willing to give to a person. This is the one thing that I alone can give and no one (ideally) should have the power to take it away from me. In a world where people can have anything they want (instantly) and buy themselves anything they need, giving myself is the only thing I can give someone fully and completely. This is when I am most naked (literally and metaphorically) and most vulnerable. This is not something I just share with anyone.

So once I realized I wanted to be with you, that I wanted to make this work, the physical stuff came naturally. And yes, maybe it’s what most of our conversations gravitate towards, but that’s because we’ve only just begun and now you’re gone. We barely started being completely intimate, and then you had to leave for work. Kind of like how the last song you’ve heard keeps playing again and again in your head. This was the last form of you I had, and it lingered. You lingered.

Is that so bad?

What I Know

I don’t know much about politics,  or American history, or history in general. But I know that when your face changes from a chuckle and a smile to complete terror when we’re driving, you’re about to slam on your breaks and I should brace myself. I don’t know half of the American presidents, or even a third of them (let’s be real), but I know the veins that run through your arms so well that I’m confident they’re more familiar to me than my own. I can’t tell you where Israel is on a map, or really even Nebraska, but I know your smile feels like summer – warm, easy, comforting. And when that smile evolves into a laughter, it sounds carefree, full of abandon.

I don’t know beers like you do. I have no idea what IPA stands for, or what it is exactly. But I do know the color of the sky, that specific pink and orange, that night we sat on the porch of our new house as we ate pizza and said hi to everyone walking their dogs. I remember that perfect shade of blue on my birthday when we went to the lake near your parents’ house. I may not always remember which type of beer you like, but I always remember the orange glow of the streetlamp at night outside my room as it peeks through my curtains, during those nights I would lie so close to you I couldn’t tell your heartbeat apart from mine.

I will l never master Chemistry, Biology, Medicine, or Nursing. But I know that your presence helps me breathe. I will never forget the way your hair feels between my fingers, the way your tongue dances with mine, the way you gently but firmly grab the back of my neck. I will never let myself forget that.

There are so many things I don’t know. And there are so many things I don’t know I don’t know.  But I know how happy it made me when you whispered in between REM cycles,  “You mean a lot to me.” I remember the fear that followed, the nervous, tongue-tied chuckle I gave you in return. I wanted to say it back but I couldn’t, not without crying and I didn’t want to worry you.

Science is about finding answers. Medicine is trying to put those answers into practice. I don’t have all the answers to all medical questions, but I have a lot of answers about you. I don’t even think I know one-hundredth of what happens in the human body, but I know what happens in yours and what happens in mine. I know all too well what happens when my fingertips too lightly brush against your arm. I know the rhythm of your breathing when you’re sleeping, like a lulling hum for me when I can’t sleep.

I also know that I have a very limited time with you. And that somewhere in Virginia, someone will be lucky to get to see you drink coffee in the morning and watch you leave work to go home at the end of the day. Someone will watch you write brilliant things with those hands that I know so well. I know that someone will talk to you every day and not know the colors of your eyes. I don’t either. I know thay they’re blue, or maybe green, sometimes gray… I could never really figure that out. And that’s something I’m willing to continue to figure out.

I know that waking up every morning will feel even more foreign in my new room because you won’t be there. What I don’t know is how much I’m going to miss you. I can’t even pretend to imagine how much I’m going to miss you lying next to me, doing nothing, doing everything. What I don’t know is how much I’m going to hurt – to physically hurt – to feel the burning in my skin, the aching in my bones from the simple desire of just wanting to hold you.

I can’t count the number of months or years I spent wanting to be and actually being alone. But it’s also impossible to count the days I have spent being happy with you. There is something satisfying about asking you about you, about your day, about your family, like quenching a thirst to know things about you. And these days of adventures and finding answers may be cut short, but the way you made me feel is unquantifiable. The happiness I have felt these past few months cannot be contained in days, not confined in 24 hours, in a sunrise and a sunset. It’s counted in the little moments when I felt like the room can catch fire and I wouldn’t notice. In those moments when the hours felt like minutes, and the end of the day seems merely seconds away. It’s reflected in the way I feel about you, and how I slowly and then all of a sudden wanted you in my life every day. After you leave, I know it’s going to be hard. I know it’s going to hurt. But it’s going to hurt because it matters. Because it’s important.  Because you are important.

