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From the Editor

The need to stop thinking ‘Ninakawan, binugbog, pinatay; kasalanan ng baklang biktima’

The last time you heard of another gay guy murdered, be honest now, what crossed your mind? ‘Kulang sa bayad (He didn’t pay his sex partner enough)’? Or ‘Naglandi kasi (That’s what happens to a flirt)!’? Or ‘Bastusin kasing bakla (It’s because he’s not a respectable gay guy)!’? This needs to stop.

Photo by Vidit Goswami from Unsplash.com

So someone broke into Bahaghari Center along Dian Street in the City of Manila sometime around 3:00AM on October 11. Yes, everyone’s safe. Albeit one MacBook Pro less.

Upon reporting of the incident, though, there’s this common reaction that arose – i.e. “Baka isa sa mga inimbitang lalaki ninyo ang pumasok (that is, perhaps one of the guys the gays invited is the thief).” To add: This is often stated derisively.

And while this is a line of thinking that may be worth considering in investigations, that people think this at all, and in the way they’re thinking of it, is something that bugs me.

Because intentionally or not, this actually immediately puts the blame on the victim, who happens to be gay/LGBTQIA. That it was this person’s fault (e.g. for inviting presumably bad people into his place for presumably sexual gratification), and so he should just “toughen up” since his presumed decision caused the bad thing to happen in the first place.

As it is, members of the LGTQIA community are already more prone to violence of all forms.

According to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law:

  • LGBTQIA people are nearly 4 times more likely to experience violent victimization
  • LGBTQIA people are about 6 times more likely to experience violence by someone who is known to them and about 2.5 times more likely to undergo it at the hands of a stranger
  • LBT women are 5 times more likely than non-LBT women to experience violent victimization; for GBT men, the risk of violence is more than twice that of non-GBT men
  • About half of all victimizations are not reported to police

For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • 44% of lesbians and 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35% of straight women
  • 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29 percent of straight men
  • 46% of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17% of straight women and 13% of lesbians
  • 22% of bisexual women have been raped by an intimate partner, compared to 9% of straight women
  • 40% of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21% of straight men

And to add, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects (NCAVP) estimates that nearly one in 10 LGBTQIA survivors of intimate partner violence experienced sexual assault from those partners.

It doesn’t help when the immediate reaction is to (consciously or not) belittle what happens to LGBTQIA people, premised on the assumption that they got themselves to where they ended up to be, so they have no one to blame but themselves.

This way of thinking is actually true, too, among members of the LGBTQIA community.

The last time you heard of another gay guy murdered, be honest now, what crossed your mind? ‘Kulang sa bayad (He didn’t pay his sex partner enough)’? Or ‘Naglandi kasi (That’s what happens to a flirt)!’? Or ‘Bastusin kasing bakla (It’s because he’s not a respectable gay guy)!’?

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All our lives we were told (even taught) we shouldn’t be who we are/what we are; and if we chose this path, it has “repercussions”. Becoming a victim is – in this line of thinking – our fault; for choosing to be who/what we are.

So stop already.

It’s time we change that narrative of ‘ninakawan, binugbog, pinatay; kasalanan ng baklang biktima‘ to actually supporting the victims by seeking justice that ought to be given to all no matter their SOGIESC. And that is that.

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. He grew up in Mindanao (particularly Kidapawan and Cotabato City), but he "really came out in Sydney" so that "I sort of know what it's like to be gay in a developing, and a developed world". 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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