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09 May 2010 @ 03:19 pm
 

2 Dots for Certain: My Vote 2010

 

Tomorrow, May 10, 2010 is my third time voting but my first time for the national elections. Unfortunately, I’m still uncertain about my president and vp choices. It used to be that my options for president are Noynoy and Gibo but Gibo marked himself a loser for saying he’s afraid of the Catholic church and I’ve doubts about Noynoy’s competency.

 

But I’m not to talk about those, I’m to talk about voting for 2 things that I’m certain of and will put my vote on the line for: ANG LADLAD PARTYLIST #89 and RISA HONTIVEROS #20 for senator.

 

WHY ANG LADLAD PARTYLIST #89?

 

I’m voting for Ang Ladlad Partylist for obvious reasons. I am part of the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersexed) community and it is one of my life’s advocacies. My primary advocacy, I’d say.

 

Ang Ladlad has a 6-point platform (CLICK HERE FOR PLATFORM). All of which, I agree with and support 100%.

 

*The word “gay” from this point forward is meant to pertain to the whole of the LGBTQI community unless specified as “gay guy”.

 

Ang Ladlad supports the Anti-Discrimination Bill, which will put into law that the whole of the LGBTQI community CANNOT be discriminated against. So we’re gonna be protected in the workplace, school, establishments and everywhere else. That is of utmost importance to me because that will change the mindset and landscape of how we are treated and perceived. It will be an instrument to put an end to our stigmatization as second-class citizens who are, more often than not, taken less seriously and are always the butt of jokes, the figure of ridicule and insult, as objects of shame, as deviations from nature and as the pea-brained COMELEC said before, “IMMORALS”. For so many years and from so many people, I’ve heard and, sometimes, swallowed hurtful and angering descriptions about a gay individual or because an individual is gay.

 

You, who are reading this, may be guilty of that for more than a few occasions. So to make up for that gay negativity you brought to this world, vote for Ang Ladlad and make it up to us. You owe us.


And to the gays who are reading this, you owe the long history of the struggle of the LGBTQI community movement as to where you are now. Keep that flame burning.

 

Ang Ladlad supports LGBTQI-friendly establishments because we want to strengthen our community and empower ourselves economically. Community support does not end in the advocacy arena but should be present in all aspects of a gay individual’s life including this.

 

Ang Ladlad aims to set up micro-finance and livelihood projects for poor and physically-challenged LGBTQI Filipinos. Gays come in all forms, shapes, sizes and have a myriad lifestyles and can be found in the whole stretch of the socio-economic axis. Some of us who have not been given opportunities we deserve because we’re gay struggle economically. Not everyone is a Ricky Reyes or a Boy Abunda and definitely, not every gay is inclined into the arts! Some of us are inclined in more traditional professions such as medicine or law and when we’re deprived of opportunities from a young age to fully hone our potentials, we sometimes end up less than what we aspire to be and some gays who are already considered as part of the poor sector feel that struggle even more. Providing opportunities for economic empowerment can translate into individual empowerment, which can be shared throughout one’s communities.

 

Ang Ladlad wants to set up centers for old and abandoned LGBTQIs and those of us who are kicked out of our homes because of non-acceptance. The centers will also offer legal aid and counseling, as well as information about LGBT issues, HIV-AIDS, and reproductive health. Some of us may be lucky to be living with a family or community that is open and accepting but most of us risk being kicked out, disowned, removed inheritance and even our safety and welfare compromised. I’m most affected by this because I’m not out to my biological family. I don’t talk about it, wouldn’t wanna talk about it and will never bring it up because I want to avoid the drama and more importantly, the possible consequences. I know that some of you may wonder how I’m doing all the advocacy work I’m doing for years now while in the closet. It’s simple: pag gusto may paraan, pag ayaw may dahilan. I’m fortunate to have the luxury and the strategy to keep my identity and advocacy life a secret but some gays are not so lucky and when found out, could face threat and violence from their families, school, church and other communities. Seriously, some kids are expelled from school, ordered to be raped by their families (to be “real men/women”), abused physically or taunted with damaging words. Gay kids are at least 3 times more likely to commit suicide that straight kids. COME ON PEOPLE! Tell me that there’s nothing to be done about that. And when this happens, WHERE DOES ONE GO??? It’s about time we have a safe haven for people like us just like the LA Gay & Lesbian Center.

