We’re on each other’s team…

I got a call from my good friend and Team editor-in-chief, Paolo Lorenzana, the other day. I had submitted a piece, an essay I wrote about intimacy, hoping I had made it for the 4th issue of Team. He really liked my essay, said it was the strongest one I’ve written, but I had missed the deadline.


Evan Tan, Jonathan Ong, Paolo Lorenzana, myself, and Don Jaucian — the boys of Team magazine (taken August 2015)

He told me he would love to have it on the magazine’s website on April when they re-launch the website and told me his plans for the next issue which will come out in June. He told me how I can contribute and I am quite excited for it. It’s nice to be able to do work I believe in and I believe in what Paolo Lorenzana is doing — expanding the gay discussion and focusing on the personal stories of the LGBT community in the country.

I’m not an LGBT advocate. I stand by my brothers and sisters in the community but HIV is my primary concern. It’s one that I can talk with any real experience about. As a member of the LGBT community, I feel like my voice carries no weight. I’m a product of an environment that has protected me and nurtured me since I came out. I will stand and defend the LGBT community from those who try to continue the unequal treatment of us but I don’t think I have the right narrative to contribute.

I’ve been spared from the discrimination and the stigma. I don’t know what it is like to be bullied by anyone because I was gay. My family and all my friends have been supportive and I’ve never been discriminated — not at work, not in public, not in my travels. And without that experience, I don’t have the necessary fire to demand for the necessary changes to make this world a better place for everyone.

And I love what Team is doing, by making telling the personal stories of different members of the LGBT community, we humanise the community rather than turn them into issues. We explore their humanity and we don’t turn them into case studies. There are magazines already out there doing that and we don’t want to compete. We want to supplement and expand the discussion.

At least that’s what I think we’re doing in Team and that’s something I know I can contribute to.

Post Script

I had a completely different blog entry in mind when I started to write here. I was going to do a bunch of updates but as I began with the work I will be doing for Team, it just became this outpouring of words and thoughts. It’s probably from the whole brouhaha of that Bible-quoting boxer that occurred last week and is still being discussed until now.

I’ll do my updates again at a later time.



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