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.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Party Party!

Christmas. It’s here. Just when I turned my head away to focus on the flurry of yearend work, it ambushed me like it was no one’s business. It came faster than the MRT. And I snowballed with it as well. I was dreading it. All the stress, all the traffic, all the hassle... I was just really looking for ward to the break... both the Christmas break and a break from the Christmas rush. But it was not meant to be that easy. Christmas sent its advanced party.

I spent my first Christmas party with Yoga for Life. As usual, yogic stuff is far from the usual. The potluck was mind-boggling, it’s never easy for a meat-eater like me to figure out what he could bring for a vegetarian feast. So as I came from work, I shuffled through the mall and settled for some monggo bread. No meat in that, for sure. Rush, rush, rush. I made it to the venue with time to spare.

Not content with just partying hearty, we started with a short yoga practice. Then just as we got totally calmed down, our Yogi Bear and Babe snapped us out of it. It was time to party! I believe it helped that we went through the World AIDS Day thingy the week before. Dramatic as it was for some, it was an icebreaker for sure. A bonding experience. So for the Christmas party, everyone seemed game.

Game, indeed. Games, in fact. There was Paint Me A Picture. A yoga version of Newspaper Dance. Bring Me for items like a pair of underwear on your head, 5-centavo coins, and condoms, which, ahem, I handily got a prize for. And then of course, probably the most fitting yoga game, Twister. Woohoo for me and the four others who they couldn’t knock down! The energetic night was capped off with some take home gifts and an attack at all the meatless but scrumptious food. Kudos to them who organized it and the sponsors who supported it. This party just set the bar.

By that weekend, another one was lined up. Our work party this time. Not knowing people from our sister company, the tacky cowboy theme, the required production number, and the 3:00 pm start all made me less enthusiastic, honestly. But it was something I wouldn’t be allowed to pass up, but only because I got assigned to be the host... Geez, I know, this is the 2nd year in a row that they’ve gone for this admittedly anti-social host... Oi. So I gathered all the kapal-muks I had, borrowed a cowboy hat from my hubby, practiced a dance, and prepared early, and I was good to go.

With ceremonies like a wish balloon release, a holy mass, and photo ops with our big boss, this was certainly more formal that I’d need. I don’t know what happens, but I get drowned in shame and stage fright, and then I turn into a host. Go figure. I don’t know what exactly it takes, but I watch my words somehow, and just okray away, and voila! So with the exchange gift, variety show, raffle, a couple of shots of something I don’t know, and an abundance of my most favorite food, the party actually wasn’t so bad.

Next on the calendar was a couple of parties and gatherings at the RITM. Now these were the ones I was least enthusiastic about. The record of seemingly soulless partying of recent past. The threat of nega-monsters. Having work. The distance. The sleepover. Having to leave the Lil Bastard behind. I had all the excuses. Even the attempt at making it “in memory of Papi” couldn’t get me to go. A no is a no. Sorry.

Instead, we had gotten into putting together a little gathering of our own. A gathering of my pozzie posse. I don’t know why I seem to get myself into it every time, but I was secretariat again. I’m not exactly the kunsentidor of the group, maybe the matriarch, at least. Fine, so I disseminated the invites. It was my pozzie family, "plus plus". "Plus plus" because in the past year, some of them have managed to get hitched or have their own pozzie babies that not everyone knew yet. So it was a celebration of a year since the original group first got together, pre-Christmas, and was going to be a reunion-slash-inventory. Hehe.

As a group that began with us northerners, it was but befitting that it once again come home to the north. So it was set, meet at the local mall at 6:00 pm. I had gotten confirmations, but didn’t really have a good picture until people started trickling in. Me and BFF GreenFrog, Trese with adopted kiddos Pozzieboy and ThisHeartIsStillBeating, O and his hubby, my grandson APositivePointOfView, W, BFF’s latest kiddo, another fellow northerner RecordBreaker, BruskoBoi, and two of my own kiddos. We were far from being complete, but 14 was an achievement, I must say.

It was a good mix. Some of us who’ve been years old with HIV, and some newbies. I really believe it helps to be exposed to others in the same situation but in a normal setting. And normal it was. Dinner at a Japanese restaurant, and videoke after. Not everyone was a singer, but singing was not the only thing there was to do. There was dancing, joking around, catching up, chatting on. I was so happy, that I wanted to be seated at a vantage point where I could see how everyone was having fun. This may just be the start of a yearly gig for us.

Just this past Wednesday, Yoga for Life went for an unplanned part two. There was a mix-up at the venue, which left us without one, so definitely, yoga practice was out. I was ready to head on home, but they thought we could make do with what we had. My favorite doctor advocate played host to all of us, twelve thereabouts, feasting on pizza, brownies and chocolates, and stopping for an educational yoga video.

The highlight of the evening was all the sex talk. With all us gay guys at our soon-to-be-wed Yogi Babe’s fingertips, there was no reason to be shy about anything, not even sex and all. We were curious about her, she was curious about us. Hehe. The taboo, with all of the laughing, giggling and roughhousing, really turned it into a Christmas party part two for us, and bridal shower part two, a gay version, for her. I’m glad I didn’t miss this one.

So there, deny as I may that I’m not ready for Christmas, the party-party mode has certainly taken its toll. A good one at that.

So let me take this opportunity to greet each and everyone a Merry Christmas! Party hard, party safe, party on, and just PAR-TAY!

No comments: