Hi Im Josh, Your Son (My Coming Out Story)

June 27, 2018

As all my avid readers might know, I’m doing all LGBT related articles for this month in celebration of pride month. Since father’s day is also on the same month, I figured I should share how it all went down with my dad and how I came out. If you are an LGBT+ like me you’re sure to relate to this, if you’re a heterosexual, thank you for keeping your mind open in reading this. There’s a special message to all Dads with Gay Sons at the ending of this story so be sure to check it out if you are one.

Why I Concealed

Being bisexual, it was a bit easier for me to conceal the side of me that loves the same gender, I had genuine girlfriends publicly and had genuine boyfriends behind closed doors. You see I’ve always championed myself as someone who is true to himself, I never lied to anyone (Except my family but more on that later) people always ask me “my girlfriend ka ba?” or “sino crush mo?” but have never asked me directly if I like men too, so whenever I answered truthfully people just assume I claim to be straight, I know shady right? but hear me out.

Deep inside I’ve knowingly hid my attraction to the same gender for many reasons. Firstly, I always demand respect as much as I give it out, I understand that coming out would make me lose the respect I worked so hard to gain because of how people see the LGBT Community as second class citizens and only see us in this comedic light that no one ever takes us seriously thus incapable of gaining respect. I was raised to be an Alpha, all Padillas are, it’s like a mater of pride for us to always be the Alpha, and I knew that if I came out, my gender identity would be used as a weapon against me which then, I’m not prepared to take on effectively losing my Alpha status. (I know it’s a pride thing but it is our identity)

Secondly, I was raised to believe that being homosexual is bad, I even remember my grandma telling me “it’s sad to be gay, you wouldn’t have a family to be with, you will be all alone, no one will love you” this warning while ridiculous was effective, it made me scared to come out. I was always being punished whenever I begin showing feminine attributes, and is often made fun of by my own family. I was made to believe that being homosexual would bring shame to my family, which made me even more determined to hide it since I cant really do that to them, I love my family so much and hurting them was not an option

Lastly, I’m the only son, like literally the only one who is destined to carry the “Padilla” surname for generations to come. My dad’s half brothers, all had daughters, and I’m the only son left to carry the dynasty. This leaves a lot of pressure on my shoulders, as mentioned earlier, our clan is quite prideful. I then thought that settling down with another man would be detrimental to the hopeful continuation of the Padilla pride. 

How I Came Out

Everyone simply assumed I was gay because of the way I act, and talk so it was a bit easier to come out to the public. While I did have boyfriends in the past, I only officially came out to my friends, not less than 5 years ago, upon me finally entering into a serious relationship with this wonderful guy that I’m still with till this very day. When I told my friends, mostly heterosexual men, I kinda prepared myself for a lot of F.O.’s (Friendship Over) but to my surprise most, if not all were so accepting and loving, they welcomed my confession with open arms and supportive acts. I was living my best life, nothing changed, the respect that I had remained, people didnt abandon me, and everyone was taking me seriously still. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such people, this made me a lot more confident to embrace who I am. 

However my luck is didn’t last as long as I begin to experience some prejudices that came with being a homosexual outside college, people who didn’t know me in a deeper level categorized me in a stereotype that irks me till this very day, and it is as if all my fears have came to fruition, specially with people I just met. I must admit it disheartened me a lot, I begin losing confidence in myself, I begin trying to hide who I was once more, and starts questioning my descision to come out in the first place. I became so anxious as all the reasons why I hid it proved to be true. 

One day, in class, I contemplated on life and how hard it is, I looked at my professor and said to myself “Well, he’s openly gay, and yet people respect and look up to him, what is it about him that makes him so strong and dignified? is it his position? is it his family name? was it all his accomplishments?” then it dawned on me, the solution to my problem has been in front of me all along, I just needed to bring out my inner Alpha. This professor though openly gay is respected because he’s the very definition of an Alpha, a strong, independent, intelligent, and dignified person. 

So I tried my best to represent, I started studying hard to be respected in the academe (debatable), I exchanged my young and reckless lifestyle to focused and determined, I became responsible and more mature (again debatable). I’m doing all my responsibilities left and right, tried to accomplish impossible feats just to prove everyone that I am not just a homosexual, that I am a homosexual who can do amazing things, and not for long I became the boss b*tch that I’am meant to be and was able to command respect just by my attitude. 

While it was all starting to get good, and I’m getting the validation I so pathetically crave, there’s still the issue of my family not knowing who I am. A huge part of why I hid my sexuality for a very long time was because of them, I fear that my if my family were to find out, it will bring them shame, so much so that I even considered just ending my life once they find out to spare my self of all the hate from the people I care about most.

