Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Write off Discrimination - The Contributions

Writing about discrimination is just as daunting as fighting it. But a few of our bloggers have taken the cudgels. Here they are:

Kiks dissects discrimination.

Mel Beckham hopes for something better.

Tobie gives his take on bisexuality.

Richie laments about pride and prejudice.

Désolé Boy tells the tale of a pink-laden land.

Melanie challenges.

Rocky slaps the wrist on internal discrimination.

Justin puts the D on discriminate.

Mu[g]en discriminates.

And Red tells us we are multifarious.

No one is ever too late to confront discrimination. And no one is ever too late to discuss it.

Pag-uutay-utay sa Diskriminasyon by Kiks

Kelan ba nagsimula ang diskriminasyon?

Sabi nila, nung nagkaron ng konsepto ng private property ang mga tao, nagsimula na ito.

Nung panahon daw ng slavery, walang problemang magjekjekan ang mga lalaki kasi superyor sila. Mababa kasi ang pagtingin sa mga babae – mga paanakan lang at walang maitutulong sa pag-unlad ng lipunan.

Noong panahon ng monarchy, maraming pwedeng gawin ang royalty (katulad ng orgy sa palasyo, lalaki man o babae) na hindi nila keri kung mahihirap ang gagawa.

Noong World War II, okey lang si Hitler sa homosexual relations sa pagitan ng mga Nazi soldiers (although nabago ito after some time) habang pinapatay naman ang mga nahuhuling baklang Hudyo at iba pa.

Nitong recent times, isang baklang kaibigan ko mula sa High School ang hindi pinapasok sa isang bar dahil nakabihis syang pambabae. Bakla ang may-ari ng bar.

May kinalaman ang salapi, o ang pagmamay-ari nito, sa usapin ng diskriminasyon.

Kaya siguro maraming mga baklang nagpupursigeng kumita ng pera para makabili ng condominium units o basta maka-akyat lang ng career ladder para makaiwas sa diskriminasyon.

At sa mga di maabot ang pangarap na bituin, tumatahimik na lang. Nagpapamhin. Nag-aasawa ng babae. Pumupunta sa bathhouse?

Treading the economic path was an easy way for many of us to escape discrimination. Sadly, some of us end up discriminating others, even our own.

And still, marami pa rin sa atin ang discriminated. Minsan, dahil bakla tayo. Minsan, dahil Pilipino tayo. Karaniwan, dahil mahirap tayo.

Maraming pwedeng gawin para solusyonan ang diskriminasyon. I guess, isa na don yung kanta ng Buklod na ni-revive ni Bamboo – na kailangang baligtarin ang tatsulok para tayong mga nasa ibaba ang nasa tuktok.

O diba, parang simpleng inverted pink triangle lang?

Hindi madali. Pero pwede. Pwede.

(Pwede nyong basahin si Kiks dito.)

Things Get Better by Mel Beckham

I believe in hope.

I believe in people.

I believe in opinions and choices.

I do not believe in discrimination.

In fact, I don't even think it exists.

I think I'm lucky to have never experienced being discriminated all my life. When I was a little girl, I often play with my sisters and girl neighbors because I can totally relate to what they play with.Dolls, dressing up, stationeries, jackstones and other girly stuffs.If they're not around I would gladly ask my younger bother and his friends if I can play with them and their toy guns and action figures.Of course, most of time they wouldn't let me because of my girly preferences. But that's fine with me. I understand if they don't like me playing with them and their toys.

During family reunions and other family affairs, I would always find myself alone in a certain corner, eating beside the flower pots. My cousins and other relatives would say "hi" then they proceed to be with their respective groups. On one occasion I overheard my cousin saying."Nandito pala ang nag-iisang bakla sa pamilya, who invited him?" But that didn't hurt me because I love my family more than their opinion. After all, Where would I be without my family? They're the only one that I have.

