Two Saturdays ago, I had a drink with three straight male friends; let us just call them Jack, Henny and Empy. I am out and open to them; Jack’s a neighbor and we know each other since we were kids, Henny and I were used to be ‘partners’ until I chickened out because I was frightened of the word commitment, and Empy was a former crush but now he’s one of the sweetest guy friends I have ever had.
Normal in drinking sessions, we talked about a lot of things, from the absurd to mundane, from sublime to trivial. Until the focus of discussion shifted on me: Me being gay, Me being single forever, Me being myself. It was like on being on the hot seat and I love it. I am used to it, being asked and being scrutinized. Honestly, I feel comfortable with straight males who are likewise comfortable being with me. I can be open about my feelings and sharing my experiences; and they can be receptive and attentive.
Of course, it’s bound to be asked: sex. They told me that they heard words like top, bottom or versa from other bi’s they know but didn’t really understand them. They want me to enlighten them on gay sex.
For me, those are just labels. And I don’t believe in labels. Love and sex transcend gender and labels. But for the sake of discussion I had to explain. I likened the terms to a partnership. Top is the Man of the House, the Actor or Provider, The Giver, the tougher guy. Jack quipped, sa sex, siya yung tagatira --- so much for euphemisms. Bottom is the Submissive One, the Woman, the Receiver, the Follower. Henny was quick, ‘aaahhh siya yung tinitira’, kaya bottom nasa ilalim’ . and Versa is versatile and flexible. Empy saw the analogy, ‘tumitira at nagpapatira.’
Top, Bottom, Versa are some of colors of the ever-expanding prism of the gay rainbow. There are Bi, Discreet, Closeted. They sound the same but very different in orientation; Bi would have heterosexual relationships and be happy to do it with a boy or a girl. Discreet knows what he wants but doesn’t flaunt it openly; he tries to ask masculine if the situation calls for it but would lay down his cape when he’s with closest friends. Closeted has a problem with acceptance so he has to hide and suppress his true color.
There are new ones: Buffla which means ‘buffed na bakla’ and they are the growing breed today; you see them at Fitness First or Elorde’s, you see them at Eastwood or Greenbelt and you see them watching UAAP or UFC matches. Carabuena stands for gays with egos directly proportional with their huge waistlines, translation: aroganteng baklang mataba. Daddy are gays having midlife crisis, happily married with kids and yet, tambay sa mga spa. Service are gays acting like boys to service old people or gullible gays in exchange of cash.
Of course, marami pa --- transsexuals, transgenders, baklang parlor, baklang bato, bading, jokla, sireyna, etc. We are called different names actually, we are labeled with derogatory terms. And even at this time and age, we are discriminated --- whatever color we may have. Basta bakla, period.
But the worst discrimination and rejection really comes within and among us. Gay rejecting another gay; Top looking down on a Open and Out; Buffla making fun of trannies or Carabuenas; Closeted despising a Baklang Parlor. You get the drift.
We have different colors, some true, some not. Some shaded, some jaded. In the gay rainbow, the colors are not always happy and bright.