So you found the hidden cellphone, hidden cat, owl, giraffe, etc. Here’s a new game for you: find “Justice” in this picture. If you think you can find it, then perhaps it’s time to ask yourself if it’s your heart that’s missing?
Several Anti-Discrimination Bills were re-filed this 17th Congress by tireless champions and LGBT allies in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Here’s a snapshot of the bills and what you need to know about them:
- The Anti-Discrimination bill was first filed during the 11th Congress by then Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales in the House of Representatives and by Miriam Defensor-Santiago in the Senate, which means that this initiative has been pending in Congress for 17 years now. The bill itself was a direct policy proposal from the Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network or LAGABLAB, the first LGBT policy advocacy network in the Philippines, as a response to LGBT-related bills filed by some legislators that did not necessarily reflect the priorities of the community. LAGABLAB was recently revived as a community platform to advance SOGIE and human rights in the area of policies and legislation.
No one, as far as I recall, died from tanim-bala in NAIA, and yet it infuriated many of us,and we were angered by an apparent scam condoned or perhaps even operated by airport officials. Many were mad at President Aquino, too, for gaffes made by some government officials and by government inaction that was affecting Filipino travellers and migrant workers. But since July, hundreds have already been killed due to the so-called war on drugs and crime, with most deaths appearing on TV or our FB timelines in the same sickening narrative: killed by hitmen, their bodies wrapped in garbage bags or paper with a cardboard that says the victim is a drug offender, or killed by policemen in a buy-bust operation or inside police stations, where the police had to fire and kill them because they were fighting back or because they tried to grab arms from the police while in custody. Continue reading “The war against poor Filipinos”
I was enjoying the Manila Pride vicariously through photos posted by friends online, and was happy to see the turnout, when I realized what was disturbing about the pictures: the absence of familiar faces, of gay friends who passed away, most of whom gone because of an epidemic gnawing away our rainbow.
It’s always good to remember them surrounded by colors, instead of being reminded of how they were suddenly gone. There was that boy who borrowed a shirt, and never returned it; he was last seen wearing the shirt at a Pride March, right before he disappeared, his name resurfacing on RIP posts flooding your timeline. Then friends who led dual lives, had two Facebook accounts, one with pictures of Pride parades, the other with words as solid and heavy as their closets. Friends who bravely marched with boa feathers, with rainbow flags, only to disappear in silence, muffled by AIDS, their second closet.
Thousands marched in Manila Pride this year. #LetLoveIn, that was the theme, and many responded by going to Luneta, proudly, holding their partner’s hand, kissing in public. Let love in, and may pride may also bestow upon us the courage to fight against HIV, and not let the epidemic push us back into new closets.
(Photos courtesy of The Adamson Chronicle)
You give it back, instantly.
I made the mistake of reading the statement once, twice, several times, and like the good Catholic boy that I was, tried to understand the wrath and anger I felt inside, to muffle it with compassion, to believe in good faith. I read it again today, and still it didn’t measure to the pain and outrage that Orlando has seared into our collective soul. In this time of grief, reading it felt like swallowing a burning piece of coal. Continue reading “What to do when Catholic Bishops offer an insincere statement on Orlando”
I know Omar Mateen. I have seen him before.
He was that classmate who constantly joked that I am into kissing boys, who sniggered behind my back and called me gay. First to push me in the school hallway, first to throw a punch when I was already down.
He was the father who never hesitated to teach his son that liking boys is wrong, after beating him senselessly for being too sissy, for being too weak. Continue reading “I know Omar Mateen”