 

You know that stereotype that “ang bading mabilis perahan”? That is a major fucked up stereotype. A lot of straight guys think they can fuck any gay guy for cash. Excuse me, the gay community is teeming with super hot, intelligent and awesome gay guys that you’re not even close to the awesomeness of it. We so can do so much better, like to the nth power. We’re gay, NOT DESPERATE. Some of the people who exploit and extort cash from gay guys (or just guys in general) are the police so Ang Ladlad supports the bill repealing the Anti-Vagrancy Law. Police these days would approach and extort cash from any guy, who they think is gay, walking in the streets at night because they’re accused as prostitutes. How fucked up is that?

 

So yeah, as a gay person, I live a difficult life and many more of us live more difficult ones. We need Ang Ladlad. You need Ang Ladlad because Ang Ladlad symbolizes a future of positive idealism where equality, and I would dare say, peace may be built from.

 

WHY RISA HONTIVEROS #20 for senate?

 

My explanation for Risa will be shorter because for one, Risa supports the advocacies of Ang Ladlad. In fact, she even defended and argued for the Anti-Discrimination Bill in congress. She has been supporting Ang Ladlad all through out these years even if she has loyal ties and roots with Akbayan Partylist. That to me is totally standing up for Human Rights. It speaks of her intent, competency and most importantly, character.

 

Risa Hontiveros is, for me, the most luminous Filipina feminist of the last century. Her advocacies and political involvement have never disregarded women just like she hasn’t disregarded the gays, the poor and other marginalized sectors of society. Her unwavering support and defense of the reproductive health bill is remarkable that even if the idiotic CBCP singled her out as the one Catholics shouldn’t vote for, she remained solid about the advocacy. As a woman, the reproductive health bill is of utmost importance for me because for so long, our health and our sexuality have been treated with much shame, conflicts and ignorance. Knowledge and practice on issues of sex and sexuality for most men and women in this society wouldn’t be on the passing percentile if the whole thing was made into a test. It’s about time that, as a society, we stop snickering and whispering about sex and actually start talking about it, be practical with it, really start (or continue if you’re so inclined) enjoying it and be utterly responsible with it. In relation to the RH Bill, Risa has also helped pass the Cheaper Medicines Bill. Access to information and other resources makes an empowered citizen.

 

Risa Hontiveros has also been a huge critic of the Gloria administration and unlike many critics who are simply critical, Risa actually has done something about it by supporting investigative lawsuits against Gloria. She was arrested when she refused to keep quiet about the Hello Garci scandal and the NBN-ZTE deal. It didn’t matter though. Up to this day, she remains firm in targeting corruption and injustice even if you’re the goddamn president. If that doesn’t speak major guts, I don’t know what does.

 

We also know from our history/social studies classes that the Philippines is mostly an agricultural country and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a great thing. Being world class does not mean trading our resource advantages with first-world strategies and structures. To protect our farmer brothers and sisters, Risa has helped pass the CARP Extension which gives them the right to land ownership or sovereignty.

 

I don’t like taxes because I know that a bulk of it goes into most of the politicians’ bank accounts and I've less purchasing power and for some of you who’re fortunate enough to still be living decently even if taxes are crazy, good for you but for the blue-collar sector, it’s a huge burden so Risa helped pass the Income Tax Reduction Bill, which adds tax exemptions for the said sector.

 

Risa’s platform is about the downtrodden. If only more politicians are like her, I’d say this country won’t be as fucked up. And if we’re still on the manual elections, I would write her name on the president field. She’s totally a woman of power. I would want more young women to know her because she epitomizes the empowered woman and with her, it’s truly (and literally), a magandang laban. I should stop gushing about her now.

 

ANG LADLAD PARTYLIST #89 and RISA HONTIVEROS #20 for senate. My votes for this country.


http://www.angladlad.com/


http://www.risahontiveros.com/

 
 
25 January 2010 @ 11:30 pm
A lesbian friend told me today that she's not really certain if I'm really a lesbian. Her question goes: "Hi <gaydiatrix>! since you're a member of leap, i have always assumed your a lesbian but I might be wrong and i didnt even care to ask, my sincerest apologies....but how do you identify yourself nga ba?"

When it comes to questions and politics of identities, the answer, specific or not, always requires a longer explanation. My answer:

I'm a lezbeeyuhn! :)

And this requires a long explanation I think.

I've identified as a lesbian since 2004 and I knew I was different in a sense since I was conscious to be alive. I also have developed a lot of my woman strength from this community. Went through phases of conservative feminism, radical feminism, once believed in separatism, found it fun to be a wild flower girl and felt totally liberating to be a bra-burning dyke. And I still believe a mix of those principles today.

