Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The 'Married' Life part one

Gays in manila are often fond of calling their relationship a 'marriage'. While gay marriage is yet to be legalized in this country, some of us have managed to live as married couples, share an apartment, buy groceries together, try to finish each other's sentences and all the brouhaha. I don't see anything wrong with it but I can't help but make a funny face whenever someone is being introduced to be as someone's ASAWA*.

This came to mind when one day I was bored and I decided to get in touch with some very old friends - the one you've met when you were younger, more energetic, and more sexually-confused. One of those friends is Thad, a manager who works at some insurance company.

Thad and I went to the same university. We were both in the closet back then and I had absolutely no idea that he has part of our world. The secret came out when I told him I met with his friend Chris, who then volunteered to help me on a paper I was doing for our communications class. We met online.

'Hey, I met your friend.'
'Which one?'
'Chris... he's helping me with my paper.'
'How'd you meet him?'
'We met online. We just chatted and he said he could help.'

Thad just stood there, not knowing how to react to what I said. Apparently, 'chatting with Chris' always meant chatting with him on the Bi-manila channel, a popular chatroom for PLUs.

He later confessed that he already knew about me and that now we're both out we've got nothing else to hide.


Fast forward 5 years later. Thad got an early success in his career. He got a high-paying job and he said he's in a very special relationship.

I texted him to ask how this special love of his is doing.

'I'm completely happy with my married life.'
'Oh really? And when do I meet this husband of yours?'
'Someday when you're also married. SO we can have a double date!'

I didn't know what to say. I gave it a good 5 minutes before I replied:

'That's a mean thing to say. What if I'm Carrie Bradshaw? I'm always single!'
'Kai, even Carrie realized married life is happier. She eventually tied the knot, didn't she?'

And there, in my room while holding my cellphone, I started cursing at Carrie Bradshaw and the writers of Sex and the City.

*Asawa is the Filipino term for spouse

1 comment:

  1. I tend to stick to the term "partner" myself. It's not that I see anything wrong with husband / asawa, I guess it's more because of my thinking that until gay marriage is truly supported around the world, it feels wrong to adopt the heterosexual term.

    But of course marriage is practically just a piece of paper - a sign to everyone that you're committed when you don't really need that to prove anything. I want gay marriage to be legalized so I get my rights to checking the married box on forms, declaring a different tax status and clearing up my eventual inheritance.

    7 years of being together with my partner is practically a marriage and no piece of paper will prove what time has already done.