05 Aug When Closeted Men Shout Foul!: What the Gay Hidden Minority Has To Say
EDITOR’S NOTE: We really didn’t know that this existed, and reading up on this article “Dear Straight Men, Come Out Already,” got us thinking. Could it be that the jock kind of a guy we are in a relationship with, or the athlete that we were crushing on since forever has somewhat engaged in this “bromance” kind of thing? And where does that leave us then? We asked one of our writers to explore the world of the closeted. Surely he explained to us the many reasons why some gays are still in hiding, though we at JUAN are all out for the “come out, come out where ever you are,” we still have a soft spot in our hearts for those who couldn’t. Being gay, or having sexual feelings towards the same sex, is clearly not as easy as declaring: “I had a nose job and what is it to you?”
Is it the act or the person that makes someone gay or straight?
More people in the Philippines are curious about why gay men don’t want to come out. Openly gay people who have been gay since they can remember may not relate to the thought of being gay but not being open about it. Here is our take on this question and how closeted men think about it, or even former closeted men view it:
It is somehow more agreeable to say that coming out is not about joining the ranks of the homosexual, pansexual, bisexual, asexual etc. armies or whatever, but more about one’s personal convictions about one’s preference at a certain point in time. In the Philippine gay scene, openly gay people especially those of the genetically male specie control the definition and semantics of what male preference is supposed to be, like what is the definition of gay, bisexual, etc, in contrast to the past where straight men determine if you are classified gay or not. It was simpler back then, if you like men or you’re effeminate then you must be gay, you like women you must be straight. If you don’t have any sexual feelings about men or women, you become an old bachelor, simple right?
These days, straight men wouldn’t give a fuck about it, unless the gay man is their son, or the gay man obviously has the hots for a specific straight guy. But there’s a big revelation about this – closeted men don’t care as well. Closeted men, refrain from interacting so much with openly gay people for fear of being “out-ed“ intentionally or unintentionally. The judgment from openly gay men has so much pressure. The common connotation is that if you are gay then just be done and be out with it, to accept yourself as what you are. But openly gay people forget the circumstances around which closeted men revolve in. They forget to understand their previous state of being, and brush off closeted men’s concern as lesser and should not be feared, they must be freed. While we agree that it should not, but coming out of the closet is not a gay community issue just like gay marriages or gay civil rights equality. Coming out is a personal choice, and a person’s preference whether it be true does not necessarily mean everyone has to know about it. Coming out doesn’t mean also that they will agree with gay marriage or gay civil union and its purported promised rights. There is freedom in being openly gay, and there is freedom in being closeted, they satisfy different longings, and thus should be respected. Bottomline of the closeted, who they fuck around with is none of your business. We certainly hope everyone gets that.
We asked several openly gay and closeted men about why closeted men choose to stay closeted and some even refuse to associate with openly gay men, and here are their answers, more or less the same but we wanted to highlight what was most striking and compressed them altogether:
OFW closet: Sa akin mas nakakadagdag ng self confidence ang masculine at hindi out. Sa hindi out, gusto not out masculine, same preference. Ganun lang. (sic) Tingin mo masculine guy gusto girly lalaki? Siguro pwede kung hilig niya babaeng may lawit. Kanya-kanyang trip.
Dating closeted: They don’t want to feel like lesser men. They just want to reaffirm their heteronormative values that they’ve been brought up with. They just don’t want to explain themselves every time. Nakakairita kaya yun everytime tatanungin ka, “Ay bakla ka, bakit?” , or to the parents, “Ay bakla ang anak mo, bakit?”
Selectively Out Pag nasa USA: I don’t want to be out for my family, what would my dad think? I could not care less about what the rest of the world think. I don’t want my dad to think he was a failure as a father. No matter who I am, he will never be a failure, but nevertheless i don’t want him to feel that way.
