Of lesbians in closets and lesbians on shelves


by Geri

So what’s the difference between a closeted lesbian and a shelved lesbian? Apparently, both try to hide, the latter, by pretending to be straight (or screwing Mark Sloan), the later, by pretending to glance at other genres of literature when you were really really caught checking out the Gay and Lesbian Literature shelf.

And I really really caught you checking out the Gay and Lesbian Literature shelf at National Bookstore Trinoma.

While inside the UP Campus SM North Jeepney, munching on the eleven peso turon cue I bought from the vendor by the Shopping Center, I decided to pass by a National Bookstore to buy some things I need for school. I didn’t feel like getting off at the Trinoma stop at the gas station, even if Trinoma is the more convenient of the two malls (MRT is accesible), and there’s a Michael Johns concert going on. Luckily, the jeepney driver told us that he would be making a U-Turn to Trinoma after he drops off the passengers bound for SM North, which saved my swollen, sprained ankle the effort to cross the street. So I limped towards the National Bookstore, while generally admiring my new pair of shoes (that won’t fit well by the way, for my feet were swollen) on every reflective surface I manage to find on the way.

After getting myself a new Pilot G-Tech .3 black pen, a huge notebook for my Chem 16 laboratory and green artpaper which took me 20 painstaking minutes to find, I paid my stuff on the cashier. But before heading out of the store, I decided to pay my respects to the Gay and Lesbian Literature shelf to see if there are any new titles. It’s not much of a shelf, it is actually just a meager lower left corner of a shelf (that’s why we call ourselves the minority). What interested me was that a woman already beat me there. She had long hair tied in a ponytail.She had on a black blouse that she matched with a long denim skirt, and a pair of glasses, and suddenly, my gaydar was off. She was stooping down in front of the G and L Lit corner unaware of my stalkerish moves. I slowly and silently made my way towards her, which was unsuccesful because as soon as she felt me looming behind her, she immediately stood up and pretended to be interested with a paperback copy of Savage Grace by Barbara Daly which was directly above the puny little corner devoted to our sexuality.


Julianne Moore, the patron of shelved lesbians

Julianne Moore, the patron of shelved lesbians

I had to leave the store right away because I can’t contain my laughter. I really can’t help but smile stupidly wide as I left because I know her reactions too well. How many times have I grabbed Savage Grace whenever someone passes by me as I check out the G and L Lit corner? Hell, now I even memorize the name of the author of that book. It also doesn’t help that the corner was located at the bottom most part of the shelf. One needs to stoop down in order to view the titles which just makes it too obvious to other people as to where your sexuality leans, and it makes closeted lesbians like me all too uncomfortable and insecure. So I’ve mastered the fine art of squinting my eyes, walking ten steps backward and walking forward at the speed of 1 step/s at the side of that forsaken shelf all while trying to read the titles of the books and appearing that you’re not trying to read the titles of the books. It helps if you’re a fast reader, which I proudly am. It takes alot of effort, and after several sessions, you’ll probably need glasses. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why Erica needed hers.


7 responses »

  1. HAHA. I had that happen to me before! Although I was the one checking out the G and L corner. Shelved, definitely.

  2. Snort. I think I’ve already developed a thick skin. Heh. I’ve been de-shelved. Or my cover jacket has been closeted. 🙂

  3. Secret and Loki, I will never get caught, because as I’ve said, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve, or inside my closet, or up my shelf, whatever 🙂

  4. it’s you. i saw you laughing.. (just kidding!) what’s the prize of finding those lesbians in bookstores? happiness? energy? hephep, hoy les ka pala! ha ha ha

  5. happiness siguro, at ang nagfifilingera lang ako na “alam ko yang ginagawa mo, papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na ako!” 🙂

  6. Pingback: What is Serendipity?: Jane Austen, Fingersmith and the story of my de-shelving « Ang T-Bird ay Ako

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