I don’t know a lot of things, but I know these. I hope you know them, too.

And in emails.

Me:
I don’t think I’m going to see you any time soon, so I guess we better talk now.

I try to be patient and understanding as much as I can, even when people are hurtful. But when I asked you what all the physical stuff we do meant to you, you quickly and with certainty said “Nothing.” Now I don’t remember the last time I was slapped in the face, but I vaguely remember it feeling that way. 

You managed to make me feel like I meant something to you, to making me feel cheap and used and disposable. For the first time since we started this, I’m thinking we’re not on the same page. Not just because being intimate means different things to us – that I can work with. But because I honestly don’t know what you think about us if the physical stuff has meant nothing to you. (And if that’s true, what’s going to happen when you’re 4 hours away and you really need to be with someone?)

I’m sorry I left abruptly. I waited until you fell asleep, but I had to get out of there.

Him:
I’m so sorry. That was a horrible thing to say, and not what I really meant. What I should have said was that the physical intimacy is special but that it isn’t what’s important to me. To me, physical acts can be performed by anyone and therefore overall/in general physicality isn’t an important or defining part of my relationships. What defines relationships to me is the bonds you share, the sacrifice you make for each other, how well you understand each other.

Physical intimacy can help convey or build those bonds, and I know that since you think about intimacy in a different way than me I’ve appreciated our intimacy. I haven’t always appreciated it enough, and last night was a stunning example of my incompetence to truly respect you like I should.

And I should have finished by saying I really wanted intimacy but that I was tired and in a bad mood. And when you asked me for a reason I was afraid of not having one so I made one up. I honestly am having trouble remembering the last things we said last night before falling asleep. Which means I should have listened to you (as usual) and gone to sleep.

The fact that the physical stuff isn’t as important to me is exactly why I think we could be ok. Because while i’d miss it, the most of important parts would still be in tact. Cuddling and spending time together would be sorely missed but we’d still have each other’s emotional support and shoulders to lean on

Me:
(After 15 minutes of silence)

Not really sure what to I can say anymore except that I just want to drive back to your house and fix this.

Maybe we were both just very tired last night and didn’t communicate very well. But I understand now. I’m sorry, too, that you’re dating a basket case.

Him:
I’d like that too, but I don’t think now is good time with your working tonight and my ading coming for career pep talk in an hour. But just being on that mindset is a big help from when I woke up and realized you were really gone Maybe we will be better off taking a break/calling it off until November. But we certainly can’t go out like this. Nah, I think you’re pretty sane.

Me:
Thank you for talking this out with me.

Him:
thanks for listening to me. And responding to make it a conversation. I think when something like this happens and someone wants to leave me, not talk, ect. What hurts even more is when I don’t get a chance to say i’m sorry

Me:
I’m sorry I bailed so quickly when I thought something was wrong. I don’t usually do that because I usually believe people (especially you) never mean to hurt me. But that just hurt so suddenly and quickly. And I guess I was tired too, because I was so quick to believe it despite the fact that I have reason to believe otherwise.

I don’t know, that feeling (cheap and disposable – that I now know was not at all what you meant) was so foreign to me that I didn’t really recognize it right away. And my first instinct was to get away from the cause of pain.

 Sorry.
 
Him:
That’s ok. But being THAT hurt I would have trouble sharing a bed too. I would have preferred you jarred me awake and asked me to explain myself or even “I hope you didn’t mean that, let’s talk in the morning we’re both tired”…but how many people in the world, in the heat of the moment, actually do that?
 
Me:

Ok, noted. Hopefully there won’t be a next time, but lesson learned. I will use my words. (And vice versa?)

Like I said, I was sure you didn’t mean to be hurtful so I tried to be understanding and even appreciative that you were honest. But after a few minutes, I just found myself crying when I couldn’t come up with an explanation for what you said.

It’s very hard for me to talk about stuff, especially on the spot. I’m learning a lot from you, but it’s still always a struggle. Every time we talk, all I want to do is.. not talk. I always have to force the words out and talk myself into saying how I feel and what I’m thinking. It’s a slow learning process. So I’m really sorry if that’s frustrating on your part. I’m trying, I swear.