Student closet: Trust is stronger sa parehong hindi out. Mostly effem madaldal, iwas issues kaya ayaw ng mga closeted sa mga out. Tinatawag tuloy paminta kahit na totoong masculine ang isang group, tinatawag bang paminta kasi dapat ang bading effeminate or out? Di ba discrimination din yun? Discrimination na ayaw ng mga LGBTQ or whatever? Pero sila ok lang? Damay damay lang? Bading sila at out so dapat out lahat para pantay ganun? Pakialam niyo ba kung closeted kami at gusto namin masculine na di out ang barkada? Di na nga namin kayo kinakausap di ba? Bakit niyo kami pakikialaman? Di naman namin sinabi gusto namin magpakasal sa kapwa lalaki or equal rights as live in partners kung meron man, so anong pakialam niyo? Maraming reasons why people like us don’t want to be out. Family, masasaktan ang family, alam mo ma hurt, di mo alam bakit, siguro not so much you will disappoint them, but they will get confused as parents if they did something wrong for their son to be like this. Yung iba, religion is a big factor, ayaw sa religion nila, pastor man or pari, lay person man or whatever you call it. Career naman, same din, kung dati babae discriminated, at equal na ngayon or nakakaangat ang babae, iba ang usapan pag boss mo ay lalake at ikaw for promotion eh malalamang bading, parang may lack of confidence pa rin. In the higher echelons of power both in government and private corporations, you must have balls, everyone has balls, men and women up there have balls, but having a gay SVP? Those are untested waters, a lot of higher echelon people are closeted. Secrets have power. Closeted men just want to be careful, they don’t want to be a target of discrimination. Closeted men understand and are sensitive to what will affect their current wellbeing and that of people around them that they value. It’s not all about them when it comes to being one with their sexuality, it’s not always about their rights, their happiness, and that in itself is one reason openly gay men who push closeted men to come out do not understand. Or forgot, that not everything is about them and their happiness. And some out gays are so loud and can’t seem to mind their own business when it comes to the discreet gay’s sexuality.
Marqee: closeted gays aren’t comfortable with “out gays,” it’s a defense mechanism, they don’t want to be labeled. They hate labels more than anyone else on this planet of labels. Much more Filipinos who are fond of discriminating, putting labels. I think we have one of the most hurtful derogatory words ever invented in human history. Yung matawag kang Puta, di ba damang dama mo? Kaysa tawagin kang Bitch. La epek di ba?
Muy Bien: Di na sila (openly gay) maka-associate sa fears ng closeted, they brush it off as something foolish kasi to be closeted and all. Sometimes may attitude kasi ang mga OUT na nachachallenge sila pag may nakikitang nagtatago pero nananahimik lang sa isang tabi. Minsan directly or indirectly ikakalat sa public ang opinion nila sa kasarian ng nakikita nilang closeted.
Machong beki: Closeted guys fear what they can’t anticipate, like the reactions of people around them. They fear that when they fail at something it will be associated immediately to the label “gay”, so they choose to remain as manly as they can. You can’t say they aren’t happy, because not all out people are happy. Preferences pa rin, walang basagan ng trip. I’m out, but i don’t overly expose it. That’s called “being a man” (mind you i didn’t say being straight, not all straight men have balls), being gay, and being discreet and respectable. I don’t have to announce to the world i’m gay. What you see is what you get. And I don’t have to explain myself to everyone. Simple right?
Halfway out the closet: Takot sila kasi yung negative connotation na malilibog ang mga gays na lahat na lang ng lalake pinapatos yun ang impression. Siguro kasi yun ang mga nakikita sa TV, balita, sa news, sa mga indie film ng mga bakla, mga sinasabi ng mga barkadang pumapatol sa bakla kasi kailangan ng pera. Mga ganun? Dumikit ka sa bading para magkapera or maging artista, I mean, I know not all gays are like that. Pero sa kakaunting mapagsamantalang mga bakla, apektado ang view sa sangkabaklaan (parang sangkatauhan), and closeted men don’t want that, and don’t need that.