Op-Ed

Pacquiao’s anti-LGBT position resurfaces, questions proposed anti-discrimination law

After boxer-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao started attacking the proposed anti-discrimination law by ridiculing LGBT people anew, transpinay Dindi Tan stated: “Let me… remind you Mr. Pacquiao that you are a SENATOR of this Republic. That you have a sworn duty to represent the Filipino people. And that means ALL the Filipino people – INCLUDING US, THE LGBTs. You are not to sit in the majestic halls of the Senate to represent your religion, much less your religious dogmas that have no place in a civilized society.”

One of the memes making the rounds to highlight Manny Pacquiao's inconsistent use of Biblical verses

Newbie Senator Manny Pacquiao – who earlier gained infamy for claiming that LGBT people are “worse than animals” – again showed his anti-LGBT position, and even after he met with select LGBT people to supposedly profess his support for LGBT human rights. This time, in a Senate hearing that eyes to pass an anti-discrimination law, he argued against prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity, including a person’s manner of clothing. Pacquiao said that the Bible does not allow cross-dressing.
Here is an open letter in response to Pacquiao’s continuing promotion of hatred.

To Pacman with love,

Allow me to start with a scathing footnote: “Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us.”

Mr. Pacquiao, allow me to break your heart this Valentine’s Day as you have deliberately broken many of our hearts time and again in the LGBT community. Allow me to also go direct to the heart of your overly irritating stupidity: Your recent posturing in the Senate, along with… Sotto, during the interpellations on the proposed “Anti-Discrimination Bill” was not surprising; it was anticipated so much so that your stance on any LGBT issue remains unchanged. What was surprising though was your utter lack of respect to the many promises you have made and committed to the LGBT leaders who trooped first to your GenSan abode before the elections, and next to your Senate office recently.

What I find not just surprising, but also shocking, was your manner of manipulating things to strike a balance of some sort into this politics of involving us, and then dismissing us, only to further your vested personal interest. When you somewhat eviscerated our visibility by using Bible verses, those declaratives resonated till now and we are still reeling from it. When you INSINCERELY delivered a public apology for the LGBT community during the height of worldwide backlash because of your irresponsible remarks, you owed us more than just your childish religious drama. We thought then that it was just a calculated political show made to arrest your nosediving pre-election figures. And yes, we were right with that definitive impression.

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On this day of hearts, we are furious and we demand that you hold account for your FAILED PROMISES. Foremost of which, you once promised us that should the “Anti-Discrimination Bill” gets to the Senate, YOU WOULD BE THE VERY FIRST ONE TO CO-AUTHOR IT. Senate records showed otherwise. This was a willful, deliberate and deplorable departure from the agreement reached upon with the LGBT leaders you spoke with. And to refresh your memory, that was just last week, Mr. Pacquiao. Was this a manifestation of “selective memory” or “selective justice” on your part? Or both?

YOU RENEGED ON THAT PROMISE. YOU BETRAYED OUR LEADERS. YOU BETRAYED US.

Even while overtures were already made aimed at either pacifying your incredibly feeble mind, or changing your myopic and, I must say, antiquated views on LGBT people, there is no hope that we see in your humanity (assuming there is one to start with) that points to the direction of helping the Philippine LGBT sector in finally emancipating us from years of oppression and discrimination. I took offense when you referenced the case of our fallen trans sister Jennifer Laude. As a transwoman myself, that BIGOTED inference on her case was misplaced and was, at worst, done in terribly bad taste. More than being a transpinay that she was who may not have “subscribed” to your view of normality, she was a CITIZEN of this nation regardless of her sexual orientation and gender identity and expression and, like everyone else, the State should have taken all steps necessary to protect her life and civil liberties. As a matter of fact, she lived her life as a woman. She was a woman of transgender experience. Her donning “female” clothing did not fall within the category of your so-called “cross-dressing” since she identified as “female”. And please be factual with your statements.

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You further insinuated that the reason she was killed was because she “deceived” Pemberton about her “real” (sic) identity. Mr. Paquiao, I was summoned by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee led by the former Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago before to help shed light on some issues surrounding Jennifer Laude’s brutal killing as one of the country’s trans leaders and you know what I discovered after interpellating the PNP leaders who were there present? That according to the lab results of the two condoms found in their love nest, all evidence (semenal fluid) indicated that she may have been fucked twice by Pemberton from the rear. This was according to SOCO. So assuming for the sake of your argument raised that Jennifer Laude was killed because she misled Pemberton as to her identity, then why did Pemberton continue with his sexual advances on Laude that were consummated? Mind you, it was not just once. It was twice. And from the rear. It is highly improbable that Pemberton didn’t discover that thing in between Jennifer Laude’s legs during their intercourse. So he knew. He knew that Jennifer was a transwoman and not the “usual” girl according to your own limited standards of being one. But clearly, what became so apparent was your obvious insult to the memory of a fallen member of our community. Something that we cannot let pass. Something that added more insult to injury.

Your distorted reading of our lives as LGBT people continues to be construed within the framework of your very un-Christian orientation.

Mr. Pacquiao, you are not GOD to judge us according to your flimsy interpretation of your Bible. To be a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines requires you to LEGISLATE LAWS and NOT TO LEGISLATE YOUR OWN STANDARDS OF MORALITY.

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Let me once again remind you Mr. Pacquiao, that you are a SENATOR of this Republic. That you have a sworn duty to represent the Filipino people. And that means ALL the Filipino people – INCLUDING US, THE LGBTs. You are not to sit in the majestic halls of the Senate to represent your religion, much less your religious dogmas that have no place in a civilized society.

You have fooled us more than once. I am now ashamed of myself for holding on to your empty promises. But, shouldn’t you be more ashamed of yourself Mr. Pacquiao, for insulting the trust not just of the Philippine LGBT community but of the entire nation for failing to live up to our collective expectations of an efficient and effective legislator? Only you can answer this question assuming that you still have a “functioning” gray matter between your ears. But I doubt it. I highly doubt it.

As in the past, we will overcome this. And we will emerge victorious. Contrary to your heavily religious hardline stance against us, people like you are the reason why we continue to fight and thrive, struggle and live, have faith and hope, and more importantly, give LOVE even when deprived of it.

It takes more than funding a foundation or building houses to be called “humane” and “God-fearing”, Mr. Pacquiao. And it takes more than several boxing victories to be truly called a “hero” and a national icon. For us in the LGBT community, you don’t even come close to any of those.

Go fuck yourself, Mr. Pacquiao! Happy Valentine’s by the way.

Sincerely,
Dindi Tan

Miss Dindi Tan with Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte (PHOTO COURTESY OF DINDI TAN)

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