A Very Gay Post of the Biographically Summarized Kind

Lately I have been deep in ruminations over the things that seem to catch my attention. But I am going to narrow it down to one subject in particular : homosexuality.

Now, before you — dear reader friends of mine who had known me for a very long time — all panic about my change of sexual preference, I shall make it clear to you that I am very solidly straight. I like men very much and will forever be attracted to their non-feminine qualities. So no, this is not about me coming out of the metaphorical and in-existent closet, rather, these are just thoughts as to why people-who-do-not-know -me-well might presume that I am of the LGBT orientation whether it be because a) of the company I keep, or b) the personalities I admire, and c) that fact that I am celibate. *cough*

CHILDHOOD

To start off, I have always been a tomboy growing up. Although I had Barbies at home and some dolls and stuffed toys to fill a closet, I was quite drawn to anything with wheels on them. I remember creating pathways for my Matchboxes (miniature cars) on the muddy ground near our garage, fascinated at the thought that I replicated actual road conditions of the city as I move my Matchboxes over the ‘terrain.’ I also loved the great outdoors! This explains why I always had such a dark skin tone. From time to time, I would bike alone around our street, avoiding the areas where dogs are likely to snarl and catch up with me. Our landlord’s children were all boys and they were my only playmates and I would go out with them and play at the empty lot beside our house, molding soft, red dirt into all sorts of creative shapes and letting them bake in the sun, or once attempted to smoke a discarded but unused cigarette we found on the street but wouldn’t dare go through with it, knowing full well the terrors of cigarette smoking, or boiling water in a can over a little made-up camp fire we managed to start up, which was immediately put out by one of the carpenter-workers employed by our landlord. At times, we would raid another neighbor’s empty chicken coop and pretend they were our house or a convenient store, filling it up with empty cans as pretend-goods, and stuck ads from magazines as pretend-posters. What headache we must have imposed on the owner of those. On some days, we would just play traditional Filipino games on the street, moving aside only when a car needs to pass through. What happy days those was! What childhood I had in those days — the kind I no longer see the children of today do with the advent of iPads and mobile phones and game consoles and such.

MUSIC

When we moved to another province and I no longer have neighbors to play with, my mum had me take piano lessons at home. I liked it and dreaded it at the same time. How I love unifying different sounds by pressing a combination of keys to create harmonious melody, and yet how immensely frustrated I was for being unable to read the notes. Therefore, I resorted to memorizing the musical pieces instead — playing them by ear, which of course wasn’t in any way helping me learn to read.

So about the time my piano teacher thought I should start learning a recital piece, I asked her to play several pieces from my music book so that I can choose one I could start practicing on. “Fur Elise” by Beethoven is of course a very popular (but overly-used) tune, so I wanted something different and easy and ended up with something the opposite of that! I felt so drawn towards this particular piece, and I would attribute it as the one responsible for my falling in love with Classical music!

It was Piotr Tchaikovsky‘s “Waltz of the Flowers.”

Today, I have still not learned how to play the rest of the piece on the piano, but thanks to finger memory, I can play at least just one page off the music sheet. For a long time “Waltz of the Flowers”and Tchaikovsky were my favorite classical piece and composer respectively, but now that I have come to know and love many other classical pieces and composers, it’s really hard to say for certain that I have one particular favorite of all. Perhaps J.S. Bach stands out in terms of the number of compositions I immensely love. However, returning back to Tchaikovsky, this is now my favorite composition of his from all his incredible works ~ How very Sherlock Holmesian, wouldn’t you agree?

“Melody in E flat major. Op. 42 No. 3”

Now what has classical music and homosexuality have to do with each other? How does the latter fit in all this? Well, it turns out that Tchaikovsky was apparently gay and I didn’t know that ’till I reached college and read a bit more about him (thanks to the internet).  I will admit that I was quite shocked when I learned of it (mainly due to my developing sensibilities back then), but knowing hasn’t diminished my admiration for his work.

FRIENDSHIPS

College has a way of opening one’s eyes to the real world (in preparation for the real Real World).  It was there that one learns — actually learns — many things. Things one would probably carry for the rest of one’s  life.  At least that’s how it was for me. Now on my freshman year in college, I made some very peculiar friends. Being freshies straight off high school,  there retains that mentality of clique-ing and soon enough, these little groups were formed within our batch (minus the animosity prevalent in high school. We were mostly congenial towards each other in spite of it):

a) The well-off, ultra feminine girls, whose whole existence in college may include their studies but was  mainly geared towards beautifying themselves and attracting a boyfriend

b) The men-mostly musical sorts, who seem to always have a guitar or CD player about their person, strumming tunes, banging their heads to the beats.

c) The guy-guys, who probably just want to exude their masculinity by being the mysterious, pensive, moody, deep-thinking artsy-fartsy sort. They ended up being with the ultra femmes.

d) Then there’s the LGBTs.

