Monday, January 31, 2011

So You're Finally Straight?

Have you ever met Roy G. Biv?
In the many years that I have been searching for my identity, I realized the truth that even in the gay community, there are very many shades of pink and very varied combinations of the rainbow. During my high school and college years, I can still recall how I used to struggle to find a role-model and others to relate with in terms of my then still emerging bisexuality. Having come from an extremely Catholic exclusive school for boys, when the first shades of the rainbow entered my life I was horrified and on the verge of suicidal. It felt like a blow from karma itself, considering my earlier grade school years were spent picking on the evidently gay classmates and beating them up. Thankfully, such idiotic machismo of the past were resolved with apologies way back, and I was back then left with the need to find others "like me" in a world that still believes the Virgin Mary made the sun dance.

I believe in miracles.  But those that "happen" in the Philippines... are just harder to believe.
I recall meeting many new faces and making lots of great friends. Some were straight, and some were gay. But more and more I saw that none of them were like me at all. The straight friends shared some interests of mine, but unlike me could barely tolerate theater musicals or Kylie Minogue. My gay friends loved the empress Kylie herself, but then were also into other music divas and were definitely far more effeminate and opinionated over things that I could relate with. The moment I walked to share my musings on the hot soccer player in my class, my straight male friends would shake their heads and helpfully suggest I just wank one off to calm myself down. I was just going through a phase, they would say. Til I found the right girl. When, on the other hand, I would gab about the sexy lady who agreed to be my photography model, my gay friends would call me traitor or claim I was still pretending to be straight and far to chicken to admit I was a fag. I didn't get it. Why were both sides of my life saying I didn't exist.

And that really sucked.
Nowadays, thankfully, the world has learned to see the rainbow and all its colors. Don't get me wrong, there are still a huge portion of the world that fails to grasp the broader and more accepting scope of human sexuality. But at least I do know now that real honest-to-goodness bisexual guys like me who loves cock and pussy and breasts, armpits and ass and all do actually exist. I am not alone. And while there are many still close-minded amusingly "just as homophobic as homophobes" gay guys out there, the kind of gay men who think all bisexuals are just confused or afraid to admit they are gay, there also are many who know that people like me can love another regardless of how the said other goes through puberty.

I wrote about this topic much more animatedly with a clear evident sense of frustration in my entry called The Battle for Bisexuality. I sort of cover it again today because I found myself thinking of the time many people who met me a few years back when I was still with my then girlfriend would ask, "So does this mean you are finally straight?"
One man's drama, another man's... well... drama.
Why think of that all of the sudden? Because it made me remember how many people who have embraced me as me and are proud to be my friend are really still thinking of bisexuality as just a transitional period.    I don't blame them for not knowing any better.  After all, if during my time, I was struggling to find good role models and information regarding my sexuality, I can imagine that now in the age of Google and Facebook, the search for reliable information regarding bisexuality can still be daunting.  The internet after all is filled with information:  a lot of it born from ignorance and hate, some of it born from actual wisdom, and occasionally a gem that has precisely what you need to know but is the hardest to find.

So here, in this post, I thought I'd share two links which I feel are very nice write-ups on both the myths that people tend to believe about bisexuality, as well as a broad coverage of the many facets of the gay rainbow.
They should have an episode devoted to rainbow myths.
The myths were tackled by the Bi's and Allies caucus of Pride at UIC.    They nicely list down the top seven misconceptions people tend to have about bisexuality including the myth that a bisexual person can never be faithful to one person, and that straight society actually accepts bisexuals more.
Sorry, I know she's a great person, but I still find her unibrow scary.
The other is the GOT QUEER campaign of Simon Fraser University which nicely adapts the "Got Milk" ads into an awareness movement to help bring out better gender sensitivity.  The campaign actually touches on a very wide gamut of things, and for sure there will be some who will question their choice of terms.

