Wednesday, September 01, 2010

stepped out: since 1999

This project caught my attention whilst browsing non-work related sites during office hours (heh!) and I realized that for the past four years that I've been [intermittently] blogging, I haven't really talked about my coming-out story (there was a brief mention here). Sure, this blog's littered with tales of whine and proses; of the highs and lows of being NBSB and of porn analyses, but I haven't really shared how it all started, have I?

(But does it matter? Telling my story, that is? Not really, but what the heck. People usually laugh at how supposedly funny my story was... not sure how it'll translate in writing, though.)

Anyhoo, it was during our high school senior year retreat when I finally accepted that yes, I was... "confused" (LOL!). For one thing, majority of the palanca letters I received from my classmates had the same message: accept who you really are because we'll love you no matter what. For another, during one of our reflection periods (Was it during Day 2?) the one thought that was running through my head was this: God's love is supposed to be unconditional; if not, well fuck it, I'm going to hell.

(The fact that I saw a classmate in black string briefs when I was on wake-up call duty -- he opened the door pissed off at 5 in the morning -- and that stories of other milagro happening before confession were circulating did not help matters.)

I remember my (sort of) grammatically incorrect confession then: "bless me father, for I have sinned... I having homosexual -- and heterosexual thoughts." Yep, I just made heterosexuality a sin.

I say "confused" because that's what I told my mother a couple of months later when we had a heart to heart talk. By then I have embraced my overall nelly-ness at school: I started retaliating or playing along to the taunts of our basketball jocks ("Kandong ka naman!" "Sige ba!"). The Mean Gays who were ostracizing me and used to leave my bag in the middle of the soccer field for the past three years became friendlier because they're now sure that "I'm one of them". Cue the boyband obsessions, Playgirl picture exchanges via rainbow-colored Imation floppy disks, and porn watching parties!

Of course, mother doesn't know about these shenanigans at school until the principal supposedly raised his "concern" one day when she visited the campus. One night, over sinigang, she dropped the bomb:
"Anak, bakla ka ba?"

To which I tearfully replied:
"Hindi ko po alam!"

Yes, despite the fact that I played Barbie and Ken when I was five, or that I sang and danced telenovela theme songs in front of my sophomore class three times on different occasions, I "did not know".

But who does at age fifteen anyway? I mean, I know I was different even when I was much younger, and yet I still had a hard time saying the "B" word out loud. To myself. To everyone. On the bright side, at least "confused" was a much better state that I can label myself I was in then. Rather than, say "childish". ;)

Of course, that statement has had some minor repercussions. Mother held on to that sliver of hope, praying that it's just a phase that I'll outgrew (something I dashed completely come college when I had no qualms sleeping with my girl friends on the same bed during all-nighters). Friends attempted to psychoanalyze my situation ("you just lack a father figure") and were worried that I came out too late ("So sa college ka maglalalandi? Di ka talaga magkaka-boypren!"). Come to think of it, these last two items may probably explain why I'm drawn to someone more mature, and *sigh* why I'm still single. Self-fulfilling prophecy much?

It was halfway through college that I mustered enough courage to say to the world (a la Jack McFarland) that I'm here, I'm queer, and the world better get used to it. Apparently for me, someone who easily gets registered at another person's gaydar even at first glance, finding out and accepting who I am still came in stages.

I still count that senior retreat as my "anniversary" though. It makes good story for one. And of course, my classmate's string briefs is forever etched in my mind. :)


Fickle Cattle said...

One night, over sinigang, she dropped the bomb:

"Anak, bakla ka ba?"

To which I tearfully replied:

"Hindi ko po alam!"

In my head this comes with melodramatic music. I love it. :-)

Tobie said...

I could so relate to the "Hindi ko alam!" response, although not in the same way. I was terribly confused at first what I was, not clearly having role models in media that matched what I felt I was.

By the time I came out to my parents, however, it was more a do I tell them the simpler or the more accurate term?

Thanks for sharing!

PJ said...

@Fickle Cattle: hahaha! true! obviously what happened was less dramatic but we did end up hugging and crying. :P aww.

@Tobie: good point. I can also relate bit -- we know that the (local) media has been portraying the bakla persona as the cross-dressing parlorista who can be "cured", so I was like "parang oo pero hindi pa rin!". 50% lang. :P

I suddenly remember my college friend when he came out: "I'm bi-slash-gay". :)