Even this early, the (about to happen) 2022 elections already highlight how “divided” the LGBTQIA community in the Philippines is.
For instance, there are those who claim to represent the entire LGBTQIA community who are backing VP Leni Robredo (conveniently not discussing/even mentioning that Leni is talking with openly anti-LGBTQIA people like Vicente Sotto III and Manny Pacquiao, both current senators hindering the passage of the Anti-discrimination Bill in the Upper House; and even boasting about this). And then there are those who support Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio (the daughter of Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte), with the aforementioned Leni supporters basically attacking the latter by saying that the Sara supporters do not represent the LGBTQIA community.
And there are two ways of looking at this.
On one hand, many may see this as “sad” because it shows how “divided” the community is/can be. If the “idea” of “unified community” means everyone’s like sheep, following – without questioning – only one thing, then this is perhaps true.
But on the other hand, this is actually “good” because it highlights that:
- We live in a democracy; people – no matter their SOGIESC – can vote for whoever they want to vote for.
- It shows the diversity within the rainbow community (e.g. we don’t see things the same way because of our contexts; and so we won’t back the same candidates), and we ought to thrive in this.
And this, therefore, ought to emphasize that NO ONE SPEAKS FOR THE ENTIRE LGBTQIA COMMUNITY.
And – for me – this is to be expected, and accepted.
Groups within the LGBTQIA community will end up supporting their candidates. That’s their choice – even their Constitutional right – and none should attack this, including those within the LGBTQIA community.
Because when this attacking happens, when there’s this… push of those who claim to be “right” that only their way of thinking is “right”, then really, it becomes an imposition. And this is the act of oppressors (the very people we all claim to be fighting).
There are practical/doable solutions/efforts to deal with these… “variations”.
We can reach out and form alliances to back candidates we believe will promote the human rights of LGBTQIA Filipinos (among other issues, obviously).
We can educate each other (instead of name-calling, and so on), and by doing so, hopefully swaying the votes of those not agreeing with us.
We can make transparent the efforts of all politicians who will eventually seek higher posts (e.g. perhaps including Leni and why she’s even speaking with the likes of Sotto and Manny, and how she intends to deal with their ilks; and Sara on the LGBTQIA-related failings of her father, and how – if she runs/wins – she intends to remedy these).
And on top of this, we can stop oppressing others, expecting them to ONLY see things the way we see them, think the way we think, vote ONLY for our candidates, etc. Accept that the LGBTQIA community is diverse. And no matter how hurtful/insulting/anger-inducing/etc it may be to many, for a community celebrating “diversity”, this is A-okay.