August 25, 2006 at 10:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized, UP Mountaineers | 1 Comment

“While the louder, more flamboyant and thus more visible members of the community are now under fire for not comporting themselves with dignity and decency, the fact is that for decades they were considered the “safe” face of the gay community. Time was when Filipino society was comfortable with the very notion of the ‘bakla’ or ‘syoki’ only if (s)he conformed to the stereotype of what the gay community has termed the “parlorista,” the gay man who dresses like a woman, acts in an effeminate manner and engages in an innocuous trade. Such gays were considered acceptable and non-threatening, but only if they remained within their narrow circle, and behaved in ways that immediately clued in others as to their sexual orientation. Gays became “threatening” only after they achieved some degree of economic power as well as social and intellectual clout, and only after it became fairly obvious that, really, gays were — and are — everywhere, and that these days it’s nearly impossible to tell who’s gay or not gay, at least on the basis of dress, manner or behavior alone.”

– Rina Jimenez-David

August 25 column, At Large

Rina Jimenez-david sums it up excellently. And I just find it funny that while all this Isagani Cruz thing was going on, I was doing my own tapping on my own private glass ceiling too.  We had just come back from our training with UPM and while hanging out, drinking at the Shop, we made the round of questions to which the first one (I think meant for me) was about being gay.  To which I answered honestly, and voila. Instant camaraderie and the approving comments of co-apps and members present.  It was a defining moment in my ongoing application.  It was a sign of investment, a personal milestone.  I consider it a landmark everytime I tell people deeply personal stuff about me, because I only reserve that for people I trust.  Which is why trusting is so important a value for me, once you lose it you often don’t get it back from me.  (Are you reading this, Tune?)

But anyway I digress.  Telling my UPM family I’m gay is of course nothing new, because I’m not the first of my “kind” in.  And the truth is I might just as well be dead by next week because as of my last attempt, I was still in excess of 5 minutes in my 10k run.  Failure to finish within 01:15:00 will mean no more  Level2 climb for me.

But there’s something to be said about the quality of people I’ve met in this process and  all the hardships we have had to go through as a batch.  It is no small feat indeed to try and get into UPM.  The mental and physical aspects are equally demanding and it’s like taking an entire course for an entire semester for which shame is the price you have to pay if you fail.  The people who are going through the same process know exactly what I am talking about.  And which is why the affinity, as Kuya Boboy himself pointed out, has become obvious at this point.
My batchmates have been charmingly supportive and accepting, and very thankful for my initiatives, which make me feel even more inspired to keep going. And the only hurdle at this pointis the remaining immensity of the requirements before me.  Requirements like the 10k which I dread to no end.

And it doesn’t matter whether one is gay or straight.  The requirements are just about as gender-blind as anywhere, and it makes me feel good to know that my sexuality is a non-issue.  What matters is that one finshes the run in the prescribed time period, does well in all the  exams and lectures, and most importnatly, gets to appreciate the usefulness of what he or she has been taught, in everyday life.  Things which one need not be straight or gay to appreciate.  So with that in mind, I guess it only meant that it was my due time for disclosure. Card’s on the table, and at the end of the day the fact that only remains is that I will keep climbing mountains, 10k or no 10k, and whether people think differently of me because I’m gay.


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  1. rina jimenez-david hit the nail with that piece.

    by the way, you’re still linking to my old blogsite, I’ve already moved to wordpress a long time ago.


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