Ultimately, I am still happy to know such resources do exist now and if there are any still closeted guys and girls out there who actually love reading my blog, I hope these two links help you find your way.  Coming out is not just all hype and melodrama.  There really are advantages and very powerful emotionally fulfilling memories born from the act of taking that stand to proclaim you are not afraid of being yourself.  I hope that someday, you will find the courage I too found when I came out to my parents.
Yes to love in all forms.  Love!
All we want to do is love the people we love, after all.
Given all the misconceptions and lies bandied around about us, the least you can do for yourself is be proud of who you are and prove them wrong.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

When the Stereotypes Take Over

While I admit I found this video introspectively amusing, I can only take so much jokes in this manner.  I still feel that sometimes people just need to wake up and see past the stereotypes and misconceptions of what makes us all unique and yet similar to each other.  Steve Hughes is great though in reminding us that gay or straight, the stereotypes are what we tend to think of rather than the truth.

Gay, Straight, Bisexual, ultimately it doesn't matter who we love or choose to sleep with.
What matter more are our morals.  Our values.  Our character.

When people ask me if I am sure about being in a gay relationship (which I guess is in reference to my being bisexual:  The option to have a relationship with a woman is "always" there.) I find myself struggling not to find insult in the question.  Why find insult?  Because for me, it feels tantamount to being told, "Are you sure there's a point in being in your relationship?"  The general view of most people (and sadly this also includes many non-straights as well) is that homosexual relationships rarely have the fortitude to last long.  Reasons range from stupid ("Because they are immoral and unnatural.  How can you expect it to last long?") to selfish ("Because there are so many cocks to try, why limit yourself?") to downright sad ("Because they just don't.  No law to compel them to last.  No children to trap you together.")

Imagine how much better their lives would have been had they just admitted what they felt
and embraced that love, ignoring all the fear, expectations and hate of others.

But people, really now.   Open your eyes.  A relationship and its strength and fortitude are based not on such pathetic excuses and over-generalized opinions.  The power of two people loving each other is limited only by the willingness of the two to make things last.   If you really feel that the only reason you haven't left your partner/husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend is because of a law, a social expectation, a child, a religious ruling) then frankly, you aren't really in a relationship. You are in a trap.

Find the person who makes you feel that you are who you are because you were meant to be who you are.  Find the person who embraces you and loves you and tells you how you make his life just as meaningful and loved.    Find the person who expects from you no less than what he gives you.  The person who is willing to share his life with you, and lovingly allows you to be part of his.

You deserve to be loved.
You will find someone who deserves you too.
True love means no one has to stay home alone.
Cause think about it:  Money runs out.  Laws change.  Beauty fades.   Even skill can eventually be lost.
But if you find that person who truly honestly fully loves you, none of those will matter.

I hope you find the courage to do what you must.
And the joy of finding who you are meant to be with.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Is Tom Strong Strong Enough?

Read this earlier tonight and found myself amusedly thinking about the geekwood entry I posted on Tom Strong. DC Comics has been making interesting moves as of the late (with one of the biggest ones I question being the removal of certain popular Vertigo characters from the Vertigo universe due to legalese I rather ignore.)  With DC comic's cancellation of the Wildstorm line, Tom Strong sadly was to be one of its casualties.

Ooops, wrong Tom.  Then again  I guess you don't mind either.
In some ways, this did make me think about change in general.  About how things may become familiar to us that sometimes, while change may be good, the idea of letting go of something familiar can be a horrific idea.  Life has its moments where change can be good or bad.  Whether it be the small things such as changing the brand of soap you buy, or bigger things like choosing to move to another city, change will always have repercussions one way or another.

