THE LOUDEST knock on the door I’d ever heard in New Zealand greeted me while I was clearing cobwebs from my Saturday morning sleep-in, particularly delicious since I had been waking up half-past five for the past 10 straight working days. I was stressed more by the effect of such cacophonous knocks on our flatmates in the next room than on my own peaceful post-slumber thoughts, and I grabbed the nearest bathrobe hanging on the chair in the semi-darkness.
By the time I rushed down the single flight of 16 steps, Flatmate had beaten me to the door, obviously also wanting to avoid rousing his own mag-ina (mother and child) by the persistent rapping. I sleepily noticed that he (Flatmate) was in a macho tank-top that was popular back home in the Philippines for running and sleeping but definitely unsuitable here except for NZ summers (which it was), and before I absent-mindedly looked at my own garments and realized I had inadvertently worn esposa hermosa’s pink, heart-designed terrycloth bathrobe, Flatmate had already opened the door, revealing a Kiwi NZPost courier with a package.
For about a half-second he looked at macho-looking Flatmate, then his eyes swung to me, and of course stared at my bathrobe. In a flash I knew what he was thinking, but I have to admit he was magnificent in maintaining a deadpan demeaor, with all the funny things he had probably seen in his career. Package for you mate, looking at me straight in the eye.
Nodding yes to Flatmate’s question are you getting it? smiling at the courier, and signing his electronic signature-grabber, all in one motion, I quietly closed the door, shared a chuckle with Flatmate and returned to my room.
I’m fairly certain you guessed what I’m sure the courier thought after this delivery : was there a gay Asian couple the last time I delivered anything there?
It might just be me, but it’s a reasonable presumption, given my stereotypical get-up and the fact that Flatmate opened the door, and additionally, notwithstanding that he stayed barely a minute, he didn’t see any females around. Again, I might just be paranoid.
Thankfully, around an hour later when esposa and I happened to have breakfast with Flatmate’s family together (with our work skeds it’s rare that we’re all present at home), we all had a good laugh thinking about what else the courier might have thought. After the usual cliche’s and gay references, it dawned on us that the next time a package was scheduled to be sent our way, that last courier would certainly remember, or tell his colleague : see if those gay Asians are still there, will you?
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That anecdote was longer than expected yup? I just wanted to show you that although I’m straight (heterosexual), I’ve never been uncomfortable with gayness either as a concept or as a reality in my life. I’ve had gay friends in school and at work, Pinoy society is particularly accepting of gays, and the thought that I could be close to a homosexual person or persons is nothing unusual.
Way before gay activism and mainstream acceptance of the latter in society, there were gay orgs and openly gay professors (and students) in our school, which I wouldn’t term as the most liberated, tolerant or the marketplace of free ideas, but not a stronghold of traditional thinking either. Maybe somewhere left of mainstream, I like to delude myself into remembering.
There was the occasional cross-dresser or two, lesbians were more common than you might think, and because you were expected to wear your ideological heart on your sleeve, why would you do anything less with gender orientation ?
I say this with complete candor, but it was in university when I realized it was alright to declare to your circle of friends (and yourself) that a member of your own sex was attractive and someone to whom you wouldn’t mind being romantically linked, of course, in the alternate universe of being a female. And not fear being laughed at, or scorned.
At least once I have been invited to start a gay relationship, and being aware of what I wanted and to whom I was attracted, I politely declined. Like anyone who was found attractive, nevertheless, I found such invitation quite flattering.
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I confess there is a something a bit more personal to this topic than the above enumeration of anecdote and memories. One person I consider very close to me has recently told me of his/her sexual orientation, and I admire him/her that.
It has not changed how I see him/her one bit, and in fact we have become closer, at least in my perception. Given the reality of life, I know that there will be those who won’t be as accepting as I have been, and he/she will find his/her decision a source of challenges for the rest of his/her young life, but that is the way things go.
I am just happy that he/she is happy, and I am almost sure that he/she is reading this now, and knows that this short blog reflects how I love him/her no matter what.
If even one person reads this and becomes more accepting of himself or herself afterwards, then it will have been a blog worth writing. God loves all creatures in this world that He made, and makes no distinction.
Neither, I should think, should we.
Thanks for reading!
- pasaway answers to kiwi FAQs bout pinoys (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)