A Tribute to My Fabulous Gay Friends

On My Gay Neighbors

I grew up next door to a gay, bi-cultural couple. As the Philippines is a very homogenous, conservative, Catholic environment, this is not a situation most Filipinos could say they are familiar with.

David and Bill were some of our dearest family friends; I cannot imagine my childhood without them. David was a stunning black musician from Chicago, and had long graceful limbs and a beautiful smile. His partner Bill was a white education specialist working for the Asian Development Bank, and at that time, one of the tallest men I knew (I have since moved away from the Philippines and met even taller people).

Nobody ever had to tell me anything. I grew up simply knowing them as they were: men who were kind and decent, men who were very successful in their careers. Yes, they were men who loved each other. Yes, they were men with skin color different both from each other and from my own. But to me, this was just something that was…well…normal.

On Gay Life in New York City

Two of my favorite friends here in New York City are gay men. Very smart, very handsome, very French men who are fabulous in every way possible.

Julien didn’t like me when we first met because he suspected that his then-crush was in love with me. After he realized that this was not the case, we bonded drunkenly over love, life and overcooked chicken nuggets at the East Village McDonald’s until 3 in the morning. We have been inseparable since.

Xavier, I met about a month later. For a grand total of five minutes, I thought him to be the love of my life and father of my future children. Then he stood up and said “Darling, would you watch my gorgeous bag while I go to the bathroom?” and plopped his truly gorgeous distressed leather bag on my lap. It was the start of a beautiful friendship.

From these two, I learned that gay life isn’t all sunshine and roses; sometimes it’s moonlight and trouble. Yes, there are the wild parties at the gay clubs, naughty exchanges on Grindr, night after night after night of wild sex. But there are also lonely nights in an empty bed, and wistful conversations on lost, elusive or unrequited love.

They, like me, are just looking to love and be loved. It is simple. It is human.

On Where to Meet Hot Guys

One day, while brunching in the village with Julien and Xavi, I spotted a gorgeous guy in a straw hat.

“That guy was so hot! But he wasn’t looking at me,” I complained.

“I know, darling,” said Xavi. “He was looking at me.”

Ladies, you ask me where all the hot guys have gone? Check out the New York City Gay Pride Parade this June 23rd. Or maybe the Boiler Room, Boxers, Phoenix or The Ritz. Or anywhere in New York City for that matter. Yes, ladies, they are everywhere. They just don’t want anything with boobs. So you can look all you want, you just can’t touch.

On Gay Pride

I recently got into a random conversation with a man whose name I now forget. “The big NYC Gay Pride Parade is coming up! Everybody is really excited about it,” I told him.

“I don’t understand that parade,” he said. “I’m straight, you’re straight. Do we have parades that scream ‘I’m straight?‘”

Interesting thought, yes. But I have to disagree. The world has not always been kind to gay people. They have had to fight for so much of what they have today — and the fight is not yet over.

And so, I salute the men and women who are courageous enough to say what they think, to feel what they feel, and fight for their right to live, their right to love, their right to be.

Happy Gay Pride Month!!!


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