But what we forget is, while change may seemingly be inevitable, it does not mean it cannot be productive.
Ang matakot, talo.
Most of the time, the resistance to change is the fear of something new.  Familiarity is always a powerful comfort zone, even if what is familiar may be unhealthy or unwise.   Finding the courage to take a step towards something new can be difficult, but if one learns to focus on the facts, one can see the wealth of opportunity waiting ahead of them.  I recently learned to cook and for a long time, I refused to step outside the omelets and fried food I was making.  My partner insisted I try doing other things and eventually even got us an oven toaster to help me take a brave step away from the frying pan and into the baking oven.     Now, thanks to his support and faith in me, I have made a few new baked dishes, learned to even take a stab at doing more interesting salads (you should try my Cilantro-Eggplant salad one time!) and have dreams of actually moving towards baking my own bread and cooking steaks!
I love this book.
Someone should make a movie out of it.
Many also forget that change will always need time.  If you've made a habit of using Internet Explorer for years, the thought of switching to Chrome or Rockmelt might sound like too much effort.  Or might even be seen as *hard* since it will mean having to learn how to do things a bit differently.   I recall how I used to hate  the new World of Darkness system, with its strange similar-yet-different feel to the old Storyteller system that I loved.  I used to despise how it felt more like it had influences from d20 and tried to make things seem so basic.  But now, I find it hard to jump back to the old version of the rules.  After some time of getting used to the new system, I have realized what the creators knew and wanted me to learn; the new system is so streamlined you can not only easily mix their products into the game but was simple enough new players can grasp the idea with a single session!   If you take into account the fact that time will be needed to start to actually feel how the change is a good thing, you will at least be making a far better judgement call in the end.
Admit it!  You also at first thought Robot Unicorn Attack was stupid,
until you played it and ended up LOVING it!
And lastly, one must always remember that change will only truly reflect what it offers if you give it an honest chance.    Diets tend to suffer from this the most.  When a change is experienced, many far too quickly declare it a failure because they never really gave it an proper chance.  Once I told myself I would never get into driving.  While young, I actually already learned to drive my mother's car.  But far too quickly, I dismissed the freedom driving brought because I knew once I could drive I would eternally be the person my parents order around to buy stuff.  So I ditched the skill and proclaimed, "I don't like driving.  I prefer the freedom of walking around."  While it was partly true, the joys of walking and commuting were not joys that I would deny myself once I started driving.  They were just joys I used as an excuse to stop.   I, too quickly, shot down the chance for driving to be a true experience.  But now, with a few more years of being behind the wheel under my belt, I am extremely grateful a good friend of mine helped me find the courage to get back behind the wheel.  

So why is this a blame it on the rain,bro article?  As I was thinking of what to blog about today, I found myself thinking about a number of things.  Among them was how a friend of mine who seemed to believe she was unlucky in love.  All the guys she had met were sweet and sincere, but after some weeks of sex and dating, would drop her to find the next warm body.  I suggested to her that maybe what she needed to do was to simply spend the nights out enjoying time with her friends rather than hunting down a boyfriend.   "Try to find time to just enjoy being you.  Stop trying to always be the person the other one wants.  And stop thinking you can't be happy as yourself."  She never tried.  She thought the idea was too weird.  She felt the idea meant she was "giving up" (although what she was giving up I never understood) and as far as I know, she is still diving into clubs hoping to find her Mr. Right in the very place where Mr. OneNightStand simply hangs out.     There is also the other friend who used to think the bar I love was a dump.  The friend was a regular of this bigger bar; a place that equated expensive entrance fees and even more expensive drinks as a symbol of class.  While the bar I loved was a single-storey venue with a cozy floor area and affordable prices, his was a veritable palace of a dance club with numerous floors, peek-a-boo friendly restrooms and enough disco-lights to blind a star.   A few years back, I invited the said friend to a birthday party to check out the place, enjoy the company and have some drinks.   Nowadays, I find myself bumping into him on some nights, there with a host of his friends, enjoying the place.  I wonder sometimes if I should ask.  But then again, doing that might just raise his defenses about it.
Yeah... don't expect love in a place where sex is the main point.
But yes, change can be good.

My coming out was a huge change.  I had a host of things to be afraid of, and frankly even until now there are some things related to my coming out that make me worry.  But overall, the change has been for the best:  I don't have to lie to my parents anymore.  I don't have to pretend my partner is just my friend.  I don't have to act like gay bashing is something I am okay with when family members might happen to do it.  I don't have to make excuses on why I'd spend "certain" days or nights with my partner anymore.  They know I am with the guy I love and they know that on some days of the month, he becomes my priority over everyone else.    And even better, I know now that I can honestly share with them why he makes me happy.  And how I make him happy too.    Our relationship, save for the fact it is homosexual rather than heterosexual, is pretty much seen the same way as any other:  our business.  They are HUGE changes.  Especially for someone who spent the better part of his life making excuses whenever his bisexual heart fell for a person who had a cock.

Me and my partner.
No, we aren't just "best friends."

Change can be very good.  And while it will always be scary, change should always be given some level of consideration before being thrown out of the options immediately.

