Behind The Cast: Yup, Pigs Finally Flew

coming-out-donovan

Well, I finally DID IT- I came out. WHAAAAAAAAAAT? Yeah, I know right. I run a gay website and have been in a relationship for almost nine years. How is this possible? Trust me, I’ve been an ongoing joke with my gay friends, straight friends, cousins, friend’s parents, co-workers, boyfriend’s family etc for years.. You name it, they’ve made fun of it. Before I get to the who, what, when, and why, I think it’s necessary for me to set it up and give the back story.

My parents, brother, and myself emigrated from the Philippines when we were quite young. As with most parents from developing countries, mine wanted a better life for their kids than they had. They sacrificed a lot, endured lean times and hardships to make sure we didn’t go without. In fact, when we first arrived here, they literally had $500 to their names. Since we were from a tropical climate we didn’t have any fall or winter clothes so they had to use the bulk of that to supply yours truly with clothing since I started kindergarten in just a week. We immigrated in late August and I started school just a week later. Talk about culture shock for little ol’ me.


Growing up, my parents have ALWAYS supported anything my brother and I did. No matter how harebrained my ideas were, they never said anything negative about them and pushed us to go for it. At times, it was mostly me who pushed them away and didn’t give them an opportunity to support me by either me hiding my pursuits or politely asking them not to show up for games or and nerdy competitions (I was on a French trivia quiz show in high school: Genies en Herbe). This sort of secrecy carried over to my relationships as well. Unlike my brother who always brought home his girlfriends, I never once brought a girl home and introduced them as my “girlfriend” to my parents. That’s right readers, I’m not a GOLD STAR HOMO. If they saw the girl multiple times, it was this unspoken thing that this was my current girlfriend. Sometimes this habit of holding things close to me extends even to friends. They often accuse me of being guarded and closed off. I only ever truly open up to a handful of people when it comes to my inner thoughts and feelings. Otherwise, I’m very outspoken about everything else and never afraid to voice my opinion or thoughts. I’ll be the first to call you out- if I’m a close friend- or have that awkward employee-employer conversation or anything that others may see as difficult. For some reason, talking to my parents is my Achilles’ Heel.

So fast forward to present day. How is it possible to not have the “conversation” seeing as I’ve been in a committed relationship for almost a decade. Let me tell you that it hasn’t been easy and actually been quite comical at times. Often I felt they knew but then in the same breath say something that would completely throw me off. For example, when Brian and myself started buying investment properties they would commend me on how great it was I was building a foundation for when I got married and had kids and then they’d follow that up by asking why Brian didn’t attend the latest family event- in this case it was Mother’s Day. It was enough to make me go bonkers. So why not have the talk? Somehow, I always found an excuse not to. They would range from: “I don’t want to cause a ruckus during my mom’s political run,” to “It’s my brother’s wedding,” to it being “Thursday.”

One of the most comedic situations I’ve encountered in trying to avoid the “talk” occurred at my GAY cousin’s wedding in San Francisco last year. During the brunch, the day after the wedding, we were all sitting around catching up with my cousins when the photographer instructed all the cousins to gather around for a group shot. I come from a big family on both sides. In this particular case- on my dad’s side- I have 30 first cousins. While we were taking the pics, I overheard the photographer’s assistant talk about gathering the cousin’s wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends etc… for the next pic. I immediately internally freaked. For the most part, my cousins on my dad’s side know about me- I actually have three (and counting) “out” cousins. When our session was over, I immediately faked stomach problems and hide in the bathroom. I literally sat on the toilet until the photo was taken. A parade of cousins and Brian kept coming in to inquire when I would be done. I told them to take the picture as I was having extreme diarrhea. Literally, I’d rather announce to the world I had major runs over telling my parents the OBVIOUS. See the thing is most of my cousins, aunts and uncles know about Brian and I (that’s another story in itself). Meanwhile, poor Brian was sitting right beside my parents when the call came out for the cousins and spouses pic. AWK-WARD.

Fellow cast member, Adam, has been the biggest proponent of me coming out. He’s given me many deadlines that have come and gone- from my brother’s wedding to the launching of the site. So why now after all these years? What prompted me to finally have the official coming out story? As sad as it sounds, it was a disagreement I had with my parents. After a heated discussion and a couple of days cooling off, I contacted my mom and apologized for my actions days earlier. When we finished hashing it out and forgave each other, I suddenly gathered the strength to talk about it. It was all very anti-climatic considering the build up from the past few years. Her immediate reaction was: “Ah Duh, we’re not dumb, Donovan. We can add 1+1.” Apparently they had been waiting years for me to officially tell them. What ensued were the usual questions like: “When did you know? and “Why didn’t you tell us sooner?” Despite our Catholic faith and their conservative political beliefs, not an eyelash was batted over accepting the “new me”. As with everything I’ve presented to my parents, they embrace it and stood by it- this was no different. My mom even commented that I she loves Brian and states I couldn’t have found anyone better- man or woman- who would love me as much and be as patient (that’s another blog entry in itself).

