Friday, March 25, 2016

For They Know Not What They Do… Or Say.

I believe we are at the cusp of major change in world view, a hazy demarcation point when attitudes about gay love are changing. And at this point, we will encounter a lot of people, friends and family included who are also transitioning, some stuck in the old world view, as well meaning as they are.

What Boy Abunda mentioned, as he reacted to Manny Pacquiao's statement likening this to the fight of African-Americans or even women for equal rights was spot on. I try to imagine myself during those times when the tide was just about to change maybe as an American of color…

At the macro perspective, political discussions have started, a lot of them heated and even hurtful. But these have not filtered down to individual lives yet. They would seem abstract and even alien. A part of me would watch the news, listen to the commentaries. But at the start, these remain so far from me, an impossibility even to imagine.

I would go about my life as a black man, obeying the laws and complying with segregation. But I would also imagine that not all my friends would be black. I would have white friends, workmates, neighbors maybe. Some of them would be geniunely nice to me. We would consider each other as friends. Our personal relationships would be color-blind even as we all led lives of conformance. Yet the discussions on equal rights would already be brewing.

Our lives go on, our friendships would develop no matter. But as the discussions start to become more viral, it is harder and harder not to take notice. I begin to know some friends who are ‘participating’ in the conversation, some more active than others. Some of them join the protests. It is now becoming real to me, ordinary person, and even to friends of whatever race or color.

Slowly, we form opinions regarding it. Some would articulate such opinions in social gatherings, maybe even during religious meetings. I am sure I would start to hear some of my friends, some of those whom have treated me genuinely with care and affection, to be voicing such contrary opinions. Some of them will justify the status quo of segregation, on whatever grounds, including religion.

A bulb suddenly turns on inside me, a paradigm shift happens within me. I understand at the deep, personal level that I am disadvantaged. I do not have the same rights as others just because of my color. But I also know that some of my friends, especially white friends, will not have the insight. They may even vociferously against what I have begun to believe. Will I start to hate and despise them?

I replace ‘color’ with ‘sexual preference’, ‘black’ with ‘gay’. And it seems to unfold in the same way. And I am asking myself if I should start blocking them, hating on them as they defend ‘marriage’ and Catholic faith and Manny Pacquiao and deny me my right to love and for my love to be recognized by the State?

Could it be that they simply cannot go beyond their training, their education, their religion, their old world view. They just cannot step beyond that. Some would say that these people WILL not step beyond. But sometimes, I wonder how willfull could one be? Is it possible that they ‘simply know not what they do?’

Could this be at the heart of what Jesus said when He asked for pardon for those who have sent Him to his suffering and death? These people, from the crowds who asked for his crucifixion and jeered at him during the Way of the Cross, to those Roman soldiers who actually inflicted all that pain on him, right up to nailing him on the cross, could they really “not know what they do” because they are just so ‘trapped’ in their world view? And that is the reason why the Lord Himself asks for mercy and pardon on their behalf?

Perhaps, I can still believe that these same people are good and loving people. Perhaps, instead of hating my ‘friends’ who have such contempt for what I am (as gay love is what I am), as I read their pro-Manny Pacquiao posts and statements, I can simply show some love and mercy, for they ‘know not what they do or say’, even if they state to the contrary.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Maraming bakla ang nagpaparlor pero hindi naman lahat nasa parlor. Meron ding mga guro, doctor, driver, abogado, engineer, empleyado at marami pang iba. Hindi naman mahalaga kung ano ang trabaho mo. Ang mahalaga mahal mo ang ginagawa mo. At ginagawa mo ito nang bonggang-bongga.

Stereotypes. Labels that have a life of their own.

I remember previously how I detested the label "shoke". That was the worst sounding of all the terms used on gays, used on me. It was laden with so much contempt for being 'not like the other boys'.

I don't even know how that term evolved. I know though, that images of a Dolphy character, Fifita Fofongay Vda de Falayfay, best exemplified that term. And if my memory serves me right, he actually worked as beauty parlor hair stylist.

The association with parlor, persists. But that 70's term "shoke" faded away.

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