Monday, May 25, 2009

Irrelevant Gay Rights?

For many straight people I have talked to, gay men are "completely accepted" in Philippine society citing that many openly gay men are successful in their chosen field hence, for them, fighting for gay rights is practically unnecessary.

The Filipino literary icon, F. Sionil Jose echose this sentiment and has cited in his book "Why We Are Poor" that writers should not brand their works as "gay literature" since there is no need for Filipinos to shout about "gay rights".

This predominant belief is what I think this is at the heart of the "gay struggle" in our country. Majority think that there is no problem with how society treats Filipino gay men -- after all, homosexual acts are not illegal in this country and we don't get to read gay men beaten up out of hate in the tabloids everyday.

On the other hand, I know several gay men who have to tame their "queer" behavior just so they could easily move up in the corporate organization they belong to. Many gay men could never introduce their partners as their "partners" to their families. At most, they usually hide their relationship in the comfortable cloak of "best buddies". And more importantly the "anti-discrimination" bill against gays have yet to see the light of day.

The truth is, we Filipino gay men, are still on a struggle in our country. Although many things have been achieved by gay men before us, we are still far from complete social integration.

And we should never allow ourselves to believe that standing up for "gay rights" are now irrelevant.


line of flight said...

gays are accepted so long as we know our place -- in the parlor!

Anonymous said...

The notion that gays and lesbians are successful in their chosen fields goes hand-in-hand with the popular idea that somehow we are better off than our straight counterparts. And then that mythical wealth is used to state that there is no discrimination. I'm still waiting for my gay windfall.