For some homos, they known who they are from an early age and come out in their teens. For me, it took practically half a lifetime for both. Would have I changed anything? Sure, hindsight is 20/20 but I don’t regret anything. The only thing I regret is that I don’t give my parents enough credit. Something I plan on working on and improving for the future. Hope you weren’t too bored with my story. Not one of the most dramatic ones out there but hopefully kept your interest throughout.

  • Nic O

    Not bored in the least Dono. Congratulations! And welcome! LOL.
    I think everyone’s journey to the center of the homo is fascinating and you’re is no exception.

  • bruin

    Bored? You need to give yourself more credit as well. That’s offensive! That was one of the best stories on the website and I read each line slowly to feel its whole greatness of the story. Congratulations …of course : ) and Good job to you!

    Comments/Questions:

    1. Your paragraph on being private is totally understandable. whether man or woman, I think all relationships should be kept private bc it doesn’t matter what everybody else thinks or says about it…it’s just you and the other person! We are quite similar on this subject

    2. The marriage photo w the wives and husbands confused me a lot….how this this affect you and why did you have to run into the bathroom to fake cramps/diarrhea? You’re not the wife nor the husband…you wouldnt be in the picture …neither would Brian…so, can you explain what I missed?

    3. Oh yeah…your parents and everybody’s parents are NOT dumb! They DID create you …after all and youre not dumb. LOL. It’s totally obvious that you are living with Brian and Brian goes to your family events all the time. “normal friends” dont do that. but they just had to hear it from the horse’s mouth. which I think was the best choice on their part….only until you were ready which you were….recently : )

    4. Umm…who would not love the Homemaker Brian?! Cannnot wait to read the patient + juicy details entry ; )

    Overall – great personal article. 5 Stars

  • bruin

    oh..and for the record, i am 100% sure everybody went awwww when they saw that picture above. happy 9 years!

  • So proud of you Dono! Like I said, almost made me a little teary hearing the struggle you’ve been through then, just in time, “Ah Duh, we’re not dumb, Donovan. We can add 1+1,” which totally made me laugh knowing your Mom. Haha. Thank you for sharing the story and congratulations on doing something that requires so much courage.

  • Congratulations Donovan! I’m really proud of you!

  • Danny

    Great and inspiring story!! Reading these coming out stories is giving me the courage to one day (hopefully soon) come out to my parents. I have covered the tracks quite well for the last 10 years and it feels like the monkey that is on my back is getting bigger and bigger as each year passes.

    Well by covering the tracks I mean had to lie about the gay porn that was found on the family computer by saying it was an email that had a sh*t ton of gay spam on it. :0) Probably not the best of lies but I was nervous/ off guard about the situation (phew glad that one is over!). It also helps to play sports and have hot girlfriends while living at home to cover the tracks and to hide myself from my true self.

    Well anyway, thanks for your story. It was an eye opener because of the way I perceived you from reading this site/watching the videos for a couple of months now. It feels like I know some of you but I guess we all hide somethings right? You and Brian are a great looking couple and I hope you guys the best. One question though, how did Brian feel about you being in a relationship with him for all these years and not being able to talk about you in a different light to your parents?? And did Brian put any pressure on you about coming out? (it doesn’t have to mean high voltage or anything.)

    Last note: I think moms due know a lot more than we think.?.?.?.?

    With much love and thanks for the story and this site, Peace!!

  • BMW

    **HUGS**

  • Nadia Abdel-al

    I’m so happy for you. It must have been a very difficult thing to talk about with your parents. 🙂

  • I admire and look up to your relationship with B and it gives me and other guys hope that a stable gay relationship does exist.

  • Russ

    Wonderful.

  • bruin

    seriously, i think you and brian show that this kind of love exists which is the best kind there is

  • Mitch

    Right on Dono! I hope lots of people read this!

  • Denny

    ummm, where is my shout out? LOL

  • Randy

    I am so happy for you Donovan.

  • Donovan… my mom says, “Oh good. Now when do the mothers of these friends of yours on this website get to discuss our charming sons?”. I detected a strong hint of sarcasm in the word “charming”.

  • simmi dhillon

    awesome article – you are my personal rockstar. i am so proud of you.

  • Dan

    Congrats Dono! Huge achievement!

  • Hey everyone, thanks for the kinds words and support especially to my fellow homo cast members. Hearing all your coming out stories was a factor in my decision to finally take the plunge.

    Danny: Brian’s been great throughout this and never once pressured me to tell my parents. He’s always felt welcome by my parents and has commented that they treat him like a son.

    Rich: Love your mom’s comment. I think for mother’s day next year they should take over the site and write about us. LOL. Mamarazzi

    Bruin: So I’m assuming you’re saying Brian is Justin Gaston and I’m Taylor Swift. haha. I love it. PS. Edited the story to explain the fact my cousins knew about brian and me being in a relationship and how they wanted the both us in the picture.

  • bruin

    that makes a lot more sense. this article is so precious. 100 stars! 5 isnt enough

  • I Loved reading it, very heart felt and relatable

  • Paolo

    Your parents sound like my parents! Typical Filipino parents… LOL.

  • Rob

    This story is still inspiring in 2012!! =)