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Hindi exempted ang LGBTQIA people from abusing, or enabling alleged or real abusers

Walang kasarian ang abuso/abusado. Just as LGBTQIA people can be victims of abuse, maari ring umabuso ang mga LGBTQIA people. Kaya please lang, lahat ng umaabuso, huwag tantanan. Whether LGBTQIA people are involved or not. This is how we can help deal with this.

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels.com

2015 yata nang una kong nakilala itong isang baklang naguturo sa isang kolehiyo sa labas ng Metro Manila. Hindi kami close; pero isa ako sa pinakitaan niya ng mga larawan (sa mobile phone niya) ng mga lalaking estudyante niyang nakatalik niya umano. Minsan, sabi niya pa, tumatawag sila; humihingi ng allowance na agad niya namang pinapadala.

Even then, I voiced my concerns – e.g. how this didn’t sit well with me even if ang pananaw ko was dismissed by him (and common friends) as “unnecessary” because, sabi nila, “the act may be tasteless, but arguing its legality/illegality is… tricky”. After all, “victimless crime” naman daw.

Ilang taon ko rin siyang di nakita o nakausap man lang (kahit sa social media). Pero recently, naging bahagi siya ng isang panel para sa Pride; tinaguriang “leader” ng LGBTQIA community sa Pilipinas. No vetting done (para malaman kung may veracity yung ginawa o ginagawa pa rin niya); o pag-mention ng usapin ng accountability (kung alam man nila ang buhay niya).

Naalala ko ang kasong ito ilang araw na ang nakaraan, when allegations were made by BL actor Paolo Pangilinan against writer/”Gaya sa Pelikula” BL creator Juan Miguel Severo. In Twitter, the former posted that “harassers shouldn’t… be put in positions of power” particularly when they have already been reported, with others supposedly also complaining against the latter.

Sa kasong ito, marami ang nadismaya dahil sa “woke” image created by Severo, who often expressed his opposition re human rights abuses particularly at the time of Rodrigo Duterte. One interesting thing I noted, though: Go to Twitterverse, and you’d actually see “supporters” taking his side.

But looking back, marami pang kasong tulad nito.

Before this, remember director Darryl Yap, na inakusahan naman for allegedly “grooming” a minor? He even once tweeted na “Masarap ang bata.”

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As if people just forgot… he continued making his kinds of movies naparang bang wala lang. Viva Films made him make “Jowable” that earned over P100 million; and then “Tililing”.

May isang trans person na naging usapan ang alleged violation of Republic Act 7610, the anti-child abuse and exploitation law. There pa rin siya; may kapit pa rin.

Andiyan ang kaso ng photographer na si Vic Fabe, na kinunan ng video ang mga male talents na lumapit sa kanya habang nilaro niya ang katawan ng mga ito; and then posted these videos on his website, accessible after people pay.

Marami rin akong narining na pinagtanggol si Fabe – e.g. wala namang nawala sa mga lalaki, sumikat pa nga sila, etc. Sabay hingi ng links sa mga videos niya.

Andiyan din ang kaso ng dating promoter ng Today X Future, isang bar (na nagsara na) sa Quezon City, si Austin Castañeda (AKA, DJ Kill Your Boyfriend) na inakusahan ng sexual harassment and assault.

That was in 2018, and – tanda ko pa – nagkaroon pa ng official party para sa “Pride” sa venue na ito. The “Pride” organizers didn’t even talk about it; or asked for accountability. So much for “Pride” as a “safe space”, no?

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And then there’s Jojo Veloso, that talent agent who also had videos showing him fondling the private parts of his talents (e.g. Hans Montenegro). Tumakbo at nanalo pa siya bilang Board Member ng Biliran; and then revived his showbiz connections for a comeback.

Lahat ng ito nagpapakita na:

  1. Walang kasarian ang abuso/abusado. Just as LGBTQIA people can be victims of abuse, maari ring umabuso ang mga LGBTQIA people.
  2. Bilang LGBTQIA people, alam natin ano ang pakiramdam ng inaabuso. Tayo dapat yung unang nakaka-grasp, nakaka-unawa, nakaka-gets kung ano ang impacts ng abuses; at gumagawa ng paraan para mapigilan ang various forms of abuses.
  3. We need to listen to victims. Better yet, back them. Mga LGBTQIA people ask for support, no? But may times many of us can’t, won’t even give the same sa nangangailangan ng suporta as victims of abuses.
  4. Huwag tantanan ang mga abusers. Yung silence as a whole, including katahimikan natin, keeps these people in positions of power. And often, they just continue abusing.
  5. Hold the abusers accountable – e.g. stop defending them, supporting what they do, buying their products, partnering with them, etc. Kung maari, kasuhan sila, or (linked to #3 above) suportahan ang mga nag-file ng kaso laban sa kanila.

Obviously, may “levels” ang abuso; some seemingly “smaller” than others (like the ageism and lookism of that gay guy who was initially suspected to be involved in the death of Christine Dacera), compared to the shaving of some lesbian women in Maguindanao because of their SOGIESC, compared to the killings of trans people like Ebeng Mayor.

Pero please lang, lahat sila huwag tantanan. Whether LGBTQIA people are involved or not. This is how we can help deal with this.

The founder of Outrage Magazine, Michael David dela Cruz Tan completed BA Communication Studies from University of Newcastle in NSW, Australia; and Master of Development Communication from the University of the Philippines-Open University. Conversant in Filipino Sign Language, Mick can: photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write (DUH!), shoot flicks, community organize, facilitate, lecture, and research (with pioneering studies under his belt). He authored "Being LGBT in Asia: Philippines Country Report", and "Red Lives" that creatively retells stories from the local HIV community. Among others, Mick received the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 2006 for Best Investigative Journalism, and Art that Matters - Literature from Amnesty Int'l Philippines in 2020. Cross his path is the dare (guarantee: It won't be boring).

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