Hi I’m Josh, Your Son

It was a Wednesday, me and Jeff were on a break. I was heading to a friend’s birthday party, when I received a message from my dad, that says “… I’m mad because you are in a relationship with another guy” then everything around me stopped, the time, the traffic, the music that’s playing on the radio, it felt like the whole world just stopped. “This is it, this is it, my worst nightmare came true, they know” I kept on repeating to my self. I was in a state of shock and couldn’t move a muscle, when I was able to, I parked my car in a nearby bank, and just sat there for hours. Debating within myself whether to deny or admit it, weighing the pros and cons of each paths.

I calmed myself down and mustered up all my strength, I decided to just tell him the truth. But before that, being the extremely organized, well planned out guy, I made a few phone calls first. I checked all my finances, asked a friend if I could stay with him if should I need to, made a packing list, and budgeted all my possible expenses, this is so that I’ll be prepared if they decide to disown me. 

You see when a son is born, the father will automatically envision a life for his son, a life which will someday carry out his legacy, having to know that his only son will not be the son he envisioned is tough to most fathers, that’s why fathers are the hardest to accept when their son is gay. I explained the whole situation, I cried as I tell my father “yes dad, I am in a relationship with another guy” I explained every single detail, how it wasn’t a choice, how I feel, how I manage to keep the prejudices away, how I plan to still carry out the name, how this is not a disability, how I am still the same old Josh that they raised and how I understand his emotions towards that knowledge. At last I concluded my long message with “...I am still your son, I will always be your son, no matter if you hate me, or disown me, I will always be your son” He did not reply.

I went to my friend’s party since I badly needed a drink, at the time I didn’t tell them what was going on since I didn’t wanna steal the birthday boy’s thunder. So I plastered a smile on my face, but some problems are just way to big to hide, so I decided to just leave early rather than to ruin someones party. With nowhere to go to, I called up some of my high school friends if they could meet me at my favorite bar, and so they did. I told them everything and helped me out with my "Operation: Disowned Child” plans. 

As I was about to order my 4th mango daiquiri, my phone lit up. and it was a message from my dad, and I quote roughly “It’s ok son, I’m just scared for your well being, I’ve heard a lot of stories on how people treat people like you, I always want what’s best for my children, and if that is who you are, I support you, it is my life’s mission to make sure that my children can accomplish their dreams, I’am your father after all” I held my tears because of the robot that I am, but my friends could tell I was holding up my tears. I couldn’t in all my power reply all I could say is “Thank you daddy, I will make you proud somehow, love you"

I went home and excitedly showed my sister me and dad’s conversation, my sister was touched of how supportive our dad is with it. When it came to my mom, well we had a similar conversation not long after on our way home from Baguio.

The Aftermath

Coming out was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, I feel so liberated and free. Like a huge weight has lifted off of me. Now everybody knows who I really am, and that makes me happy. From hiding in the shadows to now using the platforms I’m blessed with to be vocal about issues that the LGBT Community is facing today. I’am happier and stronger than ever before, I can finally share my life stories with everyone and express my real thoughts to anyone without any hesitations. 

A Message to all Dads with Gay Sons

I have been lucky, some might even call it privileged with how my story went, but not a lot of people in the LGBT+ Community are as lucky as I am. Many face more depressing conclusions like being disowned, thrown out to the streets, forced to hide who they are, and even suicide. As the father, you are the toughest person your son can ever come out to, because of the expectations that you have upon us, while it is not your fault, it is nonetheless difficult. 

Once your son opens up to you about his sexuality, it shows courage, strength, respect and love. Coming out to a father about one’s homosexuality musters up a lot of courage, it is not something that is done in jest nor casually.  We always and forever will look up to our dads, as our support system, as our hero, as our savior, and as someone who loves us unconditionally (even if sometimes dads are emotionally distant) So please don’t shun nor disapprove your son when he comes out. I understand that it must be tough to handle let alone understand, but you should always try to be accepting and loving as it is your duty to protect your child not to further throw them into the ground. The world out there is already tough as it is for the LGBT Community, having the uneasy feeling of danger and unwelcoming vibes inside the “safety” of his own house can lead to serious permanent damages to ones being. 

Studies have shown that LGBT related suicides are often caused by their parents disapproval of their sexuality. So if you truly love your son, try to understand them, help them in the real world, protected them from harm, and nurture them, I assure you, you’ll be glad you did, maybe not now, but most likely in the future. 



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