Sunday, April 29, 2012

Family Reunions

I just learned that my relatives from my dad's side are organizing a family reunion on May 1. I'm a bit sad that I'll miss the event but somehow I feel more thankful that I'm thousand miles away and won't be able to attend. I guess I just have a lot of issues with my dad's sisters and it was even made worse with what happened at the last family reunion I've attended last Christmas when I was on a holiday in the Philippines.

I'm not out to any members of my family and my sexuality has somehow became a taboo topic ever since my mom and dad confronted me about it almost 6 years ago. They never asked me about any girlfriends or about my plans of getting married and setting up a family of my own. I guess they just don't want to know what the real score is. That silent arrangement actually works for me. However, I know that I cannot expect the same sensitivity from other people which include my relatives.

Last Christmas, while we're all having lunch, one of my aunts who I haven't seen in years, instead of asking me how I was, suddenly blurted out the question any closeted PLU will dread to be asked with.

"Alex, when are you getting married?"

I was caught off-guard but I tried to sound indifferent with my reply.

"Ah, matagal pa po siguro, I'm still enjoying being single..."

I thought that she just wanted a small talk and that will be an enough answer but I was wrong. I felt like being probed with her follow-up question.

"Do you even have a girlfriend?"

I was very brief with my answer.

"Wala po eh..."

One of my cousins even made a joke.

"Alex magmomonghe ka ba?"

I chose not to respond to my cousin and just gave her a smile. Another aunt joined the conversation.

"Mabuti yan. At least spoiled ang mom at dad mo sayo!"

However, she made another comment which I don't think was well thought of on her part.

"Si Luke (referring to one of my cousins), mukhang walang kahilig hilig din sa babae. Iniisip namin na bakla siguro yun!"

Using simple logic, it became clear what my aunts think of me.

Later that day, it was my grandma's turn to ask the same questions. However, unlike my aunts, I felt that her questions are out of a genuine concern for me.

"You'll need a wife someday who will take care of you Alex..."

My grandma also gave a vital insight as to what my mom's take on me getting married.

"I tried to open this topic to your mom but she said to not just talk about it"

That was one uncomfortable Christmas and family reunion for me. As much as I love my dad, I swore to myself I would never go to a family reunion with his side of the family again.

I've realized that when I was younger, my reply to those questions were easy. I had a girlfriend before and even though we've already broken up ages ago, I always claimed that we're still together just to shut the questioning at once. If I didn't feel like lying I would sometimes play the "too young and still struggling with my career card". But I think I'm currently in a point of my life where I already accepted who I am so instead of telling them a  made up a story that would please them I just tried to give the most honest response. The rest of the details, I would rather keep to myself, to some selected friends and hopefully in the future when the right time comes, to my family. They are the only persons who have the right to know.

I'm on a marrying age with a stable career and I know that people will keep asking me the same questions over and over again. Right now, I'm playing the "mysterious eligible bachelor card" which I hope will still be effective for 5 to 7 years more. After that, I really need a sound plan and I am thinking of relocating to far away place where no one knows me. But for the meantime, I guess my plan is to just try to avoid family reunions as much I could.

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