My kumare, Chona Babes, tells me stories about Leroy, her 8-year-old son who at a very early age knew he was different from other boys. Leroy once told his Mom, “Mommy, yung classmate ko bakla rin.”
Bakla RIN? So Chona knew the boy had awareness of his identity. Good thing, the mother in her is just so supportive for the bakling duckling in Leroy. “Siyempre mahal ko yung anak ko, ano man siya. Eh ano naman kung bakla?”
One day, Chona relates another Leroy story, the school bullies were heckling him, “Ah bakla, ah bakla!” they jeered, when Leroy suddenly turns to them and blasts, “At least, buhay!”
Chona and I couldn’t contain our boisterous laughter as she told this story. “Oo nga naman! Aanhin mo ang straight kung dedz naman!? Eh ano nga naman kung bakla?” we cheered together: “At least, buhay!”
I wonder how the kid thought this retort up. Maybe it’s the seedling of wit a lot of his elder counterparts are quite known for. Or a whip of his survival gene as a defense to the harsh honesty of the world. Or perhaps, it’s the wisdom of youth speaking.
People, hear ye, listen to them young ones.