All gay men have a coming out story. For some, it is a joyful occasion. For others, a drama-filled and traumatic experience. But no matter which route you went through, the feeling of victory and freedom is shared.
But we all know that coming out is only the beginning. The struggles we had while staying in the closet is initially replaced by the struggles of adjusting to your new identity as an openly gay man. This is especially true for people who have done "selective coming out". One of these struggles is what I call "being pushed back into the closet."
I first experienced this April last year. I was on holiday in California with a girl friend who I recently came out to. We were meeting former officemates from the Philippines, most of whom I haven't seen for 3 years. It was our second day there, we spent the whole day going around Monterey. It was a tiring yet fun day. We came back to our friends' house early evening to freshen up before hitting the San Francisco club scene. We were in the guest room changing clothes when my girl friend suddenly told me (in an irritated tone)
"Baklang-bakla ka naman." (You've been acting so gay).
I was caught off-guard so I ended up getting defensive.
"E bakla naman talaga ako e." (I'm acting gay cause I AM GAY) "I am a grown man, I can take care of myself."
That time, I wasn't sure if she was concerned that I was outing myself to people who can't handle it, or was she just embarrassed of me. I immediately left the room in order to avoid further confrontation. Instead, I just tweeted my anger and upset feelings. I resented so much what my friend said. Because of this and other things she did during the trip, we didn't speak to each other for 2 months.
It all started innocently, I was having merienda with my co-managers at work, then 2 of my bosses decided to share our table.
Small talk, small talk, yada yada yada.
Topic suddenly shifts to co-manager and why she doesn't have a boyfriend. Oh, I love this kind of conversations, I love roasting people, one question after another, don't let the roastee recover, hihihi.
"And how about you London Boy?" asks Boss #1.
"Ah, hmmm, aahhh...." (what the fuck!)
"Oh my, are you interested in another species?" asks Boss #2. (Translation: You like men?!?)
London Boy - smiling, blushing (damn London! I was incapable of blushing when I left Manila 2 years ago!)
"I don't need someone permanent in my life."
"What???" - Boss #1 and 2 and co-manager.
"No plans of getting married? How about kids? Marriage is such a blessing" - Boss #1
"I have a niece, boss. And I can get a different blessing each week. Why settle for one?"