MANILA, Philippines—When Manoel Poyner decided to change his name to “Jorge,” he didn’t just have a name change.
It was a profound shift in his identity.
Poyners mother, Marcela de Guzman, a Mexican immigrant, has long been a supporter of LGBTQ rights and his father, a former army general, was a staunch advocate of the war on drugs.
In fact, Poyers mother and father both are veterans of the Philippine military.
But the name change was more than just an identity crisis.
“I think it was the way he handled it,” Poyer, 33, said of his father.
“It was very important to him.
I think it helped him get away from that feeling that he was a bad person.
He knew that I wasn’t a bad woman.”
Poyener, who lives in Los Angeles, has been dating his wife, Marina, for a year.
He has no kids, and when he finally got around to changing his name, he had to deal with the stigma associated with being queer.
“They call me a man with a penis,” Paz, a Filipino man who identifies as bisexual, said.
“But I’ve never seen it that way.
My mom is like, ‘You can’t say that, because you’re a man.
“Because I think I’ve been told for so long that it’s okay to be gay, or straight. “
It is very frustrating,” Piz added.
“Because I think I’ve been told for so long that it’s okay to be gay, or straight.
I’ve always been very clear about my sexuality.”
Paz is a veteran of the Philippines military.
He was killed in a roadside bombing in 2016.
His father, who served in the army from 1967 to 1972, also served in Vietnam.
Both men have spent time in the military, and both men have had close friends who have served in their respective units.
But they also have close family members in the Philippine National Police who are gay and bisexual.
For Paz and Piz, the stigma of being bisexual and queer made it impossible to leave the military.
For Marina, it was also difficult to leave her family.
She came out to her mother after she and her father were deployed in Afghanistan in the early 2000s.
Marina said she had always been told that the military didn’t accept LGBTQ people. “
Poying, a native of El Salvador, said he often heard the same thing from his mother.
Marina said she had always been told that the military didn’t accept LGBTQ people.
She also knew that her father had served in Iraq.
Her father, meanwhile, was ostraconed from his family and gay-straight alliances. “
When I started to come out, I was a little bit more accepted,” Marina said.
Her father, meanwhile, was ostraconed from his family and gay-straight alliances.
“His friends didn’t know how to deal,” Ponzers mother said.
Marina was also the subject of bullying at school.
“We were being called all sorts of names,” Poz said.
He had to explain that he had been in the Marines for five years.
“Everyone had this ‘what are you doing?’ look on me.
“There was a time when I would have said, Oh, this is because I’m gay. “
But I never said it,” Marina explained. “
There was a time when I would have said, Oh, this is because I’m gay.
But I never said it,” Marina explained.
“This is because my father is a soldier and I am gay.”
Marina’s story is emblematic of the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community in the Philippines.
In 2017, a Supreme Court decision found that the country could no longer criminalize the act of being gay or trans.
As a result, LGBTQ people are still not included in the country’s anti-discrimination laws.
Paz said that even when he was in the Army, the military did not fully embrace his identity and made him feel like a different person.
In an interview with Queerty, Paz also said that he has been discriminated against at work because of his sexual orientation.
“The job is a safe place,” he said.
For his part, Piaz has not been able to find a job, and he worries that his partner will lose their job.
Piaz said he feels like his partner is being “protected” by the military and the government.
“Our family is not safe because of this.
I’m not going to tell my family to hide, to not speak up.
It’s just not right,” he explained.
Poya, Ponzer’s friend and partner, said that it is difficult for him to leave Paz.
“If he gets out, he’ll be a terrorist,” Poya said.
Ponzes mother, who is in her 50s, is still dealing with the aftermath of Poyens suicide