Him:
We’re human, we’re learning.

It is necessary for this to be casual.

People ask me why things haven’t progressed yet. Why we haven’t progressed yet. It has been long enough, hasn’t it? But what is holding us back?

1) You’re leaving. We don’t know when, how, where to, what for, or really if ever. But odds are you’re leaving. And I can’t commit myself into something, into someone who I know is going to leave. What am I supposed to do with myself when you leave? If I give this and you everything that I can and want to, what will be left of me?

2) You keep saying yourself that we won’t last. That you won’t put money in us making it very far. That I shouldn’t prioritize you over my friends, because I’ve known them longer, and odds are they’ll be staying in my life a lot longer than you are. And you said it yourself. You’re not being pessimistic; you’re just being realistic. So again, why commit myself into something that will not last?

3) I’ve seen you at your worst. And your worst threatens to come out sometimes, and I’m not sure how to, and if I can, handle it. I just want to stop talking and stop listening, and go far away. Not really relationship material, this girl. I tend to bail.

4) It can get very, very complicated. We started this with the premise that we can’t do anything serious right now. That we both don’t want anything more than just having fun. I meant that, and I still do. If we call this what people want us to call it, then we’ll be asking questions. “Why can’t we hang out more?” “Why do we never have enough time together?” “Why does your sister disprove of this?” Things will get too real too fast. All the problems we’ve been shoving underneath the shallowness of just spending time together will all come out and engulf us. And I’m not sure we’ll survive that.

5) Maybe I’m just really not ready for it. You’re great. This is great. But I can’t have anything more than this, because maybe I simply do not want to have anything more. I want this, I want what we have. I want to keep doing things we’re doing. But maybe just not with you.

6) And maybe vice versa! I know that there are things we don’t agree on. There are things that I know you cannot stand, and even hate about me. There are things that we don’t see eye to eye on, and who knows maybe those things will eventually rip us apart. Maybe you’re better suited with someone else, also. Maybe you know this, too.

…Or maybe I’m just looking for a way out. Am I that broken? To run away from something, the only thing, that has remotely made me happy in a very, very long time.

It’s a lot to risk. It’s a lot to ask of me and of you. So can everyone blame us if we can’t define this yet? Whatever this is? So for now. let’s just keep this as it is: Casual.

 

On same-sex marriage

My friend Tyler sent me this text today.

“How do you as a Catholic come to terms with homosexuality. The church said bun in hell and actively campaign against marriages. You have gay friends and I imagine would happily attend their future weddings. If you could take it one step further: you being ok with homosexuality despite being born in the Philippines where bakla is an accepted comedy figure, but certainly not allowed to get married.”

And I responded with one of the longest emails I’ve ever sent anyone on my life:

 

This issue usually comes up when people realize that I have a lot of friends who are gay, and they ask me, “Would you ever go to their wedding?” And then it leads to the discussion of whether I’m against gay marriage.

