Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Stiff Upper Lip

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Stiff Upper Lip

Article excerpt

I love London. My travel-agent parents took me there for my 13th birthday, and I immediately fell in love with the history, the food hall at Harrods, and the pretty, ruddy-faced boys who towered over me like trees. My mom and dad took me to see A Chorus Line in the West End, and when each male dancer stepped forward to sing or speak about what it was like to grow up gay, I blanched in recognition. I came home from London that summer wearing leg warmers, emboldened by the knowledge that I wasn't alone.

I returned to London this year for my 40th birthday. My partner, Jamie, and I rented a flat in Knightsbridge and spent the first three days doing all the tour]sty stuff I loved as a kid. The cockney beefeaters told the same gory tales of beheading at Tower Hill. The Harrods food hall, still abundant, now incorporated a sushi bar and a stand that sold Krispy Kremes. British boys were still hot and lanky and made me feel like a Hobbit. The West End hit this trip was Billy Elliot: The Musical. This time, instead of sinking down into my seat, I was actually craning my neck. Sting and Trudie Styler were sitting two rows ahead, and I wanted to get a good look.

The third day we woke up to a phone call from a local friend. "London's a bit of a mess this morning. Turn on BBC." Gradually the number of casualties was announced. The footage of the injured and bloody being escorted from the tube to the hospital played and replayed. Jamie and I sat in front of the set horrified. I did what any good Filipino would do in a time of crisis. …

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