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.