08 March, 2009

The Younger They Gay

[hongou kanata has nothing to do with this post, i just want his photo here]

I know of some people who will be picking on the title of this post for challenging the usual conventions of grammar and composition, well, they can suck it for all I care. I have been meaning to post this for quite some time now, unfortunately it got lost under the many drafts of other stuff I have been working on. There’s a companion to this post that’s a bit more ambitious and would require a bit more creative thought. This however, should be remotely amusing.

When I was younger, my homosexuality was overshadowed by my need for over-achievement. I made sure that people were far too distracted at keeping-up with what I wanted to achieve next to the point of everyone’s amusement. My relatives on my mother’s side did not really think much of it, being gay, I mean. My Abuela had this accepting and generous attitude that greatly influenced my extended family’s opinions that made growing up as the only gay teenager around quite enjoyable. However, I remember being confronted only once about my sexuality at age fifteen; it was my grandmother’s sister-in-law. But then again, Mama Eding comes from a family with a medical history insanity inherited every generation -some people have actually commented that this was their family‘s curse [If you ask me, my grandmother‘s brother‘s lack of judgment in picking that particular woman as wife is beyond me]. So I never really took her seriously. Funny how she took issue with it but the rest of my family just ignored her. Better gay than genetically insane, I said to myself back then.

Unlike some gay teens who have to struggle to be accepted, I felt protected and spoiled by my family on my mother’s side. Those who know the de los Reyeses of Antique know how we take care of our own. And it helped that my family raised me never to take my shame home. “Huwag ka lang mag-uuwi ng kahihiyan,” my Abuela said once. That’s her way of saying we must keep up appearances. I think they were glad that I was this particular type of gay -not that I’m saying there’s something wrong with the other types out there in gaydom- but I do think it helped with their acceptance of my being different.

As per my father’s side, it was another story. You see, my father’s side has what they call the “gay gene” which I inherited. The Dayrit-Torres side of my blood is fettered with gay uncles, gay cousins, gay second cousins… -well, you get my drift. I attended Don Isidro’s funeral back in 1997 and I felt like just another gay guy in the room. Hahahahaha!!!

Now in my 20s, it has come to my attention that we seem to be welcoming new gays into the family [cousins from my mother‘s side]. I have two nephews from some second cousins of mine who are now eleven or twelve. They were involved in this incident at the airport that nearly knocked me off my seat.

It was during a summer vacation when the Nebit nieces and nephews -all eleven of them- embarked on a summer trip. It was then that Boyboy and Bornok confirmed my suspicions. Trust me, it’s a little more complicated and ironic to begin with: Boyboy is the only boy to his three sisters and Bornok is a nickname one gives a rather boisterous and troublesome boy. These nicknames could not be more playfully masculine but I dare you to read on…

So, there they were, Bornok and Boyboy, in front of the airline check-in officer when the old guy goes, “Wow, you are all Nebits [ refers to the 11 tickets with Nebit names he had in his hands ] are you boys brothers?”

To which Boyboy and Bornok collectively answer, “No, we’re sisters!!!” which was followed by their girlish cackle.

Ooooh Myyyyy Gohhhhhd, right? The younger they gay, I tell you. Hahahahaha!!! These days, it really doesn’t take much for a dad to fear how his son’s sexuality will turn out. Congratulating a young dad after having a son has more than once been responded with, “Sana lalaki pa rin paglaki.” [I hope he stays that way when he grows up] -and I really can’t take offense at that. I can hardly fathom how a father’s hope lies for continuance lies so much in having a boy. I mean, Henry VIII went as far as six wives and a few severed heads just to have a son, did he not? You can’t blame a father for hoping. But when that dad resorts to violence to emasculate an effete child, that’s just unacceptable.

On the other hand, I think gay teenagers these days are quite lucky -well, every older generation says the younger one has it better off anyway- the internet alone with its social networking sites, online communities, and resources are a haven for them. They have a place to learn how to cope with all things that trouble them where they can make connections and have friends that know what they’re going through and how hard it is -even if the connections we make online are often superficial, there are genuine ones that pop-up every now and then.

Now, I’m the “cool gay uncle” to these guys. Unfortunately, I’m not in speaking terms with one of the boy’s parents ergo I don’t see them as much when I stay at the ancestral house. Here’s hoping they don’t have it that tough.

Thus spake the Barefoot Baklesa

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