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From the Editor

May taste po kami

In an “expression of annoyance”, Michael David C. Tan writes that no, gays don’t fall for ALL the men coming their way.

This will sound like an angry missive, but it’s not. It is – however – an expression of annoyance.

Nang lumabas sa kloseta o mag-out si Jason Collins, isang NBA player, bilang isang baklang manlalaro ng basketball, isa sa paulit-ulit na naging isyu ng mga “tunay” na lalaki ay kung ano ang gagawin ni Jason sa locker room – na dahil bakla ito, sisilipan niya ang mga kapuwa niya lalaki, lalo na kapag sabay sila sa shower room (When NBA player Jason Collins came out of the closet, one of the oft-repeated issues raised by “real” men is what he may do in the locker room, particularly if he showers with them).

Hindi po ako makata (I am not the most fluent in Filipino), pero isang salita lamang ang pumapasok sa isip ko sa tuwing ginagamit ang ganitong pagdadahilan kung bakit pinipilit hiwalayin ang mga bakla sa mga lalaki. Ito po’y: MANGMANG (but only one word comes to mind when such argument is used to continue segregating gays from “real” men: that’s IGNORANCE).

This word, though, is not as often used nowadays; instead, we use: ignorante, kulang sa kaalaman, walang alam, and so on… But you get the point.

Dahil mangmang lang ang maniniwala na LAHAT NG LALAKI AY HINDI “LIGTAS” dahil may bakla silang kasama (Only an ignoramus believes that all men are not “safe” when they are with gay men).

Mangmang lang ang magsasabi na LAHAT NG LALAKI AY PAGSASAMANTALAHAN ng bakla nilang kasama (Only an ignoramus believes that all men will be harassed/molested by the gay guy they are with).

And what do we always say about ignorance? That it is NOT an excuse.

Sa buhay ko, paulit-ulit kong nararanasan ang “hindi sinasadyang” pambabastos dahil bakla ako, at may “tunay” na lalaking pinag-uusapan (In my life, people have been “unintentionally” rude to me because I’m gay, and a “real” man is involved).

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One time, a workmate refused to introduce me to her boyfriend because, in her own words, “baka agawin mo pa (you may steal him from me)”. She didn’t mean to offend me, I know, but what she said (and her way of thinking) is offensive. Mali ang panananaw niya dahil naka-base lamang ‘yun sa akala niyang lahat ng bakla, pagnanasahan ang kahit na anong lalaki (Her way of seeing is wrong because it is based on the assumption that all gays will have ANY MEN).

Another time, in the pool of a YMCA, three “real” men expressed their liking of my swimming trunks – mainly because, as they claimed, it’s hard finding anything that “fits as well, particularly in the crotch area” when shopping in the Philippines. And then, while I was showering in the changing room after the swim, as these three “real” men entered, I overheard them (loudly) whisper that they should make sure they cover up when changing because “maraming bakla titingin sa atin dito (a lot of gay men will stare at us while here)”. I was too busy soaping myself, and, wait… weren’t these the same “real” men who looked at me BELOW THE WAIST, complimenting me about the fit of my trunks? And then while I was locked inside the dressing cubicle, I actually overheard them comparing penis sizes (!), meaning THEY CHECKED EACH OTHER OUT. And yet… it’s the gays’ gaze we all should worry about?

At napansin mo ba kung paano magbigayan ng “compliments” sa isa’t isa ang mga “tunay” na lalaki sa gym (And do you notice how “real” men give compliments to each other in the gym)? In all the gyms I go to, all the gay men I know have earphones in their ears, listening to their own music choices, lost in their own worlds as they go through their programs; while “real” men ACTUALLY GROPE (EVEN FONDLE) EACH OTHER, touching others’ arms, abs, backs, and butts, as they openly discuss how the others could be just as ripped as the muscular ones.

There is no need to generalize here, of course.

But an important lesson has to be learned.

The fact is, like men/women, gays know how to respect spaces, too.

Only the ignorant will think that gays don’t.

This obviously touches on the supposed animalistic tendencies of gay – and that because of these tendencies, the “real” men are not safe.

Ang mahalagang tandaan dito ay hindi dahil lalaki ka, papatulan ka na ng bakla.
(What’s important to remember here is that just because you’re a “real” man, all gay men will already want you).

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I would go as far as saying that ni hindi kita type (you’re not even my type) – though the paranoid may say that “What if you liked me, then will you ogle at me in the shower?” But – AGAIN – mangmang lang ang maniniwala riyan (only one who is ignorant thinks this).

Ellen Goodman, writing for the Baltimore Sun, said it best:

There is and should be a clear distinction between sexual behavior and sexual orientation. A difference between what we do and what we are.

Kaya’t uulitin ko po: Hindi dahil bakla ako, type ko na ang kahit anong lalaki.
(I say again: Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I like, or will do “it” with just any men).

I think it’s high time this is brought out in the open. If only so educating can be done. Because TRULY, educating needs to be done.

Huwag kang mangmang.
(Don’t be such an ignoramus).

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