Now let’s talk about that Magic 12 list that’s been going around all day. You’ve probably seen it and, if not, here’s a briefing: Basically, someone from alterverse tweeted a list of 12 influencers and tagged them as dilawans. That tweet is deleted now, and people had a field day about it.
This is gonna sound weird but I’m not gonna hype up anyone on that list, even if I follow some of them, love their content and agree with many of their views. This is less about the people on that list and more about the term that’s been trending: “baklang kanal.”
The term baklang kanal has long existed before Twitter owned it, and stereotypes of it were further reinforced by media using gay characters for comic relief.
People who camp out at Twitter dot com may equate it to gay individuals who are unapologetically outspoken about their views―emphasis on the unapologetic. Loud, unbothered and kalat, and there’s nothing wrong with that especially when you know your beliefs and you stick to them 100 percent.
The trolls are obviously wrong for thinking that throwing “baklang kanal” as an insult would actually work. Many gay people are taking the originally derogatory term, owning it and embracing flamboyance. But let’s not forget that “baklang kanal” has deeper roots: in the slums.
The term baklang kanal has long existed before Twitter owned it, and stereotypes of it were further reinforced by media using gay characters for comic relief. “The rural and poor bakla grow up with an idea of who they are, and this idea can direct the choices they make and the actions they take,” writes Athena Charanne Presto in a column on the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
By all means, like who you like from that list. A lot of our internet faves do have meaningful advocacies and we support that. Identify as a baklang kanal if you want to. But if you’re praising the baklang kanals and are only here for the funny, stop. Gay people don’t exist for anyone’s entertainment, and their traits are especially not a means to gain clout.
There are more pressing matters in the community than who’s the OG kanal queen or who should be canceled from that list. The debate on the SOGIE bill is still on, but it’s our strongest shot at protecting everyone, not just gay people, from having to face derogatory name-calling, slurs and overall discrimination and bigotry.
Art by Yel Sayo