For most of my life I only have a handful gay friends with whom I'm very close. I can think of two, but I would not even say that I had the chance to know them inside out. On the other hand, and for some strange reason, I have several really, really intimate female (usually older) friends who either became my personal fag hag, life guru, surrogate mother, or all of these rolled into one. Ironically, I did not have any gay barkada of my own (although that has changed recently). Having been secluded from the rest of the gay crowd, I feel that I hardly know how the rest of my brethren live.
Since a couple of years ago, reading gay-authored blogs from around the world opened me to the complex and varied lives of gay men. A lot of these blogs I closely follow (see my links called Rainbow Coalition) so I can borrow their plethora of experiences and hopefully derive some insights from them.
Reading the gay blogs, I realized my inadequate comprehension of gay men, thus stirring my resolve to meet more members of the coalition. Bangkok is a good place to do that coz there are certainly numerous gay men around the city (ugh, what an understatement!). Over the previous weekend I met three very fascinating gay men who somehow challenged my views on the lives of gay men.
Gay Man #1: Mr. Ampalaya
Why?: Bitter cya.
Striking line: "I'm not allowing men to hurt me again."
This is a classic example of a young gay man who had been around the dating scene for quite some time and apparently had been deceived and hurt several times before (maybe way too much?). The succession of heartbreaks led him to fortify himself with a solid wall around him. He dates but supposedly has sworn off any chance at love altogether.
Ang sa akin lang naman: Snap out of it, dear.
Gay Man #2: Mr. Painter
Why?: Eh he's a painter, what can I do?
Age: He said he's twice my age (I'm 19 years old BTW)
Striking line: "You can't find anyone like him."
Mr. Painter used to be married. He's living in Bangkok for the past two years with his Thai boy friend, who markets his art for him. Apparently they're very happy. He swoons at the thought that his BF is there every time he wakes up, which I agree is the sweetest thing on earth. Mr. Painter thinks that BF and him are in this forever.
Ang sa akin lang naman: All the best to you, love.
Gay Man #3: Mr. Daddy
Why?: He is the father of two kids.
Striking line: "At least may uuwian ako kahit sino mang lalake ang iiwan sa akin."
And I thought I will not be shocked anymore coz Mr. Daddy looks like the regular parlorista in the kanto, only more skinny and pretty. He got married when he was 18 and since then has fathered a couple of children; his wife knows he is gay (like how can he hide it if he could not leave the house without make-up?). He currently works in Bangkok to support his kids, and dates men on the side (of course).
Ang sa akin lang naman: Weeeerrrrrrk it girl!
If anything, I realized it's very difficult to pigeon hole gay men. Attempting to do that is even outright unfair. In the end, gay men live our lives the best way we could, just like most people. For Mr. Ampalaya, he finds comfort in rejecting opportunities at love. For Mr. Painter, bliss is a shot at everlasting love. For Mr. Daddy, his children gives him a sense of security.
Photo credit: jtv4u.com