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.)

The Battle for Sexuality by Tobie

I hate the fact that many don't understand the real meaning of being bisexual.  Or at least many here in the Philippines intentionally misuse the term for their own purposes.  For those who don't know what I mean, allow me this chance to explain.  Bisexuality is more than just a gay guy who happens to have dated a woman in the past.  Bisexuality is also more than just a gay guy who happens to act masculine.  Bisexuality is definitely more than just a guy who is confused or in denial and is too afraid to embrace the term gay.

But sadly, and I speak about the gay circles in the Philippines, those misconceptions are more often than not believed to be truths.  I have met people who insist that they are bisexual because many years back they actually dated a woman at one point in time.  There have been encounters with groups that call themselves bisexual groups, a definition that they mis-appropriately believe applies to them simply because they avoid all the visible cosmetic, stylistic and audible cues that categorize a person as homosexual.  And sad but true, there have been those whom I have met who are quite frankly gayer than a rainbow unicorn in heels who insist with a straight face that they are bisexual and don't understand why people assume they are gay.

And born from the corruption of the term is the blanket injustice of many claiming bisexuality does not exist.  The term bisexual has been wrongly equated by many to be the clearest sign of a person being homophobic of oneself and afraid of simply embracing the g word.
I am more than just infidelity, damn it.
Even worse, in the Philippines, the closest local term to refer to a bisexual is silahis, which actually translates to "a married guy who sleeps with men."  So rather than just in denial, bisexual is horribly defined as "a specific form of infidelity."   Ugh.

But no matter how many choose to exploit the term bisexual, its true meaning deserves to be understood, accepted and embraced.

I am a bisexual.
And I remain proud to be one.
I have always been one.  And I will al
ways be one.
I am not in a phase.  I am not in denial.
And I am damned sure I am not the only one.

Our three official symbols.
Why do I say I am one?  It isn't because of the fact I don't like wearing cosmetics or women's clothing.  It has nothing to do with the fact that I have no illusions of seeing myself as a woman trapped in a man's body.  It is not because most people would have trouble accepting the fact that I am not straight, even if my manner of moving, the intonations of my speech, or my choice of clothing would support the idea that I am a guy, and a geeky guy at that. It does somewhat stem from the fact I have had girlfriends in the past (including one I already had dreams of getting engaged with at one point in time) but that's just part of the reason.  And it definitely is not because I am afraid of being identified or called gay.  I have come out to my parents and to the world.  I am proud and out in my many blogs, on my facebook account, and in each day of my life.  In fact, I embrace the term "gay" since the term does officially encapsulate anything that is not straight.

What makes me clearly identify myself as bisexual is knowledge that in all the times that I have fallen in love with someone, and by love I mean felt an emotional connection with another person that includes sexual attraction, intellectual stimulation and an emotional bond, it never mattered to me if that person was a man or a woman.  The other person's gender was never a factor.

"Impossible!"  some would declare, "To fall in love with another, regardless if that person had a dick or a pussy?  How is that possible even?"

But that's just how it really is for me.  In my life, I've learned that my reciprocity of another person's passions was lot hindered by a person's sex.  I have found myself completely engaged in women just as much as in men, with only the individual's personality being a key factor if I were to try to decide who do I like more.

I have heard of what most naysayers proclaim:  Surely, there is one I lean more towards.  Surely, if I perfer men more, I should be gay and not bisexual.  Or gay but in denial.    But what does it mean if I prefer women more?  Am I straight but pretending?

Ultimately, however, with my own experiences as evidence, I have come to understand my bisexuality as being able to love another person regardless of the person's sex.   And if given a choice between a man and a woman, my answer would be:  Well I'd choose whoever between the two I did love more.

"But what if you loved them equally?  Absolutely equally in all accounts?  Who would you choose?"

In all honesty, if such an unlikely scenario occurred, my answer would be, "Both."

