Pushed Back in the Closet

When my older brother was growing up, his addiction for everything Jeniffer Love Hewitt affected us all–my parents would spend for his obsession, my sisters would feign interest just so they wouldn’t end up fighting, and I, just like my sisters would pretend to like her and her skeletal body, not because I didn’t want to quarrel with my brother, but because I was interested in Jeniffer’s, errrrhm, Jeniffer’s partner, Freddie Prince Jr. ❤

My brother never got tired of watching JenLove in I Know What You Did Last Summer and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; we watched the movie over and over again like there was no other choice. I never got tired of these movies also, because I never got tired of watching cute firefighter Ben.

In retrospect, I think I was gay a long time before I knew what the word meant. Looking back makes me remember the tough and emotional stuff I had to go through to get to this point.

It’s a very long and taxing process accepting myself and getting out of the closet–but recent events have pushed me back in the closet.

Our team shares a room with very testosterone-filled straight men–6 of them to be exact, with ages ranging from daddy-old to fresh-grad old, and they’re unified into one cohesive whole by their love for women, and green jokes. My recent work shift leaves me alone with two to three of them at a time, and quite honestly, it’s been really fun.

One night last week, a very cute and charming and cheery girl walks in the room looking for a tape and asking our manly friends for adapters. I could tell they found her pretty as they immediately burst into inside jokes, nasty ones, I suspect. But I went along with work, because quite frankly I was not interested. I told her the tape she was looking for was somewhere else already, and showed her the tape’s log code. I’m assuming I was gracious in the process, probably too gracious, for after she left the room, our manly friends looked at me with such suspicious eyes.

“Anong pangalan nun?”

“Bakit mo gusto malaman?”

“Type mo no? Yikeeeeee.”

And that was just the beginning.

Every night when she enters the room, they all twitch in bliss as they teased me to this girl.

And girl isn’t helping.

Before she left two nights ago, she saw me checking my Facebook page.

“I-add mo naman ako!”

I smiled.

“Sige po.”

“Sige na please!”

“Eto na po.”

“Grabe, wag ka naman magpo, magkaedad lang tayo.”

And last night, our manly friends seemed hellbent on helping me score.

“Jeff, halika lang dito.”

“Sige po, idownload ko lang ‘to.”

One of our manly friends held an ID in his hand, and I knew who it belonged to.

He gave it to me like it was bribe money–so precious and top secret.

I flipped it and immediately gave it back.

“Kuya talaga oh! Gumagawa ng balita. Hayaan na natin yung mga reporters dyan.”

One manly friend talks to another. “Oh crush ba ni Jeff yan?”

“Oo naman, nung isang linggo pa.”

And they started to laugh, and sing songs of love. Yes, of love.

I meanwhile, returned to my workstation.

They sang “Baby, baby, baby, baby ohhh” coupled with laughs here and there.

And while they were engaged in their merrymaking,

“Speaking of the devil,” one manly friend said.

She walks inside the room, I guess to get her ID?

“Alam mo bang may secret admirer ka dito sa kuwartong ‘to.”

“Eh sino-sino bang nandito?” adds one manly friend.

“Ikaw.”

“Ako.”

“At si Jeff.”

You can imagine how amused they were.

Girl walks out of the room, I didn’t see her facial expression.

“Nakita mo yun, nakatawa.”

“Type mo ba talaga, Jeff?”

“Kayo talaga Kuya, gumagawa kayo ng isyu.”

I faced the iMac again, and started working.

“Aljur.”

“Aljur!”

I didn’t realize he was calling me.

They really think I’m straight, right?

As much I like my gayself, one that can pass as straight, no cross-dressing happening, sometimes it puts me in awkward situations especially with people whose gaydars are so ancient. Don’t get me wrong, I love our manly friends, in fact, I have more manly friends outside of the workplace. I even have offensive manly friends, ones that unconsciously discriminate. And I kind of like it that our manly friends actually feel comfortable around me, they see me as a friend, they give me relevant advice especially when there are grumpy people coming in.

But to be honest? I feel a little pushed back in the closet.

It was a very long and taxing process accepting myself and getting out of the closet, but I know I don’t need to tell anyone anything unless I want to, and I need to.

Besides, its quite fun to be straight again 🙂

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