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.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The TV Virgin

InterviewYesterday was it. The day I was to be interviewed. I was to lose my virginity. Again. I had fled work half an hour early just to make sure I made call time for the interview. Though I did try to make a joke out of it, considering that it would just be the back of my head or my silhouette that would be seen, I thought it pointless to go have my hair and makeup done. Teehee.

Shortly past 8:00 pm, I was out on the corner of so-and-so, waiting for the unmarked vehicle to pick me up. After a few minutes, some flashing lights told me it was them. When the door slid open, I was surprised to see J, one of the poz guys I had met at the RITM Christmas party and who I’d been chatting with since. J had gotten interviewed earlier that afternoon, but I didn’t expect to see him there.

To make a long story short, all I could say was "Oh, you’re here!" I swear I was surprised. And I hate surprises. I know J will kill me when he reads this, but I bit my tongue to keep from running away. I’m sorry if it makes me seem like such a bad friend, I’m just being honest.

On the ride to his place, G, the researcher who had pulled me into this thing, was even more paranoid than I was, pointing out how I could possibly be recognized by the pair of shorts I was wearing, my watch, and even my pinky ring. But really, at this point, having put so much of me out there through this blog, that was really the least of my concerns.

Getting there and waiting a few minutes, GMA host Vicky Morales walked in. After introductions all around, Vicky... naks, first-name basis... okay, Ms. Morales... showered us with a bit of flattery, saying how good J and I both looked. If I wasn’t so dark, they’d probably seen me blushing. Accepting compliments is not one of my strong points. She was also particularly pleased to realize that I was behind this Back In The Closet blog, which she’d apparently read from cover to cover. She praised my writing, and I just recalled what G taught me, and said thank you. I swear I blushed again.

With that out of the way, I was pleased to realize there was no hostility between us. Of course worst case would’ve been that they kidnap me or torture me for the stuff I’ve said here about other shows and people from GMA, or at least some bitch-slapping and hair-grabbing ensue. But really there was none of that sort of thing, and they proved that they were not the enemy. A big Whew! from me.

Being purposely pulled in for being the HIV-positive blogger, the interview commenced, with me seated askew on an ottoman in front of G’s laptop, with Vicky seated on my right side. I didn’t see exactly how the shot was framed, but the camera was behind me, and lights were on the wall in front of me, and on Ms. Morales.

Before starting, Ms. Morales brought up the excellent question of what she should call me. I hadn’t given it prior thought so I fumbled. She suggested I use the alias I use here. But when I posed my question, B.I.T.C.H.?, she jokingly playing out a few questions calling me B.I.T.C.H. and thought otherwise.

It was awkward enough having cameras and lights glaring down on me, bracing myself for what unexpected questions they’d have for me, groping a laptop which was beyond my intellectual capacity, sweating like ice on a hot summer day and practical strangers listening to me tell my story, but honestly having J there to witness it all wasn’t much help. I felt like I was in a beauty pageant, being the last contestant pulled out of the isolation booth, eyes burning holes in the back of my neck. I know, I’m sorry, I’m too transparent.

Anyways, in as much as I wouldn’t want to preempt how exactly the interview went, I really couldn’t, because with all the unease I was feeling, I was half conscious, half unconscious, and half self-conscious. See, there was so much of me I was bursting at the seams! I don’t remember exactly what happened, or maybe I choose not to. But I do hope I got some of my message across.

The interview ended with me as the only hitch. I felt pathetic getting to the part where they were supposed to film me doing things I normally do at home. I don’t normally sketch. I don’t normally play any musical instrument. Yes, I’m that boring. Well maybe not, but home is not exactly the best place to play sports, nor was it the best time. I eat. I work. I sleep. The rest of what I normally do at home might just get shot down by the censors. So what did I end up doing? I washed. Yes, I washed. I washed my hands. I washed my face. And I washed some dishes, to G’s utmost delight, of course. Fine, fine, portray me as the domesticated BITCH.

Finally, it was done. Some pizza arrived for us to chow down on, at which point Ms. Morales chose to be motherly, practically shoving three slices down my gut. She was being nice and she was really nice, don’t get me wrong, but I was stuffed! Before long, she had to go to catch her evening newscast at the GMA Complex, and left us with beso-besos all around.

After being a bit of a cause of delay, struggling to get that last slice down, the rest of us left and got schoolbussed to our respective destinations. Home around midnight, it took me a couple of hours for the adrenaline to die down, and I think I fell asleep at around 1:30 in the morning.

Fine, so maybe confidence isn’t one of my strong points, but I’ll get over whatever embarrassment I caused myself last night. I just need to focus on my advocacy, and on the fact that I’m sharing my story for the greater good. Either that... or I do something more embarrassing to cover it up. Geesh. More updates on the documentary later. Ciao!


Anonymous said...

When will it be shown? Can't wait to see it. Can't wait to see how they'll handle the HIV topic this time around. Is it for i-witness? -excited stranger

PinoyPoz said...

hey excited stranger. it's still a while away, i'm told it will be in april. :-) GMA, GMA, am i allowed to say what show na?

The Green Man said...

FINALLY! You mentioned me in your blog. Now I feel like a celebrity (just kidding). It was great to see you. Everything felt comfortable.

We did great. I heard G telling Ms. Vicky how god our insights about the topic are. I am very happy we did this. I wish will be alright. I have all my hopes high that people will start growing love in their hearts.

Jose Paolo Gonzales

Götterdämmerung said...

So I suppose you are now ready to put a face to B.I.T.C.? You will no longer be anonymous?

So appearing in a TV program is in a way, your "coming out" (in HIV terms) to your family, friends and everyone else?


Götterdämmerung said...

Oops! oo nga pala only the back of your head would be shown :)

Anonymous said...

Ayt. A month of waiting isn't too bad. Just please keep us, your legion of avid readers, posted. Thanks! -excited stranger

MrCens said...

wow bitch, artista ka na! lol... kung may fans club ka na tell me, sasali ako...

sana pansinin mo pa rin ako pag nagkita tayo, heheh...

PinoyPoz said...

@Gotterdammerung: The back of my head is now a star!

@excitedstranger: Thanks! Don't be a stranger!

@MrCens: Naman! Lakas mo sa akin eh!