Tag Archives: gay and catholic

Personal: Good Girls Don’t Wear suits and Ties: My Life As A Gender Non Conforming Person

Joaquin Tenedora-Forte
July 7, 2016


Human beings have a way to make you feel unwelcome by their glances or their words. Since I was a little kid I did not fit in to the gender box of being a girl, oh by the way I am a girl and also have some people would deem a disability as I wrote on the eve of christmas eve, last year I have cerebral palsy yes double minority, for me that is really hard especially growing up.

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I grew up in a moderately catholic home in the Philippines, my parents with my mom a university professor and my father a businessman, I have one younger sister. my first memory of being gender non-conforming is hating barbie dolls, my knee jerk reaction is that I hated their hair, and I was about four. When I was about six years old my parents bought me mega blocks for my birthday. My sister and I played with it for at least seven years. I was always the boy character in our made-believe land.


As I grow older I notice, I became more uncomfortable in girls outfits. in fact the last time I wore a dress at the mall is when I was 10 years old.  Also with my school uniform. I always have crushes on my boy classmates, but when I was 13 and in Grade six I became noticing a girl classmate, she is cute and our class valedictorian. I never made something of it.


Christmas was always been a special day for my family, but their is this one christmas I had vivid memories of. (here’s the deal, Filipinos open gifts on christmas eve,) so I opened my presents, I look at my seven year old nephew’s gifts and I started tearing up, because I never gotten what I wanted but what I wanted is the toys he had. It will be so embarrassing for me to cry so I held my tears up.


At around fourteen, my baby cousin is two and he began learning his words. As a gender non conforming kid, I was always wearing typical  boy clothing. he will call me Kuya, Kuya is a tagalog word for older  brother, cousin or whatever. Of course my aunt and uncle is not thrilled with me. As if I was confusing their son. looking back on it my responds will be, is their a problem, and you should be teaching your kid about acceptance. But they will never do that because they are evangelical christians.

When I was 16 years old, my school had a prom, my 3rd year in high school. I was not planning on going to this prom because I am not wearing a gown!. My dad ask my principal if I could wear something else. the principal said Yes. And I wore a suit to the prom. When I wore that I felt so good about myself. But years after the prom i fell so ashamed, until recently, I said to myself there is nothing to feel ashamed about, that’s who I am.


My family had been so awesome to me especially my mom and my dad  after high school graduation they enrolled me in my mom’s former school, my first reaction (an open university type deal) where in you do your assignments at home and will email it to your teachers, I hated it at first, but today I love the freedom of expression I get from not being a subject to gender norms.


If I will thank someone who will it be, it will be my grandmother, who when one christmas I was wearing a vest and a tie. And my mom was talking to her about me. She turn to my mom and said. Ning, that’s okay, she looks good. My grandmother is the one who bought me all the boy shirts when I was a kid. She is so awesome.

If I have an advice for people who are like me or who have children like me just let your children be themselves. And the world will catch up with your identities, because you are born this way and people who say is not your friends.

Lastly, to makes things clear the name Joaquin is not my actual birth name but the last name is. since 2 years ago I have been using it. After my sister and I was talking to my dad about names if we were boys he said that he would name me Joaquin, so I started using the name.


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Special: Reacting to what pope Francis said on marriage and the family

Joaquin Tenedora-ForteSeptember 25, 2015
I was watching the pope, he gave a speech at the White House yesterday morning, he touched an issue that in my opinion he should not touch while in America (where in 60% of Catholics are in favor of marriage equality. He in essence said that we need to protect the marriage and the family. I was obviously upset, here is my reaction on what he said.

First of all, I want to say that the pope said very good things on immigration, climate change economics, specially capitalism and religious freedom which I agree with him on what he said. Pope Francis in the issue of marriage equality though said that people should upheld the institution of marriage and the family. And for some one who supports LGBT rights, I am really pleased off.

The Pope should watch YouTube videos of gay vloggers, Depfox (gay family values) which is two gay fathers Jay and Bryan and their two adopted kids, Daniel and Selina. Or shep689 Will and RJ, two young men doing their best two stay positive through the ups and downs of life. Nothing could change people’s minds than seeing gay people in action. And seeing how normal, happy and boring the gay lifestyle is.

Gay people unlike some straight people who is not ready to have kids, gay people obviously do not have necessary parts to have kids they should plan everything first to adopt or to have surrogacy, so they love their kids, beyond belief. Plus the pope brush aside that traditional marriage according to the bible is polygamy, one man many wives, is the pope in favor of that, obviously not.


 Jesus teaches the importance of love and loving thy neighbors, understanding our differences. Finally, we are all gods children, and we should love respect and accept diversity.

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