UPLB Babaylan proudly supports Charice Pempengco for courageously coming out and publicly claiming her sexual orientation. Charice is a prominent icon for our generation and though her vocal prowess is beyond refute she still risked ostracism and bashing from her largely catholic fan base. We thank her for giving yet another public image to the very few lesbian icons in the mainstream media.
While we are united with the Catholic Church in calling for guidance and support for LGBT youth who are confused with their sexuality, we denounce the church for dismissing coming out as an “identity crisis”. Being gay or lesbian is not a choice, coming out and being proud is. Coming out is not a single defining moment in our lives but a continuum of experiences, often negative experiences in the family, school, work, and community caused by religious bigots. For that we hail those who have the courage to come out especially the generations of LGBT’s who struggled before us.
We need to come out in whatever fashion necessary so that we may replace LGBT ignorance and invisibility with faces and lives of real people; as brothers, sisters, friends, and family. In our generation where homophobia and discrimination is rampant, coming out is no longer a private discovery, it is now a political stand as a means of claiming our space by pushing the margins and challenging the status quo.
Stories of LGBT’s being committed to mental institutions, bullied to the brink of suicide, bashed and beaten for being gay, and being denied a dignified livelihood make us appreciate the privilege that the LGBT youth has now. Because of the collective struggles of the LGBT’s before us we can now enjoy little freedoms such as coming out.
However, we must shoulder our piece of this collective responsibility to create safe spaces for the LGBT youth to come. Even “progressive” environments like the academe, the arts, and show business can be unapologetically homophobic. We call on everyone to enjoin us in our passion for justice and share our vision of a world without hatred.
We, the LGBT youth of today, denounce all forms of gay bashing to gay murder.
We call for the enactment of the antidiscrimination bill to safe guard our human rights.
We call on our straight allies to break free from the shackles of heteronormativity and learn to respect and love diversity.