If the Gender Suits You

When I was a kid, I used to play with toy cars, robots and toy guns. But I loved dolls better. I still keep my toy jeepney, plastic robot and dolls up to now.

I liked action and Jackie Chan and adventure shows and movies. I did tend to imitate the more fun, energetic female characters, not the males and not the more boring, physically weak girly-girl ones (it was like preferring Velma over Daphne).

My favorite clothes were a sleeveless blue shirt with Superman on the front part (that intrigued me because the image was embossed), shorts (my pink shorts in particular), and dark-blue overalls with an image of ‘Voltes V’ nicely woven near the bottom hems (it was the artistry I admired). Meanwhile, I loved my dresses, too, especially when I had to dress up in white for an occasion and had to wear shiny black/white shoes that I loved to polish.

A favorite pastime was playing baril-barilan (gunplay) with the neighborhood kids. Also, boxing–well, just playful sparring–was a usual bonding moment between me and my father. However, I still preferred and enjoyed playing house much more than those (but the moments with my father were priceless)…

I can go on and on about my “contradicting” hobbies when I was a kid. But really, the point is, not because a girl is boyish or a boy doesn’t seem so tough for your taste, it doesn’t mean s/he is gay. And even if it does, have you ever wondered why it should matter to YOU?  The problem is, there are people who have a hard time coping with and accepting what’s different. 

It’s heartbreaking finding out the recent news about a lone gunman committing mass murder, targeting gay people. It’s even more heartbreaking when religious extremists say that the sad part of the whole thing was there couldn’t be any more victims…

Who made you God to decide how others should live? Who made you God to decide who lives? If you trust your god, can’t you trust Him to deal with His supposedly wayward children Himself?…I believe that in any holy book in any religion, it says there somewhere that we all should love our neighbors, love one another. I don’t, however, think it ever says there, “unless they are gay, in that case, go bash ’em!!!”

We can all argue about homosexuality being a choice or not (I think how you choose to live your life is, but who you are truly inside isn’t), or about it being forbidden in the holy book. Again, though, who made you — us — God? I think it is doubly hard to accuse a child if the situation is like this:

We all have our opinions. Fine. So my opinion is nobody asks to be born gay — why ask knowing fully well the challenges that would be waiting outside the mother’s womb? It is NOT our job to decide when and how others should live. WE ARE NOT GOD.

Lastly, I am sharing to you a poem I wrote for Matthew Shepard, the focus of the film The Laramie Project.


(For Matthew Shepard, once of Laramie, inspired by his father’s message in court)

One evening in Wyoming
On that sparkling moonlit night
The stars bowed down to watch over you
And guide you with their light.

The scent of pines, the smell of grass.
The touch of evening breeze
All came to show how much they care
And embrace you with their kiss.

Then soon the sun came up to shine
To brighten the whole sky
To warm you well, oh little one,
And say its last goodbye.

Oh, how I wish I could’ve told
What needed to be said
To comfort you and talk to you:
“There are better days ahead.”

But one evening in Wyoming
On that sparkling moonlit night
They left you there to breathe your last
And soon life came to past.

So once upon a Wyoming day
You left but not alone
Mother Nature set you free
And brought you back to home.

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

Written: December 2005

***Inspired by the “farewell” speech given in court by Matthew Shepard’s dad, Dennis, re-enacted in the flim, The Laramie Project.