Friday, April 29, 2005

the gayest non-gay couple

Finished off yet another wonderful "Dalagas and Tomboys" show. The crowd was bigger but much more pensive tonight, not as rowdy as Thursday night.

I think part of the reason I've enjoyed doing this show so much is that I can relate to many of the stories. Particularly the scene, "You'll never know..." a monologue in which a Filipino mom argues with her teenage daughter about wearing a tie to a Christmas Eve party and how the mom wants to put makeup on her daughter to make her "pretty."

In junior high and much of high school I tended to wear ties and suit jackets. During open dress day at school, one of the guys in my class said quite loudly, "she dresses like a dude!" I just wasn't into the femmy dresses and makeup most of the other girls were into. Growing up I wanted GI Joes and transformers, instead of Barbies. I played with groups of boys. My mother tried to dress me up in frilly dresses that itched and paint my face with makeup that I just smudged away.

I was into sports and could talk about the latest trades and playoff scores with most of the guys. Later on, I would drive a muscle car, wear mostly boots and flats, baseball caps and the like.

When the Fiance first saw me perform, it was at a maganda/PANGIT (maganda, was the lit mag, and PANGIT was the grad students organization that the fiance was a part of) event at La Pena. I was doing a piece about Wonder Woman, about how she was my superhero and how I always wanted to be her. He thought then, eh, she's probably a lesbian.

Despite my butchy persona, I was for the most part sexually straight. I liked guys, in that way. So, I never really thought I'd be able to find someone, because most of the guys I knew were hetero and macho-hetero, they were more in conflict than compatible. Even my last boyfriend was probably too macho for me. I wasn't gay, but I wasn't femmy enough to really be seen as hetero.

The Fiance while growing up liked fashion magazines and cut out the pictures of women and collected them in a box. He says he learned all her could about perfume, jewelry and fashion, so he could know what women want, but I know deep down he personally liked the stuff. When I met him, many of his friends were the gay Filipino men from dance troupes, but no he wasn't gay. We watched a movie with a gay scene in it which he winced at. No, he wasn't gay. He asked his sister once, if he might be gay, she told him, "no, you don't dress well enough to be gay!" Around gay men, his Scarlet comes out, he flutters his eyes, flips his wrists and angles his body to the side and gets into the Entertainment show critique of the latest fashions. He had a crush on "Joe" on the "fact of life". (I wanted to be Joe on the Facts of Life).

At one point, his gay Filipino friends weren't really sure if he was gay or not. He could swing the sass and lilt with the best of them. But he got "outted" once they switched to Ipis and another form of gay male language, indecipherable unless you were really gay.

He was always the "guy" friend and not the boyfriend in most of his relationships with women. While I was the "girl" friend and not the girlfriend in most of my relationships with men.

I had often wondered if I was a lesbian. I attended Queer conferences after being invited to come by friends as "support". I remember at a Filipino Civil Rights Conference I sat in on the Queer rights discussion group to promote the inclusion of gay rights as part of civil rights. I was chatting with another woman there about football. A man in the group sighs, "oh those lesbians and their sports talk." I have very good lesbian gaydar. If I see a woman walk by and think, "ooh, she looks cute." then she's probably a lesbian. If I see a woman walk by and think, "ooh the guys would think she's pretty." then she's probably straight.

I would wonder if I could really be in a relationship with a woman in that way. And my gut feeling is no. It's just too much estrogen. I mean I can be emotionally intimate with women. I'm not totally repulsed by the idea of homosexual interactions, I'm just not really attracted to it.

The fiance was talking with one of the castmembers. She was saying how they thought I was a lesbian before. Besides how many straight women are really attracted to doing or attending Queer events? When I got dropped off at my car by a couple other cast members, they saw my '69 muscle car mustang. It was the first time they had seen my car. One of them asks me if that is my boyfriends car. I tell them, " no way! That's *my* car! the fiance is way to femme to have a muscle car!" The other who had talked to the fiance a bit more, just laughed at the truth of my statement.

Sometimes, back in my mind I get nervous hanging in Queer settings wondering if I'll be "kicked" out for really being "straight" for having a boyfriend, for marrying a man. But that's never happened. Maybe they just consider me "bi".

But this is the amazing and miraculous part of having found the Fiance. It turns out we were really meant for each other. With him, I get to be as butchy or as femmy as I want to be and he has just enough macho and girliness to balance me out. Of course, this femminess is brand new to me, so the fiance is having to teach me a few things. hehehe.

I guess you could say that we are just about the gayest, non-gay couple one could ever meet.

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