Friday, April 6, 2007


I was reading a post on a friend's blog. Do we change? Why do we change? Does it matter? The first may be answered in the affirmative. We all change albeit to different degrees. The you now is different from the you 2, 5, 10 years ago. In ways discernible to you or the people around you. There are no answers to the second and third questions. Reasons are varied, ranging from the banal to somewhat more fundamental ones be it an epiphany or some other life impacting event.

Or it could be gradual and uneventful, the erosion of time slowly moulding the change. Does it matter? It may, it may not: depending on the perspective of the person who looks at it; a highly subjective affair. But what really matters is whether it matters to you and the people who remain important to you. You can't please everyone and you jolly well shouldn't even attempt to.

Friends have changed. Old ones going their separate ways, transforming both in appearances as well as tastes. Common interests evaporate and new ones form. To tell the truth, it's never been something that bothers me. I've always regarded as being inevitable, the axiom that people change whether you like it or not, a truism that stands the test of time. Though naturally if it happens to be a close friend, one never wishes that such changes result in irrevocable damage to the relationship.

I know I've changed. Hopefully less of a prick now and just that tad bit more mature. "You've really changed." That's a refrain I've been hearing a lot recently. With regards to my obsessions (which those close to me have always been quick to point out-You get fixated on something so quickly!): from Diablo2 to Warcraft 3 to City of Heroes to WoW to anime and yaoi manga. With regards to the person that means so much to me: from casual confident indifference to the need to cherish, treasure and hold. And the quiet amazement at just how much one can love somebody. With regards to my sexuality.

Which is already no surprise to many of those who know me. If you had told me 11 years ago when I was first embarking on my journey with bright-eyed and lusty wonder that 11 years on I would be candidly talking about my sexuality or things I do with another guy explicitly on a public blog with the knowledge that it would in all likelihood be read by people who know me; I would have squirmed like mad and called you nuts. You see as most homos already know, this need/pre-occupation to behave like your average hetero male: the desire to 'act straight' a behavioural process of camouflage we often undertake.

It was a conscious act of imitation, to walk straight, talk straight, leer at chicks with the guys, even have straight sex all because we are so painfully aware that we are not straight, will never be and the inevitably serious consequences of not-being-straight. Though as we sometimes joke about it, there are those who mimic so well, they end up being Bisexuals instead ( which of course is rubbish- just a very nice convenient excuse.). So I did all that too, except for the straight sex part, though a brief period of making out with a lesbian friend during JC that on hindsight was probably Bi ('Just exploring' we termed it), comes as close as I ever will to straight sex.

Mimicking however was not an enjoyable affair. After all, talking about football or boobs and various aspects of the female body in a manner that is both explicit and detailed isn't much fun for your average gay boy who would rather 'guy watch' any day. And I think this mimicry sometimes brought out the worst in me. There was this really nice girl in JC that I got close to after getting extremely bored with the boors in class that thought things like 'flexing their muscles to make the girls scream' were mentally stimulating. Sadly, she mistook my affection for attraction in that sense and soon she pretty much followed me around, lent me her homework, asked me to meet her parents, grabbed my hand during lecture, etc.

Things which freaked me out cause I didn't know how to turn her down and I didn't want to tell her I was gay. So much so that the nosy clique of semi ah-lians in the class approached me and told me off , "You're a guy you know. You shouldn't be letting her chase you around like that. If you don't like her, tell her gently." Problem is that I liked her, just not in that sense. So things carried on like that with me trying to ignore her and she oblivious of what was happening till one day during lecture when she tugged on my arm and was talking about something, that I turned to her and said curtly, "Will you shut up? You're so irritating."

She was genuinely taken aback, I still remember that expression on her face. "You're so rude!" she cried before bursting into tears and leaving the lecture theater. Yes I was a real insensitive meanie. Some months after graduating from JC we met up and went for drinks at the erstwhile Compass Ross. And she asked me,"Tell me in all honesty, did you ever like me then?" After a brief pause I answered," Yes. I did." Though I didn't say it wasn't that sort of like. "Yeah, I really really liked you too. But I'm glad we didn't get together otherwise we wouldn't still be friends." I just nodded and we continued sipping our cocktails, staring out at city night scape. We've lost touch however, it's been a few years, not least due to inactivity on my part.

In a way I guess it was this irrational (?) mentality of aversion to unrequited affection (in that sense) that made me equally insensitive to a close female friend. Whether her feelings were the same, which I genuinely perceived them to be, it doesn't detract from the fact I was overtly harsh and yes often insensitive too. But I'm glad she's found someone who can really appreciate her and loves her wholeheartedly. And I ramble... So just how have I changed in this respect? I guess from a mentality of appearing 'straight' and denying to be gay at all costs in an effort to 'blend in' to one where it doesn't matter if people know I'm gay, I just don't see the need to 'flaunt it' or announce to everyone. The family remains a necessary exception for now due to the need to survive.

And it doesn't mean going off tangent and going all drag and fem because that is not me. 'Blending in' is a value that no longer holds any weight though as I mentioned the other extreme is not an option that I embrace either. Studied indifference is perhaps the best way to term it, after all being yourself is always better. I used to think till recently that I want people to accept me as I am wholeheartedly, to be liberal and open minded about homosexual matters, not sympathetic just neutral, before I would open up.

But now it doesn't matter to me if one disapproves of homosexuality or even finds the act distasteful as many undoubtedly do, as long as one is still able to see me as I am despite disagreeing with my inclinations and not allowing it to distort their perceptions, it doesn't matter. Bigoted idiots whose perceptions and mentality of people change solely based on their sexuality are of course irredeemable.

Somethings never change though like the affinity for sex and the incurable slacker syndrome. People change. You change. I change. Does it matter? Only if you or the person(s) important to you mind. If not, to quote the classic phrase by Rhett Butler to Scarlet O'Hara in the movie Gone with the Wind, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

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