Letter no. 36: The Dirt in a Clean Closet
There is a closet, carefully locked by a birthday’s passcode. Inside are clothes a normal guy would usually have: shirts, pants and undergarments neatly folded in series, properly arranged, no more, no less- now what would have been the dirt in that clean closet?
He is Carlos, 23, fresh like a rosebud, who blooms later on spring, the only rose among the 4 thorns and the youngest of them all. He grew up detached from his family, a quiet kid who had a lot in mind. He has 3 older brothers, all grown straight up, until he happened in the family, and unlike his brothers, he grew curved side, to a different direction.
The closet is where he hides his real identity. The closet is where he hangs his feathers, wigs, scarves and glitters. It’s where he locks his two sides, Carlos the brother and Carlos the woman trapped in a man’s body. The closet is where he sealed his letters, his emotions and longings to his family’s understanding. It’s his turning point when all is down and source of happiness to lift his spirit up. The closet is where he sobs when no shoulders are being offered. The closet is where he squeezes his palm to hate when no love is around. The closet is where he plays dolls when all his brothers are armed with guns in PMA. The closet is a totally different world for Carlos.
One time on a helpless days, he tried to burn it down, hoping all the feelings would fade, hoping to wake up one morning with all the confusions gone. But he realized that burning the closet is like burning his real identity, that it wouldn’t help at all the more he’s becoming close to reality. So he put a divider between his clothes for Carlos the woman trapped in a man’s body and for Carlos the brother, and he found the latter as the dirt in his clean closet.
You woudn’t know how hard it is to be a closet gay unless you are one. I wouldn’t maybe understand how suppressing it is because I’m not one of them. But what these people need is a mind broader than the closet the moment it is unlocked. For sure everyone of us has our own padlocked closets, where secrets are enclosed. The only key to unlock those is trust when you open it at right time, place and to the right people.
No secrets are forever burried like no closets are forever locked. For Carlos, he’s almost holding the key.
*Carlos, not his real name, 23, is a closet gay who once tried to kill himself due to identity crisis and depression. He is currently juggling his time taking up his Masteral’s degree of Mass Communication in UP Diliman and photographing events. No one knows he’s gay but five of his friends including me.