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.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Different Christmas

ParolYeah, yeah, everyone’s talking about it being Christmas. Technically, this isn’t the first Christmas I’m spending as someone living with HIV. It’s actually the second. Just the second. Although it’s still like before – glazed ham as our toka for Christmas dinner, Christmas eve with my mom’s side of the family, and no real plans Christmas day. But breaking it down, my Christmas this year has been... uhm, different. Quite, quite different.

Honestly, the Christmas spirit didn’t hit me this year. Being busy with work and the Power of You campaign of DepEd up to a week before Christmas, it wasn’t like before that we’d be buying gifts and checking off our Christmas list as early as November. One factor to that might be that all of us cousins are all grown up now, and Christmas no longer revolves too much around the gifts. This was also our first Christmas without my Ninang, who was there in ashes and in spirit, but I’m sure everyone felt the void she left.

While before, I used to really take time to send holiday greetings to my fuck buddies, this year, the only fubus I greeted didn’t even reach a handful. Granted, these were people who I used to play with and hadn’t gotten to the point of disclosing my status personally, but they were the ones who I felt were friends as well.

Aside from those few former fubus, Christmas greetings this year have revolved more around those who I took into my “positive” side of life. My ex-bf who I disclosed to. Shola, of course. The guy from the Think Positive documentary of GMA. My “kids”, those who I had helped either get tested or brought to RITM. Fellow bloggers, both pozzie and poz-friendly. My “kumare” who I haven’t seen in a long time. A new friend in leather. A guy who caressed my calves from Alabang to Ortigas. Some of my alphabet friends, L, O, E and My RITM angel, U. Jinjin and Odin. Kuya DepEd.

Of course, Papi had special privileges. I called him shortly past midnight just to greet him and get the scoop on how his Christmas was going. We were both at our respective family gatherings, so we made the most of whatever short conversation we could manage.

Before, especially during the times I was single and not yet HIV-positive, I would’ve honestly taken the time off from work to schedule meet ups, sex EBs and all those raunchy things. You know how we all need to warm up those cold December nights... and days. Or is it just me? Anyhoo, I honestly did get a couple of indecent proposals this year from some old buddies, but I had every excuse in the book. Busy, out of town, sick, tired. Of course, knowing Papi is there is the biggest thing that keeps me on the right track. I know... schmuck.

But you know what, I wasn’t exactly staying home and sulking. On Christmas day, I took a trip to visit my sister at her new place. She didn’t show up at our family thing Christmas eve, which really wasn’t a surprise. So I went to her instead to bring all her gifts. I hung out with her for several hours, watching a marathon of Will and Grace, wrestling with her dog, and feasting on the macaroni and cheese she prepared. I actually thought I could tell her about my HIV thing, but decided against complicating her new life minus her husband... long story.

Yesterday, the 26th, wasn’t dull either. Noting that most of the pozzie get-togethers happen in the south, some of us RITM pozzies from the north thought of organizing something of our own.

With others not being able to make it, there were technically just three of us from the north. GreenFrog, who I met for the first time during the RITM Christmas party, one of my “kids” who I actually introduced to the RITM on the day of the Christmas party, and myself. The three of us, and another newbie who I’ll be taking to the RITM this week, met up early in the afternoon to catch a screening of Avatar. I finally, finally, finally got to watch it, and in 3D at that. Allow it to be a big deal for me because I think the last movie I watched was Kimmy Dora. Argh.

After the movie, we had some coffee while waiting for some guests from the south. I know, right? One word: kaladkarin. Hehehe. Two of them showed up, both bloggers, LuckyTrese and Positive’sStory. LuckyTrese, I’d met before, but it was my first time meeting Positive’sStory. So the six of us went for dinner, in the midst of which GreenFrog got a text message that one other guy was going to show up. And show up he did.

And then there were seven. Not exactly seven dwarves. Having seven people sharing such different HIV stories is a big thing. I think it helped my newbie to be exposed to others like him as he was about to embark on his own HIV journey. I don’t think there was any drama at all, more laughing actually, laughing at everything from rashes and Avatar characters, to McDonalds, Manuela and Marcella. Oi.

After dinner, the last guy who made it needed to leave for work. The six of us left decided to hang out some more, as one by one our ARV schedules elapsed. Most of us had a few drinks... okay fine I had more than the others... it ain’t called a bottomless margarita for nothing! By around 1 in the morning – I know! – it was time to go. Actually, I didn’t think I could drink another drop, so it was really time to go.

Four of them shared a cab to their destinations, while GreenFrog and I got left behind, mostly because we didn’t live very far away from where we were. I was honestly a bit tipsy, thanks to both the ARVs and those margaritas. GreenFrog is actually my new Papi-approved BFF, so he thought he owed it to Papi to take me home. Argh. Sweet.

You all know I’m a big boy and have never gotten drunk enough not to be able to handle myself, so I compromised, had him take me halfway home, at which point I assured him I was okay. So we ended up turning around as I took him back out to the main road and saw him off. Bwehehe.

It was hilariously a lot of unnecessary walking, but it was nice as we evaluated the evening that just passed. Seven pusits. Four bloggers. North, east and south represented. We were happy with how it turned out. Positive in all senses of the word. This is one night that will not be the last. Hopefully, there’ll be even more of us next time. Until then.

Christmas 2009 is over. It’s different. It’s positively different. And it’s all good.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

:)

Trese said...

Hey hey... Super fun noh! No drama, no fuzz, just pure fun. More more to come.

Hmmm... remember you were "mouthing" something when we were having drinks. Di ko ma-gets yung sinasabi mo. Let's chika soon ha.

john stanley said...

wala ko special mention. di ba ko papi-approved bff? hmpf, hmpf!

=) peace!

Bruce Kho said...

ay natuloy sila. glad you guys had a great one. =)

PinoyPoz said...

@Anonymous: Why does your smiley make me feel you were there? *Wink, wink?!*

@Trese: I honestly forgot what I was mouthing... Lol. Hope it wasn't anything important... Hehe. See yah again soon... at Elsie!

@JohnStanley: Sorry, di ka Papi-approved... Lol... Sige na nga, I called JohnStanley to check on him Christmas eve as well. ;-)

@Bruce: Yep, it was a great night. But we seriously missed your presence, Bruce! Bawi ka ha... Lol.

Anonymous said...

hi,
after ko mapanood sa gma pinoy tv ung 'think +' eh lagi nko ngbabasa ng mga blogs mo (nyo)...hay nku bilang kabaro eh sobrang confused lng talaga ko senyo...may halong takot din kc!
happy new year guys!!!
cheers!
fr: auh

Trese said...

actually i have an idea kung anu yung gusto mo sabihin. hehehe. next time ko na chika!

PinoyPoz said...

@Auh: What's confusing about it?

@Trese: Chika na! Lol

Anonymous said...

wow! saya naman! ope i cud join d next one... - Deviated Capricorn

a46479 said...

kakaingit naman...

PinoyPoz said...

@Capri: Will let you know next time something comes up!

@a46479: Sorry we missed out on meeting you while we were in Cebu... :-( Next time, next time!