Kyle Ohil, who attends the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, talks about his “coming out stages” as a homosexual person as we ask him questions about his experience. Kyle Ohil was not only brave enough to open up about his sexuality but also share his story for others to read and be inspired by.
When asked about his positive experiences and the support he got from others, Ohil found it hard to open up and tell what kind of person he really is. His co-workers at McDonald’s could tell that he was indeed gay, asking him, “Dili ka straight ba?” Ohil was scared of people’s judgment but realized that if you surround yourself with people who understand you, you will not have trouble opening up. His co-workers were very understanding and supportive of him for what he was.
Ohil also opened up about his coach from Karate.
He thought most people would think he would be straight as Karate seems like a very “manly” sport to him. After opening up to his coach, he accepted Ohil for what he was and said that gender does not define him. More importantly, his coach told him that as long as he and his partner support each other, there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Meanwhile, Ohil describes his relationship with his partner as somewhat challenging. When asked about it, he admits they both received criticism but also said they pushed through and stayed as a happy couple, not caring about what others say. Moreover, he says he receives a good amount of support from his school’s community.
On another note, Ohil found it hard to adapt to college life like anyone else. However, he soon realized that once he was true to himself and his identity, he felt free and said he could overcome challenges because of his new mindset. He states that his gender preference does not change how he excels academically and that accepting one’s identity and incorporating awareness will always be a celebration of his relationship.
When asked about educational institutions’ inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students, Ohil believed that educational institutions cannot do anything to create an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students even if there are multiple LGBTQ+ organizations because, as Ohil states, “Acceptance of LGBTQ starts within each of the students whatever gender preference they have.” No matter how many events or how influential the LGBTQ+ community is, if people don’t accept or understand it, there will be no inclusive environment.”
Ohil is also a working student who met the challenges of balancing the two. As both are equally important, Ohil learned to manage his time better. He mentions that he simply focuses on his job when he’s at work, and during school, he focuses on studying.
When asked for advice from Ohil to others, he states that it is hard as people want to follow social norms and invalidate sexual preferences. Ohil states that one must always remember to have fortitude and be unbothered. It is ok to respect others’ opinions but not rely on them. As Ohile says, “Work for yourself, not for others. Accept who you are and be proud. We are all capable of doing anything and always trust and love ourselves.” – WhatALife!/Zain
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