But, I do have a secondary identity which is queer. This involves the gay boi (bading na tomboi/twinky lesbian) part of me. I do get attracted to cute cool queer guys.

That secondary identity is something that I developed over the years. I can't help it. Those guys are just so cute!!! Hook-up? Sure! But it's more than the attraction. I find that their issues are not isolated from our issues as dykes. Everything really connects. There's also so much richness and color in our culture and identities and that is really attractive to me.

One thing is for sure though, I'll never hook up with straights, guys or girls. We simply don't have that rainbow connection. They don't know what it's like to be a sexual minority. I'm also not attracted to gay girls or guys who are so assimilist or even patriarchal. I lump them together with the unenlightened straights. Gay pride + love is fab!

Queer is so post-modern and I'm there in some ways but my roots go back to lesbian awesomeness. And although these days, I am more comfortable and it feels apt to identify as a gay boi/queer, at the end of the day, I'm still a LESBIAN. I may equally identify both as QUEER and LESBIAN but I don't think I'll ever let go of the lesbian label.

 
 
11 January 2010 @ 06:20 am
Saturday, January 9.

Dinner was fantastic. Aling Banang's pansit, courtesy of JP, is always good. Ceia baked a fab mac & cheese. Chicken was good despite running out of gravy. And ended with Sweet Inspirations mango sans rival courtesy of Patty & Meds. Was it mango sans rival? Basta, it was delish.

Costumes were creative and funny as usual.
Babs = Mano Po / noong payat pa si Amy Austria
JP = cowboy with pamaypay
Barbie = Assumptionista
Fire = Barbie (pilit)
Ging & Rose = Vee & Gin (sige na, pinilit na lang)
Patty & Meds = The Bunnies (ipilit pa)
Tao = Diwata
Ceia = South Asian ventriloquist
Lia = dork / puppet
Ivanka = Oliver Twist (with her booby tattoo colored in red hehe)
Me = retard

Costume parties are so 2010!

Then I got sloshed.

I drink a lot. That's common and expected and I've drank so much more for so many times for years and years. Is my liver giving up? I sure hope not.

Some highlights as retold by Tao:
1. I was saying stuff that are not for public consumption and stuff I've already told everyone before. Revealing and redundant. Great.

2. I don't remember Fire, Abby, Ivanka and Barbie saying goodbye but apparently, I even helped Tao open the gate and I was even waving goodbye to them as the gate was closing.

3. I let the dogs out, which Tao kept locked at the backyard cos they're not friendly to visitors.

4. I was staring at a cabinet and saying, "where's the cupboard? There used to be a cupboard here..." Don't know where I got that idea.

5. I went into the storage room of Tao's mom and started moving stuff.

6. I laid on an open cabinet with stuff on it.
Tao: Anong ginagawa mo jan? Dun ka sa kama matulog.
Me: I'm alright here.
Tao: But there are roaches.
Me: It's ok, I'm not gonna freak out.
Tao: And there are rodents.
Me: Oh shit...

7. I threw up and Tao helped me clean myself up.

8. I woke up 10 minutes before 11AM wearing Tao's shirt and thinking "WTF HAPPENED?!"

Hanggang ngayon, feeling ko lasing pa din ako. I don't want that to happen again. Really. If there's one thing I know about myself, it's that I'm the boss of my liquor. Not the other way around.

 
 
09 October 2009 @ 12:08 pm
The big rains may be gone (for now) but our fellow men & women are still in need of our help. Many of whom are still living amidst flood and are still trying to get their lives back to normal.

Rainbows should shine after the rain. We will share the spirit of the rainbow.

Tunsuya, Malabon is still flooded up to the knees and there are more than 450 families in need.

Please donate the following as they are the priority:
Water (preferably the 1.5L)
Rice
Tuyo (or any dried fish)

LOGISTICS:

PART 1: Preparation
What: Repack rice, water and dried fish
Venue: #14 Matulungin St. Bgy. Central, Quezon City (near City Hall and Phil. Heart Center)
Date: 10/10/2009 Saturday
Time: 8PM
Description: Repack/group the donations for individual recipients. Donations may also be dropped off to the said address.

