By Bianca Dalangin
My name is Bianca Y. Dalangin. Born in Cavite, the Philippines, my father and I migrated to the United States when I was three.
At the age of seven, my dad came out to me . Because I was raised in an archetypical traditional family who did not really practice these beliefs, I initially thought that having this preference was morally wrong, and even illegal. Being clueless and naïve about the LGBTQ community, I constantly questioned my dad’s motives and choices, and wondered if he was ever going to be that “normal” dad again.
However, as I grew older, I realized that his sexuality or preference of another gender did not change his character in any way. He is my dad. He was there, is there, and will always be there to kiss wounds, mend patches, and teach life lessons. Even when I grow older, and colder, and sassier, he still loves me, and keeps his promise of unconditional fatherly love. He will always be my dad, and I will always be his daughter, and I will always love him forever.
As soon as high school started, I resurrected the Los Angeles Chapter of COLAGE. COLAGE is an organization for people with LGBTQ families, who have learned to love their families and share their beliefs of equality and family with the world. I want people who are in the same boat to be inspired and to know that they have people like them to talk and relate to. At the same time, I want people who are not in the same boat to be aware and educated of LGBTQ families and to live with open minds. I am more than proud to be leading the LA group, and am having so much fun meeting new people whom I can relate with. It is definitely challenging to keep a new group running, but I do not regret being part of the COLAGE family and spreading the COLAGE love.
Long ago, the “normal” family consisted of a pious, domestic mother, a manly working father, three children, a white picket fence, a dog, and a goldfish with a thirteen-day life span. Today, that belief has changed. The next family loves each other unconditionally, and lives through an unbreakable bond of friendship. The next family tells their deepest secrets and humiliations through dinner conversations and family fun nights. The next family cheers for each other, win or lose. We cannot completely eliminate the limited thought of how a normal family should be like, but we can at least try our very best to open up more hearts, clear up more minds, and share more of the world’s many loving families.
The Next Family is now.