label(ed)

(Note: This entry was written after the historic event cited here.)

The repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 has made America and the world joyous.

Now American members and their partners (either Americans or immigrants) belonging to the LGBT community can now claim what have been theirs to begin with: right to joint property and to other benefits once vested in heterosexual married individuals.

With this landmark repeal, I wonder how my reactions inward look in color: yellowish orange for pride, red for triumph, and dark green for wistfulness. The last one weighs heavy because the last one reminds me that I am not an American citizen, and I don’t have a landmark case to support me if I choose to marry another individual.

A lot has been said about the inequality of it all and the backward and bigoted thinking ruling the big and small events of our days here in the Philippines. Despite my (not so impressive) background in LGBT activism and my bitchiness, I remain a scared LGBT member. Why? Because I am scared of what heterosexual and closet homosexuals will do to me if they find out I serve the LGBT cause. I wonder how many times people have talked about me when I am not around and how many times they’ve colored my actions and words. I am scared and tired of living in Manila where hate slur can be heard in the very same institution I work for and in the very same apartment I live in with three other individuals.

I would like to have a choice if ever I decide to have a life partner. If that happens, it would be great to have a co-parent once I adopt a child. I can’t raise a child by myself what with my condition and alongside my family members whose emotional quotient development have been arrested since the 80s. I hate the fact that institutions from schools down to the church pulpit lambast “my kind” and portray us as outsiders, errors, stereotypes, moral scum, and sinners. More so, I hate those “friends” and acquaintances who feign acceptance yet whose very words and actions carry sinister discrimination. Even more so, I hate those nameless individuals who pick on LGBT members and use bullying, rape, blackmail, arranged marriages, and other threats that arrest safety and rights.

In a nutshell, gays are biologically male who love and desire other males of their choice; lesbians are biologically female who love and desire other females of their choice; transfemales are born male yet feel trapped inside their bodies and so wish to become a woman; transmales are born female yet feel trapped inside their bodies and so wish to become a man. Gays are still men; lesbians are still women. (Oh, and there are more “labels” where these came from and what the marginalized does is claim these labels as tools that empower and not stifle) Do not accuse the LGBT members so easily as predatory; just because we are branded different doesn’t mean we prey on others in the wink of an eye. In the heterosexual sphere, there are also predatory individuals but we choose to see the good side, we choose to wield understanding. These are all just labels, and we can survive without labels. What is everything but only a performance of a farce? (Judith Butler’s performativity anyone?)

We’re just like you and countless others seeking to have better and more meaningful lives, but you don’t wish to treat us as equals. What does that make you? Superior? No. But a tyrant? Oh, yes.

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