Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Things I've Learned

Christmas this year has been so different. It’s been an extended holiday season, but I’ve become thankful that I didn’t get my wish to sleep through the holidays. I’ve had a healthy balance between staying rested and keeping busy, and been swamped with almost every emotion there is, more happy moments than sad, I’m pleased to say.

The usual family stuff has been there, but with the several days that have been dedicated to helping Baby Nathan’s family out, they’ve become my second family as well. It’s been almost a week since Christmas passed, and still the season of giving remains. And with everything that has been happening, I can say that I have been learning a lot.

Here are just some of them...

I’ve sort of been able to generalize that people who drive Mazda 3s are seemingly extremely generous persons. You know who you are. I’m thankful, but hoping generosity is not limited to them.

I’ve seen how much fun unexpected plans can be, when a quick shopping trip spins off into a bakal-boys-hour slash dirty-secrets-Q&A-portion slash movie-date. I’m still trying to analyze if doors really do slam silently when done by the hearing-impaired.

I’ve shared the panic of being put on the spot and wanting to run away from a well-meaning bible-study-preacher person, but not having any polite way of doing so. I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one who’s not into it.

I’ve realized how the mascot effigies at fastfood chains can be such good points of reference when eyeballing with someone. I’m just thinking of how to phrase things better than I’m the guy staring at Ronald McDonald’s ass.

I’ve learned that ladies should be careful who they’re caught grocery-shopping with. Anyone of the opposite sex, even if it’s a discreet gay friend, will always be thought to be your boyfriend. I’m wondering how much worse the rumors would’ve been if we were caught with baby diapers in the shopping cart. This might be the first and the last time you'll hear this from me, but Our kids would've been beautiful!

And vice versa, discreet gay guys should be careful who they’re caught grocery shopping with, too. Anyone of the opposite sex, even if it’s just a friend, might be thought to be your – Gasp! – girlfriend. Again, I’m glad no one I knew caught us with diapers in our shopping cart. No offense, but Eeeeew! I have a reputation to protect, ya know!

Okay, okay, now seriously...

Being able to help Baby Nathan out these past holidays has been anything short of an eye-opener. I’ve been thanked myself a lot for helping them out, but I maintain that I am only a medium, and the real angels are the people who come from out of nowhere to lend a helping hand. I mean I might have the affinity to this kid just because we are both HIV positive and it is but natural for us in the poz community to, as they say, love your own. But these people who’ve been stepping up to the plate and giving whole-heartedly have been people from heaven knows where, who’ve chosen to look past the boundaries of our minority, welcoming themselves into our little community and us into theirs.

So the real learning for me in all of this is that, as much as so many people have been opening their hearts to put smiles on the faces of Baby Nathan and his family during the holidays, we must realize how Baby Nathan is serving as an angel himself, a tool to bridge the gap between the HIV-positive and the HIV-negative, and show that we are still human and that everyone, regardless of gender, orientation and HIV status, can work together.

In this case, clearly HIV is not merely a disease. It is not a punishment. HIV has served as a tool in itself, a tool that possibly the heavens have sent down to give us humans the opportunities to show compassion, to cooperate, and to prove that there is still hope in the world. A tool that didn’t come in a completely pleasant form, but, as we are beginning to see, serves its purpose to show we are not living in a fallen and hopeless world.

Okay, so maybe the country is not completely ready for the reality of HIV. Maybe majority of people still cultivate the stigma attached to HIV. But I can firmly say that the times are changing. Slowly, but surely. I’ve been taking baby steps for some time now, and I’m happy to realize that more and more people are willing to take those baby steps, too... with me, and towards me.

4 comments:

Jimzon said...

im near mcdonald's statue wearing a white shirt.:)

PinoyPoz said...

Darn! Why didn't I think of that... :-)

Thanks for helping out, Jimzon :-)

ruby said...

Do you know the first thing they asked when I arrived at the office this morning?

When will you bring THE boyfriend?

Bwahahahaha! =)

PinoyPoz said...

Woooow! That friend of yours was really convinced I was straight, ha. Hehehe.

Let's just say we were caught in a "compromising" situation. Together at the grocery, shopping for ingredients for New Year's eve dinner. A very bf-gf scene kasi! Hahaha.

Tell them I'm still busy looking for my boyfriend... hehehe. I'm so gay, I can't even think straight!