On how I want to be, possibly - Part 2

Nothing in my childhood stands out as being particularly sad. There was enough love to go around at home and I was an average kid in elementary and high school. I never got bullied - not for being smart, or for being small, and definitely not for being gay and this makes me feel doubly guilty that I'm so harsh on other gay people. It makes me sad how I sometimes feel disdain for loud, effeminate gays.

I'm too much of a coward to have ever bullied anyone outright but my straight friends and I frequently badmouthed people we thought were too faggy and that was just as bad. I was in the closet and I thought parading my homophobia would make my straight act more convincing. Now that I'm older it's easy to call my teenager self on being a shithead hater because I know there's absolutely no reason why anybody should be homophobic. There's still a long way for me to go toward becoming the inclusive, anything-goes, open-minded, flower-waving hippie I imagine myself to be.

I still have this almost instinctive distaste for the stereotypical queer that I try my best to repress. A few weeks ago, on my way home from the club, I was called over by a group of boys who wanted me to join them for breakfast. I asked myself why the hell not and went with them. The banter at first was light-hearted but once we got down to our meal it took a turn for the worse. My companions started shrieking in their high-pitched gay voices and generally making a scene and I could feel the disapproval of the other diners. I was a bit embarrassed but that's not yet the bad part.

They started throwing themselves at me - they'd ask me to choose which of them to take home, asking me if I thought one or the other was yummy or not. I thought they were just pulling my leg so I brushed off the flirting and answered in non sequiturs but they were fucking persistent it wasn't funny anymore. At one point, the guy across me was stroking my knees and the guy to my right was clinging to my arm and the one on the other side was trying to spoonfeed me!

Of course this totally fulfilled my macho fantasies and made me feel good but at the same time I could not help feeling scornful, an aversion I'm sure I would not have been there had they been the other kind of gay. I beat down the metaphorical bile and kept my game face on, smiling at the company and trying to be as cute as I could. Not long afterwards, we said our goodbyes. They asked one last time whether I would like to go with them but I refused, saying my flatmates would be worried if I did not come home in the morning. This was a lie of course. I don't think my flatmates care about me at all.

On the way home I felt really bad about how I sort of just used these guys. I feel bad about the times I almost automatically scowl when I make eye contact with gays on the street but I'm trying my best and one day I just might have some drag queen friends, I hear they are a blast to be with.

I'd like to share with you what inspired this entry. Yesterday Bobby wrote about suicide among gay teens and it struck a chord with me. I may only do my bashing in silence but I'm just as much a part of the problem. And even if you don't discriminate, but let it pass when others do, you're part of the problem. If you're not against discrimination you're for it. And since I'm not ready to crusade for gay rights on the streets, let me do it here.

Dear you,

I can't begin to imagine what you're going through. It must be hell to keep your head held up high everyday through the jeers and catcalls that surround you. It must be terribly difficult to smile when all you want to do is cry. Or maybe you cower in fear of being found out. You're lonely, you can't talk to your parents, and you're not sure who your real friends are. Life sucks, and it takes all you've got just to get through the day and maybe you're so tired of trying to understand why this is happening to you and you just want to give up. Don't. Because things are going to get better.

I'm not saying that it'll be butterflies and rainbows when you grow up cos it's not. There will always be assholes and stupid people. But there will also be people who will see that you're beautiful, who will believe in you. You will meet people who understand you and accept you for who you are. Life will still be hard, but things are going to get better.

But for now, suck it up.

PS. Since I'm not very good at writing inspiring stuff, maybe this video will help.


Yesterday work was so fucking bloody, it was certainly bloody awful with a British accent. I got myself into trouble because I'm not more mindful of what goes on in our office. Our front door has two locks and two people keep one key each. Yesterday I had one key and what I did during lunch was, I left it at my desk! So we were locked out of the office until like 3pm when the boss sent someone over with the spare key. I felt so embarrassed cos everyone expects me to be responsible and have a lot of common sense when in fact I am so absent-minded. I should start eating more almonds maybe.

Anyway a friend told me that I should write an email to my boss apologizing for the incident so that's what I did and when he came in later that afternoon he called me to his office to talk about the project I was working on. Not a word at all was spoken about the incident earlier so the apology email must have worked. And I'm never going to get us locked out of the office again!

