I know this may sound cliché now but believe me when I say, things really do get better.
Hold on to the goodness in your heart and keep the faith.
At an early age, you will notice that you are different. And though you have no concrete grasp of what that even means, people will continually make it known to those close to you that you are not the same as other young boys. They may think that you do not discern these things but you do, because you've always been kind of smart and it will plant a seed in your young consciousness—that being different is a difficult path and life would be easier if you learn to assimilate and blend in.
But try as you may to fight it, who you are and how you feel will always come to the fore.
At the age of three, you’ll visit a huge store and your dad will ask you to choose one item from the shelves. You will gravitate towards a doll, a KEN doll. Your parents will end up buying the toy for you, but their reaction will be a premonition of things to come.
Throughout your childhood, usually at social gatherings and family get-togethers, you will hear a number of remarks:
“Malambot yang batang yan noh?”
“Parang bakla yata iyang si Jig-Jig.”
“Bakit ba lagi naka-pilantik yang kamay mo?”
These will leave a mark in your innocent mind. But you will persevere.
You will lose count on the number of times you've sneaked into and locked yourself in your sisters’ rooms to play with their barbie dolls, only to be found out by your mom or dad and get the spanking of your life. Yet you will do it again and again. Will it be worth it? YES. The joy you feel whenever you get to brush their hair and dress them up will always be an exhilarating sensation. And it will prepare you for big things to come later in your professional life.
You will turn to the art of drawing. You will be fascinated by Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman and will begin drawing women’s bodies and outfits. Later you move on to drawing faces of made-up women. When your folks find out, this talent will be discouraged. Why? Your guess is as good as mine, but it will ingrain those fears from early childhood deeper into your heart. But this knack for creativity and dimensions will stick and it will be evident in your future career path.
In intermediate school, your music teacher will find out that you have a knack for singing. And that you actually have a talent for it. Your classmates will vote for you to represent your section in a grade-level singing competition. When your parents find out, they will hire a singing coach but will also refuse to have you sing a female song. You will be forced to sing a Martin Nievera ballad and end up losing the competition because your high pitched young voice could not match the arrangement of a song meant for a grown man. This will dishearten you, but later in life you will find a venue to briefly express this passion.
You will be moved to a public science high school because you were hanging out with the "softies" in elementary school. By this time. you'll learn that being different is somewhat of a curse. You will slowly grasp what the closet is and begin to build one to hide your true self from the outside world to protect yourself from further ridicule and criticism. Learning math and the sciences will be easy for you, but you know deep inside that this is not your calling. You will stick to it though, because you just want to blend in and live a "normal" life.
You will enter the state university and take up engineering at the age of 16. When puberty hits, the fight to hide your true self from others will prove to be more difficult. You will think you are successful at doing so but you are not fooling anyone but yourself. And somehow, that's okay. This period will force you to interact with people from different walks of life…and it will enrich your social skills. This will make things easier for you later in life. Trust me.
At the age of 20, you will fall in love for the first time. You will come out of the closet. And within a few months, you will experience your first heartbreak. It will shatter your world and things will never be the same.
You will survive this ordeal and come out stronger—with a renewed sense of spirit and self.
You will realize that all your life experiences, a mix of triumphs and disappointments, no matter how painful, have shaped you into the person you are. As you enter your 21st year, you will realize that you will no longer make apologies for who you are. You will channel all you energies into making the world a better place for people like you and express your individuality in a way that inspires and nurtures. You will find fulfillment and success in a field that mirrors what once made you truly happy as a child. At one point, you will even surprise yourself and you will excel in a competitive sport later in your adult life. Continue to approach every endeavor with an open mind and always treat each day as a chance to learn and immerse yourself in new adventures.
Good luck, Jigs! I wish you all the best.