I’m sorry that it took me some time to blog about my thoughts about this event when it has already been a week since this happened. The good thing was I was able to at least live blog about it but as promised, my thoughts will be to follow.
To kick off things here, I would like to say that I appreciated the fact that P.O.C (Philippine Online Chronicles) set up an event like this. This was Bebe Gandanghari’s way to reach out to the bloggers since she has been visible online. The event was ok but I really couldn’t say that it achieved something. Yes, she was liked by everyone (and suddenly became fan boys and girls) butI am saying this because I believe that the LGBT agenda wasn’t highlighted. It became some sort of a ‘fans day’ or a ‘press con’ for an upcoming movie. I am glad that some of my fellow bloggers (even though they’re not “one of us”) asked relevant questions that actually highlighted the LGBT issues such as discrimination. It was Mark and I who opened up the LGBT issues and I was even wondering if some of the people there knew what LGBT was. Maybe I was looking for something that I couldn’t find and I expected it to become an avenue for it. But, I my expectations were too much. I know that total acceptance of the LGBTs is very impossible in the Philippines (and even the world) but at least some of us bloggers were able to open it up. I actually appreciated Mark in being honest about being one of the homophobics and meeting BB in person sort of opened up his mind a little bit though I know homophobia is not totally gone. This has become a some sort of achievement for me. 😉
Anyway, I actually invited some LGBT bloggers to attend the event because I believe that they deserve to be represented there. I’m glad that Peach of lesfriendly.com was there and waved at me but I am not really sure if the others came. There was a bit of frustration in my part because there is already an avenue for the LGBTs to shine but it seemed that these kinds of events won’t interest them. This was how I felt when I was in college when the organizations that I was a member of organize forums or discussion groups and nobody wants to attend. Deep in our heart we know that the topics that we have were very relevant but usually it’s just the members of the org who attend those kinds of intellectual avenues to at least have an audience. There should be a ‘marketing’ factor to motivate people to come. As much as I don’t want to think that people are always searching for ‘what will I get out of it?” factors to make them go but it is a reality. Why do I need to ask more when I really can’t expect people to have the passion and conviction on the politics of the LGBT agenda? Oh well, here I go again. I better stop expecting from people too much. It is true that there is division in all sectors of the society and even in the LGBT community. It just sucks but I would have to work with it. At least some people were enlighted about the LGBT issues and I am already happy about it.
Above all the externalities, I admired BB Gandanghari. I saw her inner beauty while she was answering the questions that we asked. I realized that she is a sensible person who is capable of having an intellectual conversation.
Rustom Padilla has became her past but she does not regret living as Rustom Padilla. She’s currently a transgender (or transpinay in the local terms) and according to her does not have any plans on “cutting it off”. I know that most people will think that “isn’t it that being an LGBT means that they want the sex organ of the opposite?” well, to tell you frankly not everyone would like to have a sex change. This is a misconception and a lot of LGBTs are happy with the sex organ that they currently have. Like me, I don’t want a dick. I am very happy with my own stuff.
BB is a good example also in recreating one’s self. This shows that agency (individual) plays a very powerful role in self-deconstruction. And with her internalization of her deconstructed self as a woman becomes a reality. I know people’s minds are still boggled by this kind of idea but for me it is welcoming the concept of agency (individual) creating reality and not the other way around. Well actually, this has been a long debate among the social theorists but I think that it is becoming mainstream as well. This will open the hard to penetrate narrow minded individuals in thinking that reality is based on defining what is right or wrong. Something becomes a reality if other people acknowledge it. As mentioned by BB, she has experiences with the people that she meets acknowledges (and welcomes) her being a transgender. Her concept of reality is thus becomes legitimized and the internalization of her being a woman is much more deepened. I remember, when I got home I told my mom that I have met BB and then she asked “So talagang tinotoo na niya ang pagiging bakla niya?” and I would answered “Ma, matagal na siyang ganyan at ang pagiging totoong bakla ay hindi natatapos sa pagsusuot lang ng pambabaeng damit. Kahit ang lalake ay lalaking-lalake magdamit ay kung bakla, bakla talaga. Hindi nasusukat yon sa panlabas na kaanyuan. Yun ang katotohan niya na babae siya kaya tanggapin natin.” I would’ve wanted to say “Hindi naman niya pinapakialaman ang pagiging ‘straight’ mo so bakit pa nating pakikialaman ang pagiging babae niya?” but saying that would be too disrepectful hehe. Everytime I open up a topic that is very mind boggling we would always fight about it.
BB has become one of the leading LGBT Icons in the Philippines and I thanked her for being our inspiration. We, the LGBTs, need someone to look up to so that we could be guided on how we can live our lives. I just hope that we could have more Pinay lesbian icons too.