So I guess, I guess I just need to remind myself of that and do what I can to bring it to a more positive direction.  Tom Strong, here's hoping to see you in print again someday soon.  Wildstorm or not, I believe you will find more readers willing to shell out money to support you.

Let us meditate on the immortal words of Charlie Chaplin:

"Nothing is permanent in this wicked world - not even our troubles."
(although admittedly, I have no idea when he said this.  Doesn't he usually perform absolutely silent?)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Geekwood: Magnus Robot Fighter

He would probably eat Daleks and Droids for lunch.
From the comic world comes our next Geekwood candidate.  I wasn't even born yet when the hero known as Magnus, Robot Fighter first came into being.  Born from the creative mind of writer and artist Russ Manning back in 1963, Magnus was a man who fought against robots thanks to his incredible martial arts.

This sketch was made back in the 1960s,  Timeless and impressive.
Makes you wonder why aren't more characters designed this cleanly?
While primarily based on Tarzan, the character quickly gained a more original feel  with each passing issue.  Like Tarzan, Magnus was raised by non-humans (specifically a robot called 1A) and was trained to protect humans from rogue robots and humans who have chosen to side with the robots.

Somehow I think for most of you, you'd be smiling with arms outstretched ready
 to catch him if he ever did this to your bedroom window.
Set all the way in the future, the year 4000 AD to be more precise, the comic follows the adventures of Magnus as he attempts to protect his girlfriend Leeja Clane, as well as find a way to free those areas that have been overwhelmed by robot rule.

"RAPE MAGNUS..." said the robot.  "Yes please," said us slaves of the technological dictators.
While most Geekwook candidates have a generous helping of hotness, Magnus is quite the tease with precious little moments of him showing of his fantastic physique.    A HUGE tease.  I could barely find more images of him showing off his build.

While the original comics approached the concept of Magnus merely being trained to break steel with his bare hands, later incarnations of the concept gave him an immense reservoir of incredible strength.   I wish I was able to find a good comparative chart of his machine-killing strength against other comic heroes like Superman or the Hulk.

Damn, you see that clawed out part on the dino's neck?
Magnus is THAT bad-assed!
And this was a merit which Magnus clearly used to his advantage.  It did not matter what kind of robot stood to face him.  In the end, a quick application of wits, unearthly strength and heroic determination allowed him to bring down anyone who stood in his way.

His super bulge probably kept his tunic in place too.
Devoted partner, and a shining paragon of masculinity, what else would add to making Magnus the choice for this installment of Geekwood?  Well, how many men do you know are not only straight, but confident enough to actually wear red skintight tunic, white boots, and nothing else but a black belt emblazoned with a huge buckle with the letter M.   For someone in the 4000s, Magnus sure has a love for the classics.

If you can sit like that while having a picnic in your tunic, it is either because
you've got everything to show off, or nothing to be ashamed of.  Yes, Magnus, you fulfill both.
And yes, when he does finally decide to tease us a bit, Magnus does it with a nonchalantness that would probably make others blush.  His ease with his body is quite apparent in how he chooses to carry himself.  How many guys would throw kicks like that when wearing a tunic?
And I shave too!
Not to mention, each issue of Magnus Robot Fighter would have a healthy dose of muscular guns and sweaty armpits for all of you guys who are into that thing.   It is a pity though that they decided men in the 4000s would be into body waxing, but that does seem to be the case.
I'm not sure what Magnus is up to here.
But I am seriously bothered that when out of his tunic,
it looks more like just an oversized shirt.
So, go continue fighting the good fight for us, Magnus!  Well, the fight which as far as we are concerned has yet to begin... and as far as your comics were concerned, had already ended.  You already defeated the Malevs and married your Leeja, and have a son named Torque.  Heck, you even already have a toy!  Here's hoping your new upcoming revival will be a greater success.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How do you describe a feeling?

I will always love Kylie Minogue.

Simply Wow.
While I may have a strangely broad range of music in my collection, my appreciation of her music used to be something that I had to keep private.  Partly because I wasn't quite out of the closet back then and partly because I didn't want to "share her", I used to catch Kylie's music videos on tv or hear her songs and without any outward signs, enjoy the experience of hearing her sing to me once again.  Being three years younger than my brother in the height of the 80s, I was pretty much expected to like the things he did.  When he was deeply into The Cure, I had to get into them as well.  When Depeche Mode and A-ha sang their songs, I bobbed my head and swayed my fists to the beat.  So when it came to Kylie songs and a few other Madonna tunes, I treated them as secret songs that I alone relished.

