A Reminder for This #PrideMonth2017 –

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Let people be people. Let their identities be theirs to define and express; let them who they’d like to be; let them be happy. 
Let everybody be free. 

Perhaps it’s only apt for me to include the recent name change of internationally famous Filipino singer (then-called) Charice Pempengco to Jake Zyrus. It was met with outrage and an overwhelming amount of transphobia; people insisting on the name Charice and telling him that biologically, he was female and nothing else. There was also an Esquire article that mocked his chosen name – though they have since apologized and owned up to their shortcomings. 

Former Chairman of PinoyFTM the first trans man organization in the Philippines Nick Fernandez says:

“Name changes are one of the most significant points in a transgender person’s life. Unlike haircuts or change of clothing style, name changes often mean that the transition is taking a deeper and more personal level. It is one of the moments when the person is exposing their vulnerability, just like when a child is born to the world. When you combine the words ‘celebrity’ and ‘LGBT,’ it is bound to get some significant attention and reaction. In the Philippines, the concept of ‘girl, boy, bakla, tomboy‘ is tightly latched to the culture and Jake’s move challenged that again, similar to BB Gandang Hari, Angie King, and Aiza Seguerra.

However, the concept of being a transgender person is still a very misunderstood concept with people ending up seeing the person either as bakla or tomboy, especially if they have identified as either one for some time. We hope that Jake can use his voice to speak for all us and effectively help in educating people that transgender people exist because celebrities are very influential. We are hoping that Jake can stand his ground and become one of the platforms for all those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Please – let Jake be Jake. It is his choice, and one we must respect.

Coalesce

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With no absolute reality, with all of us experiencing the world in our own truths and perspectives, if we all see that we are quite distinct from one another – why is there such an overwhelming amount of anger at our differences as individuals? To disagree is one thing; to cause discord and have blood slain over it is another. We can only come so far in being in accordance with and influencing the people around us, but for this to be kept in mind, and moreover, for us to stand in unity despite distinctions, we must first have acceptance.

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A Take On: Manny Pacquiao on Same-Sex Marriage

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I know it’s a bit late to post about this, but it sure is dragging and I’m getting frustrated.

There’s nothing wrong with having your own stand on same-sex marriage, supported by your beliefs or not.

But it is not wise to use what you believe in to remove others of their own; to impose your beliefs on them; to dehumanize them.

Especially as a politician, as you are deciding for the good of all. It is not about religion. It is not about your beliefs. It’s civil marriage in the first place. To get married is a right, regardless of gender, for it is not just about the ceremony, or building a family; it’s for the civil rights that come along with it.

To go into the murky waters of religion and personal beliefs is beyond me. It is not the time to take his beliefs against him, beliefs that are believed by a million others, beliefs which of conviction varies from perspective – no, this is not the time to be a hypocrite and say things against him of the same nature that he had uttered. It also isn’t the time to drag entertainment into politics, or to compare Jose Rizal and Pacquiao, when patriotism, and even more so, literature (the line, “Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika ay mas masahol pa sa malansang isda” – or “One who does not love his own language is worse than a stinking fish” is from the poem, “Sa Aking Mga Kabata”, compared to Pacquiao’s remark, “Kung lalaki sa lalaki, babae sa babae, mas masahol pa sa hayop ang tao”, or “If man approves of male on male or female on female, then man is worse than animals.”) is different from homophobia.

Each to their own, with respect, objectiveness, and a mind to your own role and obligations to draw the boundaries.

It was never about religion.

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It was never about your beliefs, or mine, or theirs. It’s always been the fact that we are all humans, therefore we should all be treated by each of our governments as such with the same rights, regardless of gender, regardless of preference, of race, or of reputation. You may have your truth about marriage; your beliefs and your strong opposition about it, but you cannot use it to deny a fellow human being of his right. We think for the good of all, not for a select few – and definitely not for a select group of beliefs.