[Note: Like CC, I forgot to sign up, too, for this collective blogging event. But I'd like to pitch in, anyway, by reposting my own story.]
[To the TODAY editors, June 1995]: Thank you for publishing the incredibly homophobic, galactically stupid letter of one Cris Villahermosa II expressing the “waves of loathing and revulsion” he felt over Gerard Ramos' apparent penchant for what's “in between Mel Gibson's legs.” Allow me to answer him in kind.
Dear Mr. Villahermosa: Hey, asshole, nice phrase, but you can't imagine the waves of loathing and revulsion that equally hit me as I read your letter.
Not only are you an ignorant, narrow-minded dope; your values are also screwed up pretty bad. You can't believe there are respectable gays? Why, this may shock you and shatter your self-righteous “straight” sensibilities, but my friends and I happen to be gay and are living full, happy and self-respecting lives. Far more happy and secure, I bet, than the miserably prejudiced, hate-filled existence you are barely able to hack on this planet.
Most of us are no better or worse than straight people--we pay our taxes, we work hard, we nurture our families and children--but at least no gay I've met so far has ever wished on anybody the unspeakable fate of the Holocaust victims. You have, and my oh my, you tell us you're a “normal” guy?
Honey, we're no sickos. You are.
And since you seem to wax orgasmic at the thought of Hitler butchering homosexuals and other “inferior” races, tell me, how do you think you would have fared under him? Ha, I'd love to see how your dear old Adolf would've treated a flat-nosed, brown-skinned, pudgy little non-Aryan like you!
No, Mr. Villahermosa, we're not about to take any more shit from you or from anybody else about us. By the way, my gay AND straight friends and I are curious: why the “revulsion” at the thing between Mel Gibson's legs? You sound as if it's so alien to you. Were you born without it?
GILBERT H. CADIZ, Makati City
The letter got published a day after I faxed it to the paper.
And just like that, I was out--never to return to that horrid closet. If you'd like to hear the story of what led me, at 25 years old, to finally kick the door open and write this enraged letter, tune in to Part 1 of our new Troika podcast. Migs and McVie also share their own “volt-out” stories.
Part 2 has more of our thoughts on coming out, e.g., dealing with hostile family and friends, doing it the “strategic” way, why come out at all, reconciling gayness and faith, etc. For levity's sake, I couldn't help injecting into the mix these two coming-out anecdotes (tell me which generation you belong to):
Son: “'Nay, bakla po ako.”
Mom: (Crying) “Kasi naman ikaw, anak, di ka nagsisimba!”
Son: “'Nay, bading po ako.”
Mom: “Hmmp, nakikiuso ka lang.”