To comprehend the world and humanity at a deeper level, we have to get rid of our preconceptions about things and people. Ignorance has plagued society in countless forms. This is a disease of the human consciousness that needs to be healed. LGBTs, as individuals and as a community, have been misunderstood for a long time now because of fear of the unfamiliar and the unknown. Presently, such anxieties have abated, but the road ahead is still under construction towards the fruition of equal rights.
Fresh faces. Positive media representations. Eradication of false ideas. These are the things needed to spread awareness about LGBT, and eventually, move further forward with our fight for equality. Sure, we’ve had local shows such as My Husband’s Lover, That’s My Tomboy, Pogay and some films, both mainstream and indie, that try to depict an LGBT person. The important question here is, “Does it show an accurate portrayal of the LGBT community? Or does it deepen stereotypical images that aren’t necessarily true, or are merely half-truths?”
We’ve seen how the media pointlessly sensationalize rumors or news about certain celebrities’ sexuality. We’ve also seen this in commonplaces – in the office, school, public places or within families – wherein a certain person’s sexual orientation would be needlessly talked about behind their backs. Other than discrimination, it can also be due to a lack of understanding about what it means to be LGBT. This can be seen in typical comments that show naivety or ignorance about it. That the majority of society can still be bothered, excited or scandalized by a certain person’s sexual orientation is proof that a more comprehensive view about LGBT should be set on stage. The topic of a person’s sexuality should be as dull as other aspects of identity like age or skin complexion. It is, in fact, quite mundane.
In the spirit of Pride this December, LGBT people were interviewed in the hopes of showing a broader spectrum of the community. We want Filipino society to understand that LGBT is more than the physical appearances and stories portrayed in the local media, that LGBT is just part of a person’s identity, that there need not be a stigma attached to it. Until these truths aren’t reflected seamlessly in society, we have to continue fending off damaging ideas and show that we’re all essentially the same, regardless of whom one falls in love with.
Hopefully, it also encourages closeted people to come out and let their complete authentic selves shine wherever they may be. We have to let them know that they are never alone. Moreover, there is strength in numbers. Their coming out would make a tremendous difference.
Without further ado, let’s meet some brave, happy and interesting bunch of LGBT peeps.