Saturday, 24 July 2010

Pushed back into the closet

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.

Has this happened to you? How did you feel?


Eternal Wanderer... said...

as the saying goes:

it's not what you say, it's how you say it ;)

Guyrony said...

I have experienced that and yes I went all defensive.

I don't know if it's the act of being caught off guard or being suprised or both. But I tell you it's not a good feeling at all.

Mac Callister said...

not yet happened to me...well its just right that u dont talk to her anymore!

closet case said...

hey there. your immediate response and consequent long-term reaction is very human of you. i havent been in a similar situation but knowing myself, id end up with nervous laughter. stepping back, that scene was more about her than you. with a lot of restrain and composure, you could have turned the tables and asked her where the comment and emotional reaction was coming from. that would be interesting to know.

london boy said...

@ternie @guyrony @cc i guess it was more of the timing, we just had a very tiring day and then instead of relaxing, i get confronted with this.

i know deep in my heart that she said it out of her concern for me, and she was just tired as well so the words didnt come out right.

@mac after 2 months, ako rin ang nag-initiate at nakipagbati ;) pero at least she knows how i felt.

imsonotconio said...

dedmahin mo lang!

Fickle Cattle said...

I think the general experience of coming out isn't one big party, but a series of small steps; first friends, then acquaintances, then officemates, then family (in whatever order). Then there's also the idea that you have to decide to keep yourself out of the closet each and every day.

london boy said...

@imsonotconio hehe, friends pa rin kami, and i came out to the rest of our common friends, so di nya sya naste-stress :)

@fickle cattle yeah, i agree. i could imagine why it's a struggle for some gay men to stay out of the closet each day.

thanks for dropping by my blog :)

Ex Jason said...

people who try to make us feel ashamed of being gay. we should never let them succeed.

Angelo said...

sheesh, i feel for you.

a really, really good friend of mine (or so i thought) cut me off because that friend couldn't deal with the real me.


but it's during times like this that you see who your real friends are.

london boy said...

@ex jason i agree. i wont let them :) thanks for dropping by my blog!

@angelo if friends cannot accept us for who we are, then i guess we're better off not having them as friends.

Arjay said...

Team Building.
Drinking session.
Spin the bottle: truth or dare.
I said truth.
My manager, in front of the whole team (of 20) people. "Are you gay?".
Sabi ko "Judge me in whatever you would like to but I'm happy." lol
I was so mad the whole night and the following day.

tornphoenix said...

what's wrong with being gay, anyway?

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