Being the only son among five siblings, I grew up in a female-oriented environment with my three elder sisters who took care of me while my parents were in their respective works. My younger sister, who is only two years and three months younger than me, has been my childhood playmate. As a kid, I acquired more feminine characteristics than masculine behaviors until I went to school.
I went to school at an early age with prevalent feminine characters causing other kids to tease me of being gay. There were times that I ignored them but there were also times that their constant pulling of my leg tormented me and left me in tears as a child. Nevertheless, those banters from the other children in my village never left much impairment in my emotional growth until I transferred to another school in the capital of our town to pursue my intermediate years in the elementary.
At first, I never thought that school life in that new environment would be as difficult as I never imagined. Because of my evident feminine gestures, the boys in the class always bullied me from time to time. There were times that I wanted to be with them but I usually ended up mistreated because of who I am, physically. I was in the fifth grade when our teacher asked all the boys to be in one group and haul decayed rice stalk in the nearby rice field. I could still clearly recall how the activity turned into a disaster when a group of boys made fun of me and one boy pushed me down to about one meter deep rice field. I went back to school crying with muddy clothes and then my teacher and a group of girls consoled me. As far as I could remember, I often had bad days in school because of bullying issues which were usually done by the boys in the class. I once told my mother that I wanted to stop schooling because I am afraid of those bullies in school for no matter how I tried to befriend them, they seem to be outrageous at befriending me because of my feminine gestures and my closeness to my female classmates.
Because of that certain situation and my fervent request, my parents decided to send me to the city for high school. I stayed with my eldest sister who then looked after me while I was away from my parents. However, after three months, I eventually decided to go back home as I realized that I was not yet ready to stay far away from them. I went back to our town and saw the same old faces that used to bully me. As a consequence, I avoided not only the boys who bullied me but I avoided all the boys in the class. I hanged out with my girl friends until I went to college and got even deeper and deeper feminine acts. I felt safe whenever I am with the girls than with the boys for they were so caring and sensitive. They easily laughed at my simple jokes and they appreciated myself being me. On the other hand, my outlook towards the masculine society became more excruciating urging me to burn bridges and build barriers between me and the all-boy society. Convinced with the painful bullying issues I have encountered in the past which were always associated with the boys in the class, I turned to hearing more negative issues towards men. Although a confessed man with more feminine gestures, I questioned on why the society is not taking any action against all those things? Oftentimes, I only had to cry my heart in silence and did what I could do to avoid those men-associated, fear-provoking situations. I always thought that going with a group of men is so dangerous for I would get nothing but trouble that would horrify me for the rest of my life.
I saw how a group of men illegally used prohibited drugs. I saw how a group of men sat in a table together with bottles of liquors until they got drunk and looked mad. I saw how my classmates (usually boys) cut classes and broke their parents’ dreams. I saw how a group of men put an innocent man into trouble and left him unconscious. I heard how a group of men who were duly appointed members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) conspired, confederated and mutually aided one another and abused their 'superior strength' in committing a very unthinkable crime which left three women succumb to death and the other one surviving in deep pain. I remembered how a fraternity in a prestigious university in the Philippines killed one of their brothers in an initiation. Those were some of the issues which were enough reasons for me to avoid an all-boy gathering. Nobody could ever blame me why I felt more at ease whenever I am with women than with men.
However, as I grew up, I gradually understood that I could not live with my past although the impact of my preceding experiences is still so strong. I am a man and I can never be with women all the time. No matter how I try to relate with all their chats, there are still times wherein I am left behind especially when they talk about their crushes and boyfriends and other girl stuffs. Most of the times, the thing that I could do is to butt in with a genuine joke which does not even give them a clue that I wanted to them to laugh. Situations often left me in the middle of sixes and sevens and backbiting became a norm that I had to live with especially that people easily voiced out their circumlocutory opinions towards me. I could never change their opinions just like I could never change them. I only had to think that I was lucky to become popular and feel the comfort of being a celebrity. Hahaha!
Hilarious it may seem but there are things that you could not just merely share with women because they find it offensive or the other way around. I have discovered that I have thoughts which can only be shared with men. Oh MAN, is it for real? Anyhow, I don’t have any regret for growing up in a female-oriented society and for getting more feminine gestures for those things have given me better understanding on the real nature of women while fostering my own nature as woman-loving man. I understand how they feel and I know why they act the way they are. In the same manner, I could not just simply dwell into my past and my immature premonitions that being a MAN is just equal to being a societal stigma. At my age, I have met plenty of professional men from whom I have learned a lot. Added to that, I have discovered that men like Hubert Webb, Osama bin Laden and Sadam Hussein (and even my bully classmates before) cannot cover all the contributions of men like Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther and other men who gave tremendous contributions in the history of mankind.
Men need women as much as women need men. For sure, nobody wants to live in a very pathetic and hilarious all-men or all-women society. There might be plenty of gender issues around us due to the ever-changing landscape of our society but I still stand to the belief that everybody is created equally with equal rights and equal responsibilities. Neither men nor women were given the right to rule over all the other creatures.