Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Golden Gays (Third Part)

Second Part

They say that in the field of broadcasting, (and media, in its broadest sense) one is allowed to be what he wants.  Prejudice is unaccepted and creativity is valued no matter how you dress, act or speak like. Attitudes that hinder no work is tolerated, and that is why gays and lesbians thrive in this industry. I was once groomed to become part of this industry and had I said so, well, I could have enjoyed the company of studs like my father relished the presence of starlets when he's in the company of big men.

Ten years after the ascension failed, a cause would pull me back to these people I once worked before. The Golden Gays turn out to be composed mostly of men and women from the broadcasting field. Had my presence been more glaring, some of them would have known: his father was the tabloid king, his voice echoes through his son's blog entries. 

It was an overheard inquiry that caught my attention. One of the lesbian guests hobbled past a group of MGGFF kids asking for the exit. The kids pointed at a door draped in chain curtains, which I knew would be a source of  inconvenience.

So I trailed behind knowing she would need help.

As she tried to part the heavy curtains for her to get in, my big hands appeared and forced the drapes open. She felt my presence and thanked me for my help. Like me, she too felt a little odd for the choice of venue but instead of telling her that she had just stepped foot in a bath house, I asked for an extra cigarette stick.

The sun's glare outside Queeriosity was troublesome for our eyes, but it didn't stop us from lighting a cigarette and starting a conversation. She introduced her full name, a gesture considered taboo in the gay world. Her appearance, a striking contrast to the others inside. While the gentle-men did their best to look as feminine as possible, she wore a white sports cap, reporter's vest, classy long sleeves and faded jeans. One could  even easily mistake her for a guy, until she starts to speak.

She asked for my name. I wasn't sure if it was Joms or my other name that I gave, But I was tempted to say Mugen just to screen my identity.  A common link was revealed when she asked for my surname. Unable to lie to an old lady, I caved in to her request.

"Yllana," I said.

"Yllana ba kamo?"  I notice her eyes brighten.  "May kilala akong Yllana dati... kaano-ano mo si Sani Yllana?"   

It was very difficult not to tell the truth.  For all the years I was able to stay anonymous, a time comes when you need to recognize your past. Fearless of the consequences,  I proudly told her who Sani was.

"Tatay ko po."

Forgotten memories are easier told when the person who will hear the revelation can relate to the story.  She once worked for my dad, the lesbian said, and claimed that she was his snitch.

"Kasama ko pa nga sila ni Buding eh."  She was referring to my dad's ex-mistress.  "Kapag sinabi ko na 'boss, ganid itong taong to' makikinig siya."

I learned that she lived and breathed newspapers until old age caught up with her.  She managed several community tabloids, a kind of paper we called "haosiao" back in college.  She was the editor, publisher and even newswriter when reporters chose not to submit articles.  Explaining how her life was, I imagined her writing press releases for local officials and highlighting their little projects. That was how she earned.

When asked about her relation to the Golden Gays, she said the organizers invited her to show up. As to what the event was all about, apparently she did not ask.

"Sabi ni JJ kailangan daw niya ng mga matatandang bading at tomboy." She explained. "Matagal na rin kaming hindi nagkikita kita kaya pumunta ako."

The lesbian then asked if I write in newspapers like my father was.  I told her that I'm a blogger, a concept new to her.Uninterested to learn more about technology, we went on talking about my dad and the things she missed after they parted ways.

"Patay na po siya, namatay po sa stroke."

"Nagkaroon po siya ng diyaryo dati.  Alam niyo po yung 'Unang Hindot?'"

Between her revelations and cherished memories, I sensed some omission in her details.  Why was she not aware that my dad had a tabloid?  Why she kept on referring to the old newspaper, which my dad had a fall-out before putting up his own paper?  I chose not to ask these questions out of fear of stumbling into some forgotten past.  Sticking into her story, I was able to maintain ties, the only one I was able to sustain throughout my stay.

"Alam mo kung ibang tao ang tumulong sa akin kanina, baka nagsuplado ako." I listened to her musings relieved that I didn't dig some bad histories. "Siguro talagang pinagtagpo tayo no?"

"Siguro nga po."

"Hayaan mo, hahanapin ko si Buding para mag-usap ulit kami."

With our conversation about to end,  I gave her some bottles of moisturizer, which my favorite aunt collected from her stay in different hotels.  I brought it as give-aways for the old folks. Meanwhile, another lesbian who was at the event showed up and was looking for the lady I spoke with.

"Siya nga pala, ito yung isang kasama kong tomboy sa loob."

I felt it was time for me to go after Kuya Pawpaw, who was inside called and asked for my whereabouts. After being properly introduced to the other lesbian, I excused myself from the two ladies to let them have a private talk.  It doesn't matter if word spreads out about my past. A decade from the time I got acquainted with my dad's gay and lesbian people,

I have finally embraced who I am.


Before completing this blog entry, I was able contact the ex-mistress to ask about the lesbian. She denied knowing a tomboy in the past.

All other names except for Joms were fictional.

The names of the lesbians slipped out of my head.  Poor memory is to blame.




Yj said...

life truly has its own way of blowing us through the people we meet....


i just love this series Kuya... at salamat sa huling comment na iniwan mo sa tahanan ko... hindi na ako malungkot hihihihihi

Sean said...

ang liit talaga ng mundo.

Anonymous said...

they call it luck, I call it destiny. :D