After college, I tried applying for a job in a multinational company. My level of confidence was at its peak considering how high my grades were. I would definitely land a job very easily. Or so I thought. After many attempts to be in the corporate world, I gave up. I thought my excellent scholastic record were enough to get myself employed but it's not that easy. Most companies prefer graduates from top colleges and universities and since I'm a graduate of some average school, I wasn't even considered. Oh well, it's their company and if their policy is to employ only graduates from top schools I guess I should move on, strive harder and prove to future employers that I'm a better choice than some "employment standards".

One time, my friends and I were on vacation, we decided to go to this posh resort. Upon checking in, we were asked to wait because there were foreigners who were also checking in even though we arrived first. I guess dollars and other foreign currencies are better than our Philippine pesos so we just excused ourselves and sat in the reception area while the newly arrived foreigners were getting accommodated.

There were no discrimination in the facts mentioned above. It's just a matter of understanding the situation and being more tolerant to the circumstances at hand. But I wish things were better. It would've been better if my brother's playmates saw how fun I was to be with, rather than seeing how different I was.It would've been better if what my relatives saw was how loving I was to my parents and siblings( I still am), rather than seeing me as the sore one. It would've been better if those companies I applied for saw how much of an achiever I was at school rather than consider my alma mater as an average school with average-performing products. It would've been better if the front desk personnel of that resort treated us equally rather than focusing on the foreigners with thicker pockets.

I do really hope things get better. Very soon.

(Read Mel's post here.)

Inside the Circle by Désolé Boy

The land is pink and they say people are gay -literally. Here is a slab of land inhabited by people with merry faces, jokes and parties painted in their faces. Dwellers are intuned on a provoking thumpa thumpa. Sometimes outsiders refer to the group as federacion. I prefer the term family.

The same outsiders would frown whenever they take a peek. Eyebrows would curl then hushed conversations will follow. Then comes the suppressed gigglings. The conclusion, an established verdict by an ingrate jury in their pretentious courts.

Discrimination. It happens from the moment a gay yougster started swaying his hips on family occassions stretching to that moment of his strugglle for the much coveted promotion in his homophobic corporate world. Home, neighborhood, church, school. workplaces and yes, even here in the blogosphere, discrimination happens, like it or not. But these so-called discriminations are brought about by people who are either too narrow minded to understand or even respect our differences or by those who simply does not have a mind at all. Mostly, they are people who are not gays. Straight people.

In this vast playground we are all in, we gays suffer from bullying from these people who disagree with our way of living. But what we sometimes don't realise is the truth which that we actually have other bullies we are silently defending ourselves on - the bullies of our own kind. Yes, I am talking about discrimination within our circle.

Paul, a classmate of mine calls Dave, a guy from the other class, "baklang kanal." Long before, the gay runways are filled with muscle shirts and tight polos and ass-hugging skinny pants, floral dresses, tube and skirts reign the catwalk. Dave came from the old era while Paul epitomizes the modern gay guy with his chiseled chests (a product oh his gym addiction), well styled short hair cut (a product of trips to expensive salons) and a bulging cock. Dave, to avoid the everyday picking of Paul forced himself to adapt on what the runways are dictating. He cut his hair short and threw away his eye liners and mascara. He gave away his blouses and replaced them with polo shirts. Dave is no more a crossdresser.

But did Paul's bullying stop?

Sadly, no.

To Paul, Dave is still the school's "baklang kanal." Dave is skinny and dark. Far from Paul who's a handsome mestizo. Dave still got his high-pitched vocals while Paul teases him in his baritone voice. Dave took a hardtime following the trends on clothes, Paul always gets the latest.

The unspoken hierarchy boils down to one thing -masculinity. If the macho gay guys are laughing at what they call "screaming faggots" or simply effiminates, the other side are actually doing the same. Branded as phaminta (other version includes phamintang durog at buo) etc., they said these type of gay guys are pretentious and hypocrites, or as the gay slang says: echoserang palaka.

Seriously, the teasing and the pin-pointing may sound silly and funny to begin with but the issue actually has a serious shade to it. Isn't it not enough that we are being discriminated from outside our circle to create such kind of caste system? If we are to yell for the world to hear and recognize our difference shouldn't we recognize that we gays too have differences?