There’s the short answer and the long answer.
The short answer, the TL;DR answer, is that of course I’m for it. I want people to be happy. Everyone should be able to love whomever they want for the rest of their lives, and they should get to celebrate that. Loving someone is such a rare occurrence, and who are we to deny someone that?
The long answer:
I know what the Church says, and we all know what the Bible says. But the thing is, there is no black and white answer. There rarely ever is. And this is something a lot of devout Catholics (that I know) continue to seek Truth about. There are things that ARE pretty clear-cut and black and white, but I don’t think this is one of them.
1) We don’t think gay people will go to hell. We don’t know who will go to hell, period. We can’t condemn people because that will be judging them, and that is something we should not do. Only God has the power and the right to do that when the time is right. Now the Bible does say who will inherit God’s Kingdom, but we as human beings do not know for sure who’s going to be in hell after death.
2) We do not hate gay people. We do not love them any less than we love any other person. I can’t speak for other denominations, but as Catholics, we are not taught to hate gay people, or anyone for that matter. If anyone who’s Catholic tells you that they hate someone because they are gay, then they are not Catholic. Because that is not what we believe. (Even long before Pope Francis told everyone this! Pope Francis merely reminded everyone.)
3) The Catholic Church, as you know, is all about Scripture and Tradition. So I understand the debate and the endless discussions and why a lot of people are conflicted about this. Tradition is something that is established by God Himself, something we can’t mess with. So I understand when people say that God intended a man to be with a woman. But I also understand that it’s not a choice to be gay. Scientifically, medically, it points to this theory. It’s not 100% proven yet, and I think that’s part of the reason why the Church still stands where it does now. A common belief is that it’s a phase/trial that will change with time. Or worse, it’s something that is wrong and can be fixed, like a syndrome. Either way, they are viewed as sinners (even if it’s not a choice – they are sinners who can’t help it), and that these “tendencies” are somehow a weakness. And what the Catholic Church teaches is that we are to love them as much as we love ourselves, and respect them like everyone else, and pray that they live righteously, meaning live in celibacy (pretty much).
Though I appreciate that more and more Catholics are being respectful about people’s sexual orientation, this is something that I still can’t fully understand. How am I supposed to love and respect someone, and deny them of one of the most beautiful aspects of life?
4) I think I’ve told you this before, so it might be a bit redundant (sorry!), but I think it’s necessary and very relevant to this topic. I told you about a book that I read, “Every Day,” and it’s about this being and how he/she wakes up in a different body every day. He/she calls him/herself “A”. “A” wakes up one day and falls in love with a girl. A continues to wake up in a different body every day (boy or girl) and is still in love with the girl. This reminds me of that  C.S. Lewis quote, “You don’t have a soul. You ARE a soul. You have a body.” This helped me understand that our bodies are merely outer shells, that yes, we are body AND soul and they come in hand in hand, but our souls are ethereal. They are little pieces of God, and they are what makes it possible for us to love. This is why animals (like our pets) do not have the ability to love, because they don’t have a soul. They get attached to us, but they do no truly love us. Our souls are what connects us to God. It’s our link to Him. (Animals do not have this relationship with God; they ARE a relationship with God.) So we, as human beings, are able to love because of our souls. Our bodies are important, but they really shouldn’t matter. We always talk about how two people in love don’t care about how the other looks, that if one day they look different, it’s not going to change how they feel, because they fell in love with the person. If that’s the case, then why does it matter if someone is male or female or identifies as something else?
5) Ok, this is now something that’s purely me, and I don’t know how other Catholics feel about this, and I will probably get into a lot of arguments about this. But the Bible is a really, really old book. And I’m not saying that because it’s outdated, it means it’s wrong. Because not all modern things point towards right things (and vice versa). What I’m saying is that the Old Testament is something that I have mixed feelings about. I know that some chapters condemn every day things like, women wearing pants, or getting a haircut. But these things were also associated with Pagan rituals and beliefs, that’s why they were banned. But I don’t really know enough about the teachings and the historical part of OT so I can’t really speak much about that… What I do know is what Christ teaches us. That many times, pharisees question Him and say that He is doing something that is the exact opposite of what the Scripture says. And Jesus just replies that He knows what they are taught, but now He is here, and this is how things should be (like working during Sabbath, stoning people to death, associating with sinners, etc).  But not once did Jesus even speak about being with someone of the same sex when He was on Earth! Not once. You know what he did say? “Love your neighbor as yourself.” and “Whatever you do unto my brothers, you do unto me.” and “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you,” His message of love is clear, and to me, that means treating other people the way I want to be treated.
