Sunday, January 8, 2012

On The Day Of My Spawning

It was one of those sleepless nights. 

Me, face to face with the computer. Computer taking ages to load a page. Nobody complains. Twitter is yet to be coded, and when the slow web access pisses you off, you can easily ditch a service provider for another. 

After all, there was a menagerie of Internet pre-paid cards to choose from.

In those days, social media, as a construct is yet to be conceived. People get hooked to the web to read - and perhaps take a peek at a porn image or two. There was one online forum though. I do not know how I came across its portal. But its power to allow hundreds of minds to speak, and share ideas would soon rub off on me. Within hours after my first stumble, I was browsing the threads and reading the posts of people who found themselves willingly parting their thoughts.  

One of those threads would actually change my life. 

I have always known the hollow strangeness: of why I seem to be drawn to boys more than girls; of why I feel terribly uncomfortable standing next to naked muscular guy of my age; of why, I'd put the palm of my hand over a flame, to let it get burned and return me to my proper state of mind.

All along there was denial, and I did my best to cover up the truth.

Hoping it would go away. 

Once or twice, I did recognize this sleeping giant by means of confession. When the burden became increasingly heavy, I went to a priest for answers. Nothing came out of the revelation. 

What I recall about what he said was the word "repent." 

Everything else was simply blown away by the wind.

Next, I admitted my swinger side to a gay phone pal. I don't remember how he got my number, but we eventually got along pretty well. He was of the flamboyant kind, the one you would avoid in those days, if you fear being regarded as one. But because I'm used to hanging out with people like him, his nature didn't deter me to reach out,

and learn.

I told him one night, that I somehow liked boys; that I try not to think about the attraction too much. He told me, I must stop or suffer the consequence. "Ang hirap ng ganitong buhay," he said.

I would have understood his words of caution, if our warm ties didn't suddenly cool. It all ended when I showed up at the fast food chain where he worked. He did acknowledge my presence by waving his hand and saying "hi." Nothing more. That night, he didn't call.

Never again will I hear his falsetto voice.

Apparently, our friendship was anchored on looks alone.

Those two episodes of near-recognition got buried under piles of memories of me going out with girls, and at times, professing my love for them - even if only in the presence of friends. 

But there's no denial that fate is catching up. That I am getting exposed in ways I would eventually embrace one day as life.

From the graphic novel "One Night in Purgatory," that I unearthed from the stacks of magazines at the Manila Times, (spent a quarter of the summer toiling in that place - for my on-the-job training) to the secret detours at the porn lane under the Carriedo LRT Station, there was an attempt to cross to the other side.

This growing consciousness was somehow suppressed by my close friendship with boys who bullied effeminate men for fun, and by the machismo culture pervading in my dad's smut tabloid business. I was also in a relationship at that time and I thought her presence would finally pull me out of my homosexual leanings.

But I was wrong. So very wrong.

There is one final turning point before the discovery of the bisexuals' thread on Pinoyexchange that changed the course of history. But that dark past deserves another entry.

So on the morning of January 7, 2002. After reading the stories of so many others who were still in the closet - their longing to find someone to relate, to express their hidden self, to assert their attraction towards same sex, without compromising an inch of their masculinity, their words somehow resonated with my own voice.

nanginginig ang mga daliri,
sinusunog ang balat, nilalagnat
diwang tuliro ngunit pilit kumakapa 
puwersahan man ang pagtanggap  
ngunit wala ng atrasan
nangangatal man ngunit kailangang aminin.

ngayon na joms.

I tapped on the keyboard the very words that would become my freedom piece.

"Damn it's hard to accept this but I really think (and have to admit despite how painful and how unacceptable it is) that I am bi.
I've been so lucky to stumble upon this thread because it's really very hard to have this personality - duo ba.
Definitely I'm not into that thing and I hope I will not** I've read your comments and I think it's one of the signs. It's so sad up here but you guys made the difference. At least, I've dared to become open right now.
I know that we're still considered one of those fags, but I hope that they'll understand that we're much more different. Hope that someday, we'll find our place and will not fall into that pit.
I hope you could support me guys... until then, I need to get really really quiet.

Thanks very much for being here."

You know the feeling of being set free; the elation that you found acceptance, and yet at the same time terrified that someone might spot your tracks and spread the word before you are able to reign in your revolution. So fearful I was that my friends were also on PEx that I changed my handle within a matter of days. The forum posters would get to know me as Endymionn.

And I would knock on so many closets and liberate their confused inhabitants.

Ten years in the making and here I am looking back at that moment of spawning. Now more confident albeit with victory scars to tell my journey. 

And realizing that a decade later, I would learn that those bold steps I made would actually embolden so many others to abandon their hiding places and form brotherhoods within the secret layers of cyberspace. Like Garppp, I am one of the firstborns, 

and this is my beginning.

** Man to man relationship. Gay sex. Less than a year after recognition. I will have a first serving of both.

Like I always do when I celebrate milestones. Went to Quattro Bar in Timog. Ordered a Macho Mug of San Mig Light and did a toast to my tenth year in fairyland - alone, and proud of who I have become.


RoNRoNTuRoN said...

Nice story... the awakening... :D its really hard diba... :) I guess ur happy now, cause the right thisg would always make u happy, one way or another... :D

kalansaycollector said...

aw. nice one. :)

Kiks said...

so should i be saying, a gay anniversary to Mugs?

ten years ago was your beginning. and every year, we continue beginning.

the green breaker said...

Should I congratulate you, kuya Joms, for you chose to be brave in admitting it to yourself? I think I must. Happy ten years!

Gian said...

explains how mighty bright you are right now, and hopeful. maybe you were never that distant at all.

Cheers, brave one.

Guyrony said...

An acknowledgement.

A feat worthy of an applause.

To a decade of freedom, self-expression, and sexuality, Joms.


a sparkling toast to one brave soul who in his own little way has serve as a beacon at the end of the lonely tunnel for those who are still feeling and deciding how, when and to whom to come out.

cheers, joms!

Garpppy Garp said...

Mag-te-ten years na tayong magkaibigan, kapatid. :) Parang kelan lang. Haha!

odin hood said...

thanks kuya joms.