But within those 12 years, a lot of evolution also happened -- with me. This colleague of mine -- she of the slightly older generation of butch/andro lesbians -- is also quite in mild shock maybe of my evolution over the years. "Ang girl niyan dati, eh" she told her younger girlfriend who was with us over dinner. And I was just laughing my butt off at the thought of this so-called evolution of mine.
But come to think of it, it really amuses me how much I've changed over the years. I also don't know why, how, where it came from, what triggered it, whatever. Call it evolution, but my gender self-presentation has actually confounded many a soul over the years. It really amuses me to think about it, but it also makes me wonder what the heck really happened! Your guess is as good as mine.
To illustrate, I tripped on walking back down my own memory lane. Imagine I looked like this when I first "transitioned" from being straight to being a lesbian -- no in-betweens, no closets, no bi-curious first moments -- before I turned 25 years old.
Baguio 1997, pare. A lot of firsts happened that year.
Particularly, the first time I had a relationship with a woman.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Bakla, nagkikilay, mok-ap at lipstick pa ko nyan!
Astig na femme lang ang peg ko noh.
Astig na femme lang ang peg ko noh.
Then of course the 2000s happened, and many life changes happened as well. Got partnered up, got my heart broken, went single a bit, partnered again, and so on and so forth. The transitions from relationship to relationship also brought about small transitions in my gender self-presentation. It's the hairlalu talaga teh, as you can see.
Maybe 2004 or 2005? When I went fresh into directing
for GMA7, this is how I looked. Pa-gurl ang peg.
Of course I was already experimenting on cutting the hair na lang. But along with it came some cutting of other things as well. Little did I know that I was also cutting out an identity that was originally assigned to me when I first came out -- being femme. Hell yeah, lipstick dyke lola mo noh.
Transition pero pa-gurl pa rin ang peg, lalo na when they put
mok-ap on me here and some bekis made kulot my hairlalu
for a magazine photoshoot. Yuhhhh I was once a mowdel.
For one afternoon and one magazine spread only hihi.
[2005 Raymond Isaac's studio]
All of the gfs I've had were all on the feminine side even if they didn't identify as femme. While most of them were okay with the fact that we were kinda femme-to-femme (because most of them were closeted and hence our relationship was disguised well), they didn't overtly identify as femme themselves. In short, wala kasi sa amin yung butch-femme. Basta girl ka at type mo girl din, patok! Kaya I could safely say na hindi talaga ako napasok sa obvious na butch-femme relationship teh. Pero marami akong friends na butch-femme ang hitsura pero hindi sila talagang nagle-label na "butch-femme kami" yung ganun.
Mid to late 2000s na ang transitioning ng hairlalu.
Pero ayun na nga, over the years, especially after 2005 when I first started labeling myself as queer, medyo umiba na lola mo. Ewan ko talaga kung bakit, pero kung saan lang ako komportable sa porma, dun lang ako pumunta. Nagkataon na medyo masculine, kaya ayun, nag-transition lola mo.
Factor din kaya yung wala akong naging jowa na kikay-fashionista moda, yung dumadamit japorms a la Sex and the City ang peg, eh ako kasi may point sa buhay ko na gumanun ako (nung straight pa nga lula mu). Saka kaya ako nagma-masculine clothes is also to break that stereotype ek na bakit laging kelangang feminine ang girls manamit? We can also look sexy in men's clothes at yun lang naman ang peg ko.
Pride March 2010. Iconic semi-butchy feel. Tatt virgin pa.
But no, nang nag-transition na nga lola mo, parang naging butchier ang peg ng look. Na sa akin, hindi naman isyu kasi nga queer ako, hindi ako butch. Sa Pinas kasi, kadalasan 'pag sinabing butch, may macho mentality na gustong maging man 'yun, pero marami rin akong friends na butch lang itsura pero hindi gusto maging man at hindi macho. Yun ang peg ko ng pagiging masculine na lesbian. Kaya sori kung mapanghusga ang dating pag sinasabi kong di ako butch, pero yun lang naman pinanggagalingan nun.
Payatollah khomeini lola mo! And I didn't know that
someone took this photo of me. Only when I was tagged
by a friend did I happen upon this pic. Ang benta ko pala nun hahaha!
Heniweyzzzz ayun na nga, natawa lang ako sa sarili ko kanina kasi takang-taka yung kakilala ko. Siya kasi hindi nagbago, parang andro type na butchy ang dating, for 12 years. Ang lola mo? Waley! Ayan! Kita naman sa pektyurz devah. Evolution kung evolution teh! Ano'ng sinabi ni Darwin diyan sa species na yan??? Charaught.
And here we are today. Taken earlier,
for International Women's Day. Bakit fafa peg.
Ewan. Natawa lang ako. Also wanted to share these insights kasi I'm curious if you have comments. Life is a never-ending process of receiving feedback naman kasi, kaya curious lang ako.