6) The Church also has a very dark history. The ability of the Church to lay down what is true and we should believe (Magisterium) is still something that makes me uncomfortable. Having that much authority requires a lot of trust, and I trust the Church and its leaders. But like I said, we have a very dark history, and our leaders, no matter how Inspired they are (Inspired = moved and governed by the Holy Spirit), they are still humans. This is the same church that punished Galilee for saying that the Sun revolved around the Earth. (And it wasn’t until recently that we formally apologized for that!). What I’m saying is that the Church is still comprised of humans, and it will be difficult to reach a full understanding of love. It’s like trying to explain what music is using ONE song. Love is so much more than just one book, or one church. GOD is so much more than one church. Maybe I’m wrong about these things, maybe the Church is, I don’t know. But I stand by what I believe (for now, this is an ever-moving target for me, like a lot of things) because I know Jesus’ message of love. Having said that, no matter the question, I just go with one rule: love your neighbor as you love yourself.
So where does this leave us with same sex-marriage?
First, from what I understand, the Catholic Church doesn’t believe in the words “same-sex marriage.” It’s an oxymoron, because according to our Canon, “marriage” is a union between man and woman. So I guess by definition, it’s not something that can happen, again because it is something that is established by God. Now, as a human being who believes in the power of love, I think people can love and be with anyone they want to be with. As a Catholic, I believe that Matrimony is a Sacrament, an outward sign of God’s grace. Sacraments are done with God, through the priest, and us, being mere humans, don’t have the power to change any of that. If two people of the same sex get married, I’m not sure Matrimony really occurs, because by the nature of the Sacrament itself, the vows, the prayers, etc are tailored for a man and a woman. We didn’t design how it works, we just perform it.
I think if you ask most Catholics who are trying to find answers about this issue, they will agree that they won’t feel comfortable with two people of the same sex being married in a Catholic Church. And I 100% understand that. But a civil union, or a marriage through another church? I don’t see anything wrong with that. And I would totally attend that.
I don’t think you know this, but I did one of those things where you get ordained online. Haha long story. But anyway, those things are totally not legit (it doesn’t look like it?) but let’s say they were. A really good friend of mine from nursing school asked me that when she and her girlfriend were ready, she’s going to ask me to marry them. Haha. I’m not sure how serious she was, but if she did ask, I think I would do it. I would be honored to bring them together. So let’s pretend I did that, let’s pretend I ended up presiding over the ceremony (lol). The question is, do I think the Sacrament of Matrimony occurred? Of course not, because I’m not a priest and they aren’t Catholic and it’s going to be nowhere close to a Catholic wedding. But is there merit to what we did? Absolutely. It’s them sharing their vows, and telling the world they love each other, and that is enough. It’s similar to going to church with Faith (who’s not Catholic). There is no Sacrament, but it still means something, the message (of love) is still there.
As for being Filipino and gay marriage…
I grew up with a few gay uncles, and gay playmates etc. So it’s not like it was super taboo where we came from. But it is something that parents beat their kids up for because they think it’s wrong. As for me, I never understood what the big deal was. Every gay person I knew was cooler and funnier and more talented. Good for them! That’s how I thought about it. But I never really evaluated what it meant as far as marriage or relationships or regarding my faith.
Growing up, the only same-sex relationships I saw were between gay guys and straight guys, and girls in my school.
1) I went to an all-girl Catholic school (St. Paul College Pasig) until 7th grade. And for some reason, our campus was more open to same-sex relationships (or at least being attracted to the same sex) than other schools. For some reason, there were just more relationships. Don’t get me wrong, people still got kicked out if they were caught doing something inappropriate, but our school was kind of known for these things. So girls would crush on other girls, and start dating each other, or what would pass as dating in 6th and 7th grade haha. I mean, my first kiss (an innocent peck on the lips) was with a girl. (surprise! lol)
2) When I was a freshman, one of my good friends from college was scouting guys in the diner and said, “Who’s your friend? He’s really cute.” And my other friend said, “I know! But he’s straight.” and my friend replied, “I know.. They always are.” And I remember thinking, does it matter??? Because growing up, I just see gay people in ‘relationships’ with straight guys, purely to hook-up. Straight guys date them to get money out of them (I kid you not.) and that’s the arrangement that they have. So I actually have never been that exposed to many same-sex long term relationships that are based on love and commitment.
So I didn’t really have much experience or knowledge about same-sex relationships growing up. My Filipino culture really has very minimal influence on my beliefs when it comes to gay marriage (and other things), because again, most of it is just Traditional beliefs. We believe it because we’ve believed it for so long. Everyone believes it so we don’t feel the need to educate ourselves about these things and to defend it when necessary. Basically, I think me being Filipino has very little to do with my stand on gay-marriage.
This turned into a monster of an email. Sorry! I don’t think I’ve shared this much about my belief about something with anyone before. Also, I’m sorry if all this doesn’t really answer any of your questions. But like I said, this is something I still research on  and read about and talk about. I’m sorry I got super tired halfway through this so I’m not as coherent and articulate as I wanted to be. And can’t really keep my eyes open anymore, but I hope this kinda sorta helps a little!
Aaaaaaand sent.