I did that for a few years.

There was I time I wanted to marry you, Tori.

There weren't much friends in my younger years who liked Kylie songs.  As strange as it may sound, even by the time college came around, I knew far more people who loved Tori Amos than I did people who loved Kylie.   Having a group that shared my love for Tori, I did in many ways gravitate more towards her music and soon ended up with both a ticket to watch her concert in Los Angeles, a video copy of her concert and unplugged performance, an $80 dollar Venus Envy pendant, and a number of her music cds.     As to Kylie, I only had my memories of her duet with Kermit the Frog and a silent joy in my heart every time I'd hear the Locomotion play.

Thankfully, all that has changed now.

Kylie is back in my life and even better, my partner shares a strong passion for her songs as well.  While other artist like Pink, Ke$sha, Rhianna or Robyn might come up with their own dance-throbbing tunes, I always found myself struggling to completely enjoy their songs particularly because of the kind of message they espouse.
I sense a conflict between message and image.
Take for instance, Pink's "Raise your Glass":
So raise your glass if you are wrong
in all the right ways, all my underdogs
we will never be anything but loud
and nitty gritty dirty little freaks
won't you come on and raise your glass!

I don't grasp the pride and joy in being different in her lyrics.  I know the message is there, but I don't feel it the way I do in other songs.  Ultimately, as fun as the song is to dance to, I struggle to embrace what Pink wants to celebrate in a song here.  Her music video, thankfully, pushes more the message that I love to hear from her.  I guess I just wish I could feel it from her song.  Different strokes I guess.

I go through the same trouble with Rihanna songs and the rest of them.  While I do understand the emotional strength of a song that channels out anger or discontent (again, I am a huge Tori Amos fan too) I don't get the need to always embrace such negativity and try to make it sound cool.  Especially when the said artist presents herself as Rock rather than Goth and so on and so forth.  It is all a performance.  It is all just an image.  It isn't about singing from the heart.  It feels like its all about singing for the paycheck.

While I admire Gaga for being creative, she has been sorely lacking in being much more original.
Kylie, on the other hand, sings with the campiness of a fag hag who loves her gay audience.  She sings of beauty and being wonderful in all ways one can be.  She sings of heart break but quickly reminds you that you deserve better and you shouldn't just be some drama queen.  She sings of love and celebrates its power as real and beautiful.
Rocky, DJ Symon and Me
(Clearly Rocky and I have had a fair amount of beer by then)
It is such a huge plus for me that my favorite haunt, O bar, has a DJ who understands my love for Kylie and how much Rocky and I love to dance to her songs.  Already there was a time the DJ mixed a series of Kylie songs just for us and made sure to let us know it was meant for us when he played it.   (Thanks again DJ Symon!)   It is interesting how Katy Perry seemingly is on the road of moving in the same direction as Kylie.  I can only wonder though when there would be more people who would learn to look past fluff and hype and appreciate good songs the way they are meant to be.

Already counting the days til Gaga copies even THIS look.
But then again, until that day happens, I don't care if only Rocky and I cheer out loud the moment a Kylie song is played in O bar.   After all, sometimes you do want to keep special things all to yourself and your partner.  Heck Kylie already has a song that captures this!

And it goes like this:
DJ's spinning up my favorite song,

Hurry up and get a grove on.
Light fantastic and it won't be long,
Don't let the moment slip away.

'Cause you and I could find a pleasure, no one else has ever known.
Feels like it is now or never, don't want to be alone

How does it feel in my arms?
How does it feel in my arms?
Do you want it?
Do you need it?
Can you feel it?
Tell me.
How does it feel in my arms?

Keep singing, dancing and spreading the love, Kylie!
You make the world a far better, lovelier, musical place!

For the curious, here is my list of my favorite Kylie songs:

  • Locomotion
  • Give just a little more time
  • Especially for you
  • Cant get you out of my head
  • Wow
  • More more more
  • Come into my world
  • Fever
  • In my Arms
  • All the lovers
  • Get out of my way

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