A few weeks back, I got into an argument while chatting with one of my gay friends.  We were discussing about the strange need of people to define everything when out of the blue, my friend declared, "What I hate the most is the term bisexual.  It doesn't exist.  No one can ever really love a man or a woman.  Everyone who ever claimed to be bisexual is actually simply someone in denial about his being gay."

Had I never had my Jedi training, my friend would have felt me reach through the internet connection, wrap the projected tendrils of force around his neck, then pull him closer to smash his face against the screen. Not exist?  I don't exist!?!  I sarcastically reminded him that he was talking to a non-existent being, and rather than realize he had touched a nerve, the guy simply continued, "Not anymore right?  I mean, you are seeing a guy now.  So you've accepted you're gay."
Maybe you're all bisexuals in denial.
EXCUSE ME?  Get it in your head, boy.  Who I am dating does not define my gender.  Who I sleep with does not define my sexuality.  If that were true, then prisons are homosexual factories, considering how many men end up getting banged in the ass in there.  But clearly, the act is not the same as the identity of a person.  Not every gay guy who gets drunk and ends up messing around with a girl is bisexual.  They're just drunk and horny.  And likely a tad curious.  But bisexual?  Please.
If all it took was an act, then being gay is just an alternate form of rape.
Clearly, that's not the case.
After all these years of harping the need for the world to accept and recognize that homosexual men and women exist, I find it terribly sad that the same group would be so clearly willing to do the same thing that they have long marched and chanted and pushed against: Discrimination.  Being gay has been equated as a disease, as a phase, as a form of insanity... and for years there has been a push to understand it more as either  a choice, or either as a card that life hands you regardless of what you wanted.    Why can't the same thing be seen to apply to being bisexual?  Or even being heterosexual?
Equality for all.
That includes bisexuals, you know.
Has the need to find acceptance been confused with wanting to blanketly call the world gay and just in denial?
And do we bisexuals need to have our own stonewall incident happen before we too are no longer discriminated by our fellow non-straight friends?

I am bisexual.

And I am loyal to my partner.  Just because I find men and women attractive doesn't mean I am unable to keep myself aware of my own decisions.  Infidelity is not the defining trait of one's gender.  So why should bisexuality be confused as such.

Here's hoping within my lifetime a greater and more intelligence acceptance of bisexuality happens.
Like every one else, after all, we only want to be recognized and accepted as equals.

(You can view his post and his blog here.)

pride and prejudice by yosoy richie

it may not seem obvious, pero mahirap maging bading. we've always been stereotyped as screaming or flambouyant and at the same time immoral and improper. i have never actually been subjected to discrimination, but just being gay makes us a target. siguro i'm just grateful that if ever someone would attack me because my sexuality, i would know how to defend myself. subukan lang nila. but i think it's still sad that some of us are being persecuted by simply being true to himself. there are even countries which would sentence a man to death when convicted of being a homosexual. dito sa pinas, as much as we are tolerated, society still have that notion that we'd always end up lonely at walang magmamahal satin ng totoo. minsan nga para lang hindi awkward tawanan ko na rin lang. pero masakit parin. i think no matter what we do society will never really understand us the way we appreciate ourselves. nakakalungkot. siguro yun na rin ang dahilan kung bakit kami tatanda ng magisa. maybe if given the chance, we could prove to everybody that we are no different to our heterosexual counterparts and could live a happy marriage. pero personally, i respect the fact that society is not ready to accept that. sana lang mabigyan din lahat ng bading ng parehong respeto. hindi naman dahil nagbibihis babae ang iba ay may psychologigal disorder na. o kaya naman dahil parlorista ang itsura ay dapat nang bastusin. pati na rin yung mga nagtatago o mga closet gays are subjects of malicious gossips. sana wala nang ganito. tao rin naman kami. minsan nga mas nakakaintindi pa kami. kaya siguro, until the time comes when society opens up her arms to us entirely, iintindihin na lang namin.

(check his blog here.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Read Me Next Week

One week from now, November 29, discrimination ends.

Or so we hope.

And even it does not, the second theorgy project on discrimination against gays will.

For all ye faithful, we look forward to receiving your posts.

Spread the love. Stop the hate.