Dave's story of discrimination is just one example and there are of course many forms of discrimination within our circle. Probably the most serious of them is the discrimination of some gay people against fellow gays but are HIV positive. There hasn't been any formal move to address the issue but talks about it are currently on the rise.

I mean, being gay is not a choice but being what kind of gay a person is is his/her own choice. Drag queens, bears, muscled, trannys, butch, femme, bisexuals and whatever other labels we coined or might coin, it doesn't matter. It is one's expression of his sexuality. It is one's way of living.

Of course the anti-discrimination battle from the outside is a bigger deal but to challenge such deep-rooted matter, we must first establish a solidified unity within us to win this. Discrimination within us drags us from progressing faster towards our goal of equality. Discrimination within us further aggravates the struggle to acceptance of one's sexuality. It is pointless. It should end.

In defense of the pink land, the dwellers must unite and break their rankings to be able to hold hands together to fight the bullies. We cannnot effectively mobilise a campaign against discrimination if we don't walk the talk first. The fight against discrimination, I believe, must begin within us. Only then that we can fight discrimination as one solid big happy family, that hopefully one day our dream of equality would be realised.

(Read Désolé Boy here.)

Siyam ni Melanie

Hangga't alam kong ako'y bakla...

Hangga't nararamdaman ko ang pagmamahal ng Diyos at ng aking pamliya...

Hangga't wala akong ginagawang masama...

Hangga't malinis ang aking hangarin...

Hangga't hindi ko tinatapakan ang kapwa ko para umangat...

Hangga't may paninindigan ako sa aking desisyon...

Hangga't may mga taong naniniwala sa aking kakayahan...

Hangga't napapasaya ko sila...

Hangga't may boses akong nagagamit para isigaw ang laman ng isip ko...

Deadma ako sa sey niyo tungkol sa aking pagkatao.

Eto lang ang masasabi ko sa inyo...

Wa-i akong care kung 'di niyo ako gusto...

Pati na rin sa inyong kuro-kuro.

Ang tanong?

Papansinin ko ba kayo?

(Basahin si Melanie dito.)

[Technical Musings] Stopping Hate Begins With Us by Rocky

Lesbian & Gay Pride (185) - 28Jun08, Paris (France)
 by philippe leroyer via Flickr.

It's the second ever theorgy blogging day with the theme of "Discrinate, Not. Given the last theory was back in September and was about coming out, it's about time for another of these. I'm all for supporting the local LGBT blogosphere, or whatever you want to call it.

Discrimination - tricky topic when you get down to it. It's always easy to claim that someone is discriminating against you, but how often do you realize you're discriminating yourself? It's that nasty flip to the situation that we I feel we need to bring to the table as part of this theorgy. 

Not bad, eh?

In this context, there are two general categories for discrimination - the external and the internal, for lack of better terminology. Ugh, I'm sounding so textbook right now, I apologize.

External Discrimination, at least from my perspective, refers to those people outside of LGBT circles who espouse messages of hate of exclusion against queers around the world. So you know who I'm talking about in this regard - Republicans, the Roman Catholic Church, and all those other cool cats we love to hate. You're probably going to see a large number of them staging a protest against the LGBT Pride March on December 4.

But that's not what I really want to talk about here.

Flickr: philippe leroyer - Lesbian & Gay Pride (172) - 28Jun08, Paris (France)
Lesbian & Gay Pride (172) - 28Jun08, Paris (France)
 by philippe leroyer via Flickr.

Internal Discrimination is what I feel to be far worse than anything those bigots out there can throw at us. It's when members of the community get into the same acts of discrimination we fight against not just against others but against our fellow homosexuals. And yes, we all know this happens a lot. And you'd think that we as an oppressed minority would learn to be more accepting and understanding, in order to not further the injustice of discrimination we experience. But we don't - the sad realities of our human limitations.