I thought that was the end of my troubles but no - at around 6pm a faint itching began in my throat, by 6.30 I had a runny nose, and by 7 I was feeling the full-blown effects of flu. So instead of my planned run after work I decided to do some meditation/yoga because you know, some alternative medicine just might work. What this involves is some squatting on the floor with my legs crossed and my back straight against a wall. I just sat there for a while listening to my breathing and imagining my chi points getting unblocked and circulating healthy vital essences around my body. I almost fell asleep.

At some point my sister walked in the room and remarked to me how my head was cocked to one side and I told her no, I'm sitting straight up but she insisted that I wasn't and she brought me a mirror to prove it. She was right, my head was leaning to the right but the weirdest thing is, when I correct it by leaning to my left, I feel awkward like my body is off-balance.

It's like my body is getting back at me for all those times that I sit slouched or just take bad care of it in general. Getting sick is one big I told you so and that pisses me off cos I hate being wrong.

And this is the soundtrack of my life right now:

Like what the fuck beautiful choreography and burning walls and that little instrumental before the song ends - feels like jacking off in the shower and cumming.


On meeting people

3 September I meet a guy at Republiq.

He is wearing a t-shirt that shows off his biceps, his chest, and his belly. He is also wearing a pair of glasses. I will find out several days later that the frame is red. For now, he is too far away for me to see. In between us there are the following. A man who tries to impress a girl with his dancing; he is not successful. Three trannies made up like women; one of them grabs my friend's butt. A Fil-american boy in a sweatshirt; he is very handsome; he is having a good time. A group of five lame kids with a forty year old chaperon; the older man is drinking a vodka and sprite. An RNB singer who I don't recognize until my friends tell me who he is; he is wearing two earrings with a chain. Across all of these people our eyes meet again and again and again. I put my hands on one of my companions' waist and grind with her and watch him watch me with an impassive face. This game, pretending to not be gay, this shit turns me on.

After a while my companions decide it's time to go. Before we leave I gesture for him to come over and then I ask for his number. He keys it into my cellphone and when that is done he presses my hand, "text me okay." Sure, I reply, and then I go.

4 September I meet G. at Greenbelt.

It has been a while since we last saw each other and he looks different. Younger. Maybe it is because he is clean-shaven. Most likely it is something that happened while he was away. We talk in a Burger King and then we talk in a coffee shop and then we talk some more. But in all that time he never tells me what happened while he was gone. Instead we talk about his new job and his new apartment and his new books and other things inconsequential or otherwise. And then we go home. I missed him and now I don't anymore.

I also text the guy from last night and I find out the following things: his name is C. and he is an architect. Later I tell Elaine that I wish he is as sweet as Ted.

10 September I meet C. at the Shangri-la Plaza.

We are supposed to watch a movie at 3pm but he is late and there are no more tickets. I should be annoyed but I'm not. Anyway they say watching a movie is a lame first date. We decide to have coffee instead. I used to like coffee but now I don't anymore, not really. Starbucks coffee just tastes like sugar but I go ahead and order a white chocolate mocha. The drink is not white and I can't taste the chocolate. I feel betrayed. We stay until 5pm and then go back to the cinema level to get tickets. Again, they are sold out. For a while, we wander the mall aimlessly. Now that there is no movie to look forward to, we do not know what to do next? Go home? Have dinner? No one wants to take the lead. Finally I point us towards the terrace and we take a table. Then we smoke some cigarettes and talk some more. C. invites me to a day trip he is planning with some people from the Internet (apparently, there is a forum where such things happen on a regular basis). The idea appeals to me, not least because I'll get to spend the day with him. I say yes.

11 September I meet M. at the Shangri-la Plaza.

Early in the morning M. texts me to ask if I would like to meet up that day. We have been planning to see each other for several weeks already but our plans always fall through. I shared this fact with Santiago and he said that maybe we don't really want to meet. I don't want this to be true so I text M. back that I will meet him later that afternoon. And then I go back to sleep.

I wake up again at noon and I lay in bed for a while pondering the state that my flat is in. The kitchen sink is clogged. The dishes are unwashed. Clothes are strewn all over the living room. Everything is a mess. I open my mouth as wide as I can and pretend to scream. Of course I am careful not to make a sound because everyone else is still asleep. I'm thoughtful like that. And then I get up, toast a pop tart, eat it, drink some water, and then decide to try out my plumbing skills. Skilled plumbers can make up to $75,000 a year in America. That's like twenty times what I make at the job I am starting to feel ambivalent about.

