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?
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.)