It starts small, if we were to trace the origins of this sad behavior. A good example would be how LGBT personal ads that set all these requirements against only wantingstraight-acting guys, muscular guys, or whatever. Sure, we're entitled to be picky and we can chose to get together with guys of a certain type, if that's really your thing. I can't guarantee you'll find love that way since the physical attributes usually don't mean anything about who they are as people. The irony is that the guys who want straight-acting guys tend to be amazingly effeminate themselves, but I digress.

However when this kind of thinking creeps into general life, then it becomes very wrong. Case in point - a acquaintance of ours commented that he felt it was so wrong to have such "freaks" representing the community at the Pride March, which was one of the most horrid things I had ever heard. Instead of talking about him wanting to participate and represent the best of the community, he choses to stay at home and complain that he somehow doesn't approve of his fellow LGBT brothers and sisters.

And it doesn't end there - there are the kind of gay guys who don't want to associate with the overly flamboyant or effeminate since they're still in the closet but to the point that it's already offensive and hurtful. Just because you hang out with gay people doesn't make you gay - I think the world has figured this out. And thus hanging out with fellow queers will not out you! The only thing that really outs you is your own behavior, which tends to be rather flamboyant in its own right.

Or there are those that claim that you're "not gay enough". The ones that feel if you don't speak in fluent swardspeak or don't totally love Mariah or whichever female diva you're still holding on to, then you don't "deserve" to be gay. What's up with that?

The point is, the LGBT community is amazingly diverse and colorful. I'm not saying you need to be able to fall in love with just about anyone else. I'm not even saying you need to be friends with everyone else. But you do need to learn to respect each person for his or her uniqueness. You need to see the wonders and beauty in what makes each of us unique and amazing and special and fabulous and all that jazz. You can't end hate if you yourself practice it and support it and let it propagate. Then what?

So get off your high horse and learn to see the infinite wonders that make up the LGBT nation. Stop the hate.

(Check Rocky here.)

-Put the D in discriminate- by Justin

You're not homosexual enough if you haven't heard of Avenue Q... Listen...

Discrimination, racism, being judgemental, call it however you wanted to call it, it might be just a lighter or a harsher version of prejudice. Everyone is a little bit racist. I am. I tend to choose people who I hang out with, I tend to seclude those people who doesnt deserve my attention. I mean i dont pass judgements based on superficial things like skin color or the likes but I base my observation rather through how a person acts. I know, very paradoxical, considering I am an agent of human rights and utilitarianism. You'll get what I'm saying when you get to wear my shoes.

How is this related to http://theorg-y.blogspot.com/ project number 2? Bueno, I believe the frequent suicide of homosexual teens in the US smashed some sort of a bell in every homosexual human's head. It served as an alert signal that homosexual discrimination and bullying should stop. Im pretty sure you have seen youtube videos of people with a tag line "It gets better." If you have, then you are well aware that this global gay phenomena is happening.

Homosexual discrimination. I would personally be mad at you if you haven't heard of slavery, genocide, ethnocide and infanticide. They are branches of prejudice that includes death, lots and lots of death. To say the least, homosexual discrimination is actually a lighter version of these enumerated things.

Where is this post heading to? I wanted to give my condolences to the family who lost those teenagers because of homosexual discrimination. As harsh as it sounds, I would tell their children that they should not have done that. Homosexual discrimination happens. Should we accept it? NO! That is why I am so glad that things like this effective projects exists! It spreads awareness that strong homosexual people walks and will be dominating this earth! And we are not just shutting our mouths, we are collaborating to abolish the reign of patriarchy. Yes it would take time. REALITY CHECK! How long til buses were integrated? How long til African-Americans were allowed to be on tv? How long until Filipino immigrants were accepted abroad? It took years of movements and incidents to make these things socially accepted. And for homosexuality to be added to the list of norms, Im not too sure when but it would sure take long.

So, for every homosexual human being that will be able to read this post. Good luck to us and stay strong! Stay strong until the time when all gay people will be socially, spiritually and politically accepted. Who knows when? You might not know, tommorow, later, the next next day? Even I do not know. But one thing is for sure, there is hope that our dream society of equality, peace and love will surely come true. We all just have to wait a little while and be strong. Go for the gold, I mean rainbow!

Much love

(check his blog here.)