"kasi iba kang magisip." he replied.
i recall one conversation i had with a friend, back when i was in high school, about how i should conduct myself in the world. i know, it's quite a strange question posed at such a young age but considering my background and my upbringing, presentation, rather, testimony, is something we are made conscious of very early on. my friend then told me, be normal among the abnormal. of course back then, i had no idea what "normal" was, more so, what was "abnormal". it wasn't really as simple as good or bad, tact versus rude, proper versus improper. i think my friend knew i too didn't know what to do with what he said but expected that i would eventually learn and discern along the way.
* * * * *
"but you're nothing like the normal PLU", mcvie once told me, while having casual chitchat over coffee one weekend evening. this was his conclusion i guess about how i didn't conform to the typical gay lifestyle that a lot of my friends have. though it is true that i don't really share delight in the same activities my friends have, i don't feel necessarily any different from them. i simply have a variation of preference, something all normal people have technically, gay or straight. i'm pretty sure there are those who share the same inclinations as i. however, if i were to consider what mcvie said and really do acknowledge my atypicalness... would that then make me abnormally gay, i.e., that i'm even possibly straight after all (OUCH. brain spasm...)
* * * * *
"did i change? i mean, after i came out, did i change?" i asked kuya one time. he said i did but not too much. he said i'm much louder, a bit more flamboyant than usual, and he blames that on the fact that maybe i find the behavior acceptable since i see this with the friends i keep. though my folks don't really object against the people i hang out with since i have assured them and have reassured them that i keep descent company, still on certain, very rare occasions, when i would decide to just let my hair down and allow circumstances to take me where ever, it would be the company that i keep that would be the first to get attacked. the "equally yoked" subject would then be brought up. trust is always a constant balancing act, always teetering on an unstable fulcrum. one minute things are fine, the next minute, you find yourself picking up shattered pieces and try to start from scratch again.
" i told myself i would not change". i told my friend.
"being gay should not be all that defines me."
being gay, now that i think of it, never did.