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Dana: ‘Give yourself happiness’

Meet Dana, here as part of #KaraniwangLGBT, which Outrage Magazine launched to offer vignettes of LGBT people/living. Originally from Cagayan de Oro, she is now based in Puerto Galera, where she is a waitress, and where “giving myself happiness is the one thing I have control in my life,” she says.

This is part of #KaraniwangLGBT, which Outrage Magazine officially launched on July 26, 2015 to offer vignettes of LGBT people/living, particularly in the Philippines, to give so-called “everyday people” – in this case, the common LGBT people – that chance to share their stories.
As Outrage Magazine editor Michael David C. Tan says: “All our stories are valid – not just the stories of the ‘big shots’. And it’s high time we start telling all our stories.”

Twenty year old transpinay Dana used to live in Cagayan de Oro City, but “life took me elsewhere,” she said. Dana now works as a waitress for Hiyas Angeline in Puerto Galera,Oriental Mindoro.

From what “little money I earn”, she looks after her younger brother who lives with her now, but who refuses to go to school.

But while she doesn’t want her brother “to end up not (fulfilling his promise from lack of education), wala tayong magagawa kung ayaw niya; ganyan talaga ang buhay (there’s nothing we can do about it if he refuses to go to school; that’s life),” she said.

Considering she’s living a “not perfect life”, in Mindoro Oriental, “I try to have fun… with (an MSM named) Abraham.”

Dana’s “relationship” with Abraham does not conform with the more traditional/stereotypical relationship that many Filipino gay men or transgender women have with straight-identifying men. The traditional/stereotypical relationship usually has the gay men or transgender women paying (in cash or in kind) to get attention (e.g. have sex) with MSM. But even if they pay, they still take the “female” role – i.e. they are subservient, and they “service” the men/make the men happy. Their happiness is supposed to depend on making the men happy.

“He ‘services’ you too,” Dana laughed as she shared her encounters with Abraham. “It’s fun,” she added, with her search for fun creating for her a new concept of being empowered. “Giving myself happiness is the one thing I have control in my life,” Dana ended with a smile.

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