How many times have we introduced our significant others as our partners, girlfriends, or wives, only for them to be referred to as our friends or roommates?
As genuine as denial is when it comes to those who address us, they need to know that there is no need to deny our lives when we openly affirm them.
Sadly, this is a situation that would never occur if one party in the relationship were male.
Does it make it okay to invalidate a couple's love because they are both women? Why must lesbian relationships be reduced to make-believe or pretend marriages just because there is no man in the relationship? It's as if a home cannot be complete without a man. What does that say about homes led by single mothers?
"But it's unnatural. They cannot procreate," you might say. Do you mean to say that all homes with sterile husbands or infertile wives are automatically unnatural? Is Liza Dino's home with her daughter Amara and fiancée Aiza any less valid than your own because there is no man? What if the man in your home leaves you, or (God forbid) dies?
Is it okay to treat your family as inferior (or worse – fictional) because there is no male figure in your house?
‘Who's the man in your relationship?’
A lesbian relationship is one that exists between two women. By definition, there is no man (even if there are "masculine" appearances).
If your idea of a loving relationship and supportive home life cannot exist without a male figure, you might have bigger problems than homophobia. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate your ideas on the ability of women to have normal, healthy and complete lives, to lead homes and head their families on their own.
Or are you simply asking who is "top" and "bottom," or who gives and receives during the sex act? Why must there only be one giver or receiver? And why the obsession with our sex lives and how it is exactly we make love?
Nobody asks straight couples how they have sex. Is it because the presence of a penis makes it common knowledge? Or are men just afforded more respect so they are never asked?
There is so much fascination about the technicalities of sexual intercourse between two women that outsiders feel they must be involved and give their unsolicited commentary at all times.
"Mas masarap ang lalake," (It’s better with a man) we're told too often, and "Kailangan mo lang makatikim ng titi." (You need to taste a penis) Believe me, many of us have tried! (And if we haven't, try saying the same thing to a straight man and see how he'll react.)
How many times have we been approached by a man who says, "Liligawan pa rin kita" (I’ll still court you) even if we're already in a relationship with another woman?
They act in the way they never would in front of another man. "I'll show you a real man," they will even say, as if your female partner is trying to be one and it's some kind of contest. The question is – if these guys are in fact out to prove they are "real men," why would they compete with women?
Lesbians are not a threat
We're not out to get your straight girlfriend, nor do we want to be substitute men.
We're not out to fight with you, and we're not out to show you how loving women is done.
We simply want to be left alone, to be able to live, work, and fall in love without your objections, obstructions, and fearful forecasts about whether or not our lives are as meaningful as yours.
Think of your wife and what she means to you, or your girlfriend and how much she loves you. Why would you deprive someone that chance to also be loved by someone? Does your world change just because they are both women? Why does it mean so much to you that women only end up with men? Does it affect your life somehow?
When two women are in love, it's not a puzzle for you to solve or a statement needing your reaction. It's simply two people who have found each other and have decided to pursue that love.
Don't we all just want to foster love in any form?
If you can't make sense of other people's love, at least give us the basic human kindness of allowing us a chance at the happiness we all want, and the opportunity to find that one person with whom to share our lives, no matter what form they come. – Rappler.com
Shakira Andrea Sison is a Palanca Award-winning essayist. She currently works in finance and spends her non-working hours celebrating the Pride Month of June in subway trains. She is a veterinarian by education and was managing a retail corporation in Manila before relocating to New York in 2002. Her column appears on Thursdays. Follow her on Twitter: @shakirasison and on Facebook