PART 2: Execution
What: Assembly and distribution at the venue
Venue: Assembly at SM North EDSA Annex building in front of Savemore grocery
Date: 10/11/2009 Sunday
Time: 9AM
Description: Groups will meet at SM North for a briefing and loading of the relief good to our truck and we will all drive to venue together.

We will ride a truck so please bring your towels, shades, caps, bandannas, raincoats, payong & boots. Tunsuya is also still flooded so please WEAR BOOTS or any other form of protection for the feet/legs.

For inquiries, please text/email/ym Ging Cristobal or MJ Yap.
Ging Cristobal
Mobile: 0926 6843831
Email/YM: leapstick@yahoo.com

MJ Yap
Mobile: 0917 8393741
Email/YM: maryjaneyap@yahoo.com

This activity is by Lesbian Advocates Philippines (LeAP!), Manila Rainbow Club, OUT Philippines and Lesbian Pilipinas.

 
 
05 October 2009 @ 05:58 am
My niece, who I came out to some time last year (read here), followed me on Twitter. Our conversation went like such:

HER: followed you in twitter
ME: i saw!
HER: hahaha yup!
ME: searchable pala ko dun. hehe... don't spill. i sometimes link to my FB and you know, it's all kurt-hummel-ish (if you know what i mean) so i'm on the down low.
HER: yup haha  dont worry
ME:
ME: but that's why i couldn't add you on FB as well  baka makita FB ko
HER: oh yeah
HER: they all have FB pa naman
ME: onga eh... at least we're on twitter now
HER: yup! haha  no one in the family excepts us knows the beauty of it
ME: *HUGS*
HER: *HUGS*
ME: i cried watching Kurt come out to his dad! grabe!
HER: It was really a teary eyed moment!
HER: He was so strong!


KURT HUMMEL IS STRONG!!!!!!!! She actually gets it! And I'm as proud of her as I am with every "Kurt Hummel" out there!

 
 
 
Hello QUEERS and ALLIES!

Rainbows come out after the rain, right? So let's go out to help feed and clothe the Ondoy refugees.

This is for the refugees of Bgy. Valencia (near Broadway Centrum, Aurora Blvd.) There are about 100 families (about 250 people) that have been staying in the community basketball court since Ondoy struck last week.

Please contact MJ Yap (0917 8393741) or Ging Cristobal (09266843831)

GAMEPLAN:

Part 1: Preparation
WHAT: Repack goods we want to give / Cook arroz caldo and make bread with peanut butter
WHEN: Saturday
WHERE: Ging & Rose's House #14 Matulungin St. Bgy. Centrail near City Hall and Heart Center

Part 2: Execution
WHAT: Go to the venue
WHEN: no later than 11AM Sunday
WHERE: Pasig/Cainta (TBD)

NEEDS (whatever you can bring):
> rice, chicken, bread & peanut butter
> noodles - P575/box of 72
> canned goods - P15/can
> rice
> toiletries - soap, laundry soap, sanitary napkins, alcohol
> old clothes, towels, blankets, old mats
> non-disposable/reusable plastic bowls - for the arroz caldo and so we won't be littering; note that we will give these bowls away (Rose: "we can share money and buy plastic reusable bowls @6.00 per piece... Please let us know ASAP for those to be bought before Sunday")
> plastic bags - for whatever trash
> cars - for our ride and to load our stuff into; we've very limited cars for now (about 2-3 and not big ones) so please help out on this

PLEASE inform MJ (number below) on what you will donate so we'll have a list of that and be able to distribute properly.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH RAINBOW WARRIORS!

P.S. By this hour, we still lack: CANNED GOODS, NOODLES and BATH SOAP. Please prioritize those.

 
 
28 September 2009 @ 09:20 am
Gay and Lesbian Activist Network for Gender Equality (GALANG) is collecting used clothes for flood victims in their pilot barangays in Quezon City. Drop off point is at:

MCC Quezon City LGBT Center
3rd floor, 56 Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City (corner or Proj.6 and Mindanao Ave. along the sign art shops)
For details, contact Anne Lim at +63-927-2933731

It's just a couple of block away from my place so if you have something to donate, you can give it through me.

 
 
20 September 2009 @ 03:13 pm
The following is an excerpt of my response to Julie Dorf of www.GlobalEquality.org regarding the recently retracted policy of non-cross dressing in IBM (Business Services and Solutions Delivery). It was retracted because it reached IBM's Global Diversity Coordinator and of course, something has to be done. After all, IBM does commit itself to progressive policies for our community, right? They should. I wouldn't work with them if they don't and they've been scoring a 100 on HRC's equality index! Props to Sass Sassot of STRAP (Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines) for her efforts in bringing this up to concerned individuals in IBM. I didn't know how to deal with that at all then. Thanks so much Sass!!! This is a great start! Thanks to the IBM Global Diversity Coordinator as well for hearing us out and working on this pronto! Thanks a lot!

