Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Oh Brother

I received the following message on Facebook from an 18-year old who follows The McVie Show. At first I started composing my reply also on FB, but as my answer got lengthier, I decided I’d just blog about it. Let’s call him Eighteen, and here’s his message:

hello sir mcvie. Sorry to bother you but i just want ask for some advice. Recently, i just told my brother that i have a boyfriend. As much as possible kasi i want to be open to my brother (and i think he’s a bi because he had a bf too before but now he’s dating women again) i was expecting that he would be supportive of me, that he would be fine with my current relationship. But my expectations weren’t met. He wants me to stop seeing my bf. He wants me to be “normal” and that disappointed me. Sobra. i even cried in front of him.

I’m young and i don’t know if this kind of road is what i want. But what i know is that i love my boyfriend. Yung support ng brother ko lang naman yung gusto ko. and it’s depressing na he would react like that..

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Dear Eighteen,

First of all, thanks for reaching out to me. As you know, I’m not a counselor nor am I trained to be one. I can only dispense advise according to what I know, and in the manner that I am familiar with. Given that, please consider me as just one point of view. Feel free to ask others (and I sincerely hope you do have others you can talk to). If you want, seek out counselors also.

Now here’s what I think.

Just because they love you doesn’t mean they will always agree with you. Do not expect that the ones closest to you will automatically be supportive. Different people have different reasons, different points of view, and different values. Let us assume that your brother is bisexual. Just because you and he share the same interest in guys doesn’t mean that he also thinks like you. He may have his reasons why he doesn’t want you to follow in his footsteps. Let’s speculate for a moment here. He may have found it difficult living a gay or bisexual life in our society, and therefore he may want to spare you the pain of going through the same ordeal. Perhaps he’s “forcing” you to be straight out of love and concern for you. (If that is the case, while I don’t agree with his actions, I’m touched by his concern.)

But regardless of whether your brother’s motives are born out of love or out of more selfish reasons (for example, ayaw niyang mapahiya ang pangalan niya at ng inyong pamilya), YOUR LIFE IS YOUR LIFE. And the first thing you need to ask yourself is this: kaya mo bang panindigan ang buhay na pipiliin mo? Now, if you’re still not sure if “this kind of road is what (you) want,” then you are free to try and explore other paths.

At eighteen years old, you may be unsure yet of which path you really want to take. That’s okay, it’s quite normal. In fact, I think at your age it’s pretty normal to experiment. Go out with girls and guys. Have safe, protected sex with girls and guys. This is the time to get to know yourself more, and as they say, experience is the best teacher.

But never ever forget to always listen to your inner self. What is your inner self saying to you? Are you happy with a particular choice you made? Does it feel right to you? Be honest with yourself.

Don’t be worried if things aren’t instantly clear. Sometimes learning takes a while. Be patient with yourself as well as with other people. And though you may want to be open to your loved ones, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. I myself have not come out to my family, specifically my mom (since my dad’s dead already) and my siblings. I wasn’t sure if they would understand me. In an ideal world I would like all my loved ones to know that I am 100% gay. But I know that there is no ideal world, so I live with what I have, and I take full responsibility for my choices.

Perhaps one day in the future my brother will tell me, “You know, I’ve known you were gay for a long time now, and I found that out from other people. Why didn’t you tell us? We would have accepted you for who you are.” I will answer him with, “I didn’t want to risk that. Besides, my sexual preference is just one part of who I am.” Luckily, I am now at an age wherein if they ask me about my sexual preference, I won’t lie. But if they don’t ask, I don’t feel the need to volunteer either.

Your brother still loves you. And your brother may still support you in the other areas of your life. But when it comes to your love/sex life, find your support elsewhere, from those who understand and accept you for who you are. Don’t force your brother to accept you. Let him come to that decision himself. But if he doesn’t, well, that’s sad, but what can you do? A loved one’s approval may be wonderful, but it’s also ultimately unnecessary for you to live your life.

* * * * *

Dear Viewers of The McVie Show: Feel free to share your thoughts to Eighteen, if you are so inclined.  Perhaps he can also benefit from your ideas, points of view, and even suggestions. As I said, I am but one point of view.


Patrick Poculan said...

I totally agree with joelmcvie. Eighteen, just be honest, start living an honest life while you're still young. There may be consequences from your honesty, but it's part of learning.

Désolé Boy said...

I guess it's not that your brother isn't supportive of you. He wants you to be "normal" because he probably knew how hard it is to live a life like the one we all have here. I guess his "advice" sprang from that thought. You know, the same way mothers cry and tell their gay sons to go straight if they can, not because of non-acceptance but mostly out of fear and deep concern.
You're young (Wow, I can finally own up this phrase. I am 25. Bah!)and the world's view on your relationship should be your last concern. I've been there. Girls, boys -confusion. Just be responsible.

chink said...

hi eighteen,

wanting the approval of your family relations and (close) friends is very normal; especially in our tribal-oriented social mindset where we are mostly taught to conform to existing norms to uplift or maintain the reputation (and honor) of the clan; more often than not, to the detriment of our own self. but the good news is, you can decide if you want to play that game with them. however, for you to be in control of the situation, you must first discover who you are...mcvie has enumerated sufficient examples of the things you can do. one thing that struck me in you message was your need for "support." i would suggest that you evaluate why you need the support of your older brother in this regard? it is not to say that it is wrong or misplaced but finding out where this need emanates from can help you ascertain where you are in your process of individuation; and from there, map out a plan for the direction that you want to take regarding YOUR life. my advice, stay in touch with how you feel, trust yourself, and enjoy the journey! :-)

joelmcvie said...

@PATRICK, DESOLE, CHINK: Eighteen wants me to tell you that he is very grateful and appreciates all your comments.