Guess which group I’m in.

I don’t know precisely how it happened but I could only surmise it happened like this: I clearly don’t belong to the guy-guys as I am not a dude, and although I occasionally jam with the musicals I like the company of women better. However, I am so not a rich girly-girl and I could care less about my appearance making me very much out of place in their group, therefore I kept company with the only group I seem to fit in (although at the same time, not quite).

I became close friends (and still keep in touch) with 2 gays, 1 bisexual, and another straight girl (who was probably a bi at some point in her life — or not) and I must say, I love them a bunch! They were all very funny and quite intelligent too, and every day I spent in their company was filled with a good measure of laughter and fun (and aesthetics).

Now as I’ve said, I can see why anyone would mistake me for a homosexual — a notion I was made aware of when a musician I had a crush on back then commented, upon learning that I had a crush on someone (I did not of course reveal it was him), “I thought you were not interested in men!” insinuating that he thought I was a lesbian.

Well, that’s what I get for hanging out with the LGB(T) group of our batch, reinforced by my cropped hair and daily get-up of black slacks and white polo shirt, which does make me look every bit like a very young, teenage, effeminate dude. But I’m proud of the friends I made back then and proud that I’m still friends with them now.

LITERATURE

 Some time in college, my love for books had increased and one of my finest discoveries in the world of Literature was Oscar Wilde. Reading The Importance of Being Earnest had so impressed me with him that I began to get my hands on anything he had written and would read them before class, after class, or any time I am free to plunge into the pages of his writings.

Now a very outspoken and gay classmate of mine walked in the classroom one day before class started and saw me reading The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde. He was very impressed at the sight of me reading Wilde’s short stories, and it puzzled me for a while why it was such a big deal! What’s so impressive about reading an Oscar Wilde (apart from the fact that the man is such a good writer)? Does it make one more intellectual? Well, it did make me feel more intelligent by one point, although at the same time I felt like a real phony. I’m no intellectual. I just like good stories.

Well, you guessed it right if your answer t o the ‘why’ is  that Oscar Wilde is gay! My gay classmate was an activist advocating gay rights and pride, and I’m guessing Oscar Wilde is his favorite author, so there you have it.

11178287-the-creation-of-adam

ART

In my Perspectives in Western Art History  (or one of those courses named along those lines) we were assigned to write and present a report about one Western artist as our Final Exam and I found myself drawn to Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo, whose bright and colorful — and jaw dropping — ceiling frescoes in the Sistine Chapel eclipsed his fame as sculptor. He was a celibate all his life — never married, was never even linked to any woman save Vittoria Colonna, who, towards the end of his life, he exchanged highly intelligent and spiritual letters with. His notes and poetry during life, however, sparked some presumptions that he may be gay, although the artist himself denied it. To this day it remains largely a speculation, although there are some rather interesting grounds to believe that those rumors have truth in them.

Again, I was given to thinking, “Is every artist I greatly admire gay?”

POP CULTURE

Now I have been very fond with one personality in particular. He is considered Britain’s National Treasure, and is quite a polymath. He had made considerable contributions to comedy, literature, did quite a number of documentaries, is currently hosting a quiz show, and is an amazing linguist! And by that, I mean he is a fountain of the most beautiful words in English. Nay, Nature’s spring of profound vocabulary.

His name is  Stephen Fry.

… and yes, he is very public about his homosexuality.

I first saw him inBlack Adder and was enormously fond of his character as Melchett. From time to time I would see him on TV or some documentaries, but when I saw him in Jeeves & Wooster I had fallen in love with him. A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Kingdom made me a very big fan of his. I only recently found out that he wrote books too, so I am currently reading his autobiography Moab Is My Washpot and had purchased books by him on Amazon.com in my Kindle.

The man is just staggeringly remarkable! I don’t really care if he can’t sing or dance — he is still an exceptional entertainer. I am especially astounded by his incredible wit, humor, and flare for spewing a pleonasm of the most extraordinary words!

Pleonasm. I got that from him.

Now what exactly is the whole point of this whole post? What am I trying to say? Well, nothing, really. These are just records of coincidences where I find myself admiring or mingling with people of a different gender orientation, and in many respects, you can just call my entry a ‘gay appreciation post.’

Cheers!

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