I survey the pipes underneath the sink and they're not all that complicated. In a few minutes I've disassembled the thing. I clean out the pipes hoping that will solve the problem. Of course it doesn't. The build up is in the pipes in the wall and for a long while I try all sorts of household things (a piece of wire hanger, a plastic spoon, etc) to reach inside but nothing works. And then it is 1pm and I haven't had lunch or a shower and I'm supposed to meet Neil in half an hour. Frustrated, I leave the disemboweled sink as it is. I reassure my sister that I will call a real plumber to fix it.

We watch Der Räuber for free courtesy of the Cine Europa film festival. It is a very good film about aimlessness. It is even more awesome because the protagonist is a marathoner and well, running makes a very good metaphor for my life. Afterwards we go out to the terrace and I text M. to meet us there. I don't think it's strange that just yesterday I was sitting at that very same table with C.

M. finally arrives and we are awkward for a bit but soon enough we settle into comfortable conversation. He is really nice, which is not surprising. He smells nice too.

12 September I meet C. at the Pacita Complex.

In short, I spend the whole day with C. and a bunch of other people, all of them really vivacious and curious and interesting. We drive around the South, go swimming in a lake, and then have afternoon snacks at Ugu Bigyan's house.

I feel like I really jive with these people, and with C., and the days ahead look bright. Everything's just awesome.

*Photo from Travelog Philippines


On how I want to be, possibly - Part 1

I'd like to share with you a poem I found yesterday, Give Me Your Eyes by Angelina Weld Grimke.

             Give me your eyes.
I do not ask to touch
The hands of you, the mouth of you,
Soft and sweet and fragrant though they be.
No, life your eyes to mine;
Give me but one last look
Ere I step forth forever,
E'en though within that moment's crashing space
I shall know all of life and death and heaven and hell.

This poem is supposed to encapsulate the longing which Grimke felt for women and the restraint with which she controlled it. And even though I do not know what this restraint is, something in the verse speaks strongly to me. You can read more about her here.

Also, yesterday I go for a walk in the rain. It is not so much for pomp as by circumstance, a light shower catches me halfway home. Luckily I am close to Megamall when this happens so I go in and buy an umbrella which I dearly hope but don't believe will last me more than two months like my last umbrella did - goddamned made-in-China trash.

And then I go home and have dinner (beef jerky, fried egg, garlic rice) then after that I wash my face and brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack shot of vodka and then I try to decide what to wear. I'm thinking that I'll just wear the same t-shirt I'm wearing like I'm that guy who doesn't really care about his clothes but I remember there is a dress code so I pick out a nice shirt. Actually it is the only nice shirt that I have. Anyway, the next thing I know my phone is ringing and it's Elaine, Elaine is downstairs. 

We take a cab to her place where we chill for a while. Well, I chill for a while while she's busy eating dinner/putting on her make-up/getting dressed/smoking. Also, we talk for a bit and there's a part where I'm sat on her couch watching The Vampire Diaries and falling in love with Ian Somerhalder and she's in her room and also we're talking about whatever when she says out of nowhere, "You know what Drew, I'm so glad you're not a butterfly. I don't think I could hang out with you if you were. I mean, they're really fun and all that but I think if I spent a lot of my time with them I'd go crazy."

This gives me some pause because I share the same sentiments she does, like I find that too much camp can be grating and this used to make me feel guilty because I'm gay and I thought that I had to accept all gays too. And then I remembered that I'm all for transcending the boundaries of sexual identity and that although on the surface being camp has to do with being gay, it doesn't really. So that made me feel less guilty.

It also made me consider my obsession with the macho ideal. I admit it is something that I think a lot about; I am constantly agonizing over the fact that I am not masculine enough, physically. And I know that this is entirely superficial but it does not change the fact that what I find beautiful is this - a well-built body, a restrained demeanor, and purposeful movement. Or to put it crudely, "bawal ang mataba, bawal ang maingay, bawal ang malamya." These strokes, of course, are quite broad and only meant to outline my idea of an ideal. Consider David. He is standing still forever but thanks to Michelangelo's skill, we can imagine him in motion. We can see the strength and grace in that powerful body. Even at rest, relaxed, he is not limp but self-possessed.

David could very well be gay. 

I'm afraid that this entry has spun wildly beyond what I imagined it would be when I set off, and that I have rambled on long enough. More of my thoughts on this (as well as the rest of my story) when I have put them in the right order. Also, I have to exercise/wash the dishes/do the laundry.