I guess my point for posting this is to let people know that there is no excuse for us queers to be treated lesser in any way anywhere and we've got to reclaim our rights and our identities.

Excerpt:

"...[IBM's Global Diversity Coordinator] got in touch with me after Sass has informed her that IBM Philippines (particularly, IBM Business Services and IBM Solutions Delivery) have such policy. I have provided her the proof in the form of an email circulated to the employees. Fortunately, it has been retracted about 2 weeks ago. The rationale of the subsidiaries for including that, even if it's not at par with IBM's global diversity policy, is that of catering to the sensibility of the Filipino culture, which I personally find narrow and backwards and only reinforces the subjugation of gender experssion especially for trans people.

It is definitely a shoddy policy because IBM US prides itself for being one of the most progressive corporations in terms of LGBT rights, women's rights, differently-abled persons and others. For IBM Business Services and IBM Solution Delivery, both of which I have worked for and currently working for, the policy is evident with the total lack of trans individuals in the working environment. It is very ironic because they claim to welcome everybody and yet this policy, that they probably find mundane, is actually a significant component of the value of diversity. That brings me to the conclusion that first, there is an utter lack of understanding of the LGBTQ community and our needs. Second, a mother company at a certain location does not or cannot easily ensure that their supposed global policies that protect certain groups are being implemented elsewhere, which brings me further to the notion that such rights are still unrecognized or are ignored because of the lack of clamor.

The retraction of that policy is the first step but the LGBTQ IBM Philippines community still has to recognize each other and build itself, most possibly through EAGLE (Employee Alliance for Gays & Lesbians). I would like for that group to educate the IBM community in understanding our identities and needs and maybe translate some of those into policies that we may still lack. It's a long way to go but it's going to be the start and I hope that one day, we'll be at par with other more active EAGLE groups or maybe even lead in LGBT initiatives. The challenge really is on how to incorporate these initiatives into the corporate structure when there is an existing cultural mentality against LGBTs. I'd like to keep optimistic and idealistic that corporations that have progressive policies are not just doing it for the sake of better publicity and public opinion but are starting a trend that primarily comes from the zeal to, as trite as may be, make the world a better place."

"...I believe in taking each opportunity to make it better for the queers..."


There. Opinions? I'm not even sure if I should be posting that but really, my community comes first more than some policy that may prohibit me in doing this. In fact, it's a good thing that this misstep is recognized and communicated because we cannot keep silent about these things. We've been put in the dark too much already. We've always been told to just shut up and take it. We've been engineered to be complacent or worse, apathetic and wait for change. But we've just had about enough! We cannot sit around and wait for that. If no one will take a first step, nobody else will come forward.

IN PRIDE & SOLIDARITY.

 
 
02 September 2009 @ 07:24 am
Link


BEN & JERRY'S!

In partnership with Freedom to Marry we are gathered here to celebrate Vermont and all the other great states where loving couples of all kinds are free to marry legally. We have ceremoniously dubbed our iconic flavor, Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby in support, and to raise awareness of the importance of marriage equality. Check out our press release.

 

If you live in Vermont, or visiting, you 19re invited to celebrate the pride-filled occasion with an all naturally fabulous union of Peanut Butter Cookie Dough ice cream, fudge and pretzels. Enjoy our Hubby Hubby Sundae for the month of September in participating Vermont Scoop Shops!

 

Freedom to MarryTo learn more about the issue in your state and take action, visit www.freedomtomarry.org

 



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The ice cream flavor consists of pretzel nuggets, which are covered in fudge and filled with peanut butter, in a vanilla malt ice cream base, which is itself swirled with fudge and peanut butter throughout (Wiki). Hmm... That is some good fudgepacking.

I like Ben & Jerry's (although not as much as I like froyo) and I hope this is available at S&R.

CHEERIOS HOMOS!

 
 
Link

Imelda Marcos is the most ridiculous first lady. EVER. Would I vote for Bongbong if he runs for Senate? Maybe. But would I vote for him as president while his mother lives? No way. Besides, Bongbong looks like his dad so much it gives me the goosebumps, in the McCarthyism sense.