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LGBTQ+’s sexualities are not for straight people’s entertainment

Who wears the pants in the relationship? Sino ’yung boy and girl sa inyong dalawa?

Queer people like me have heard it all before. But wow, I’m not gonna lie, it still gets me fuming every time. So imagine how I reacted when I watched “Showtime”’s episode with Juan Miguel Severo’s “Gaya sa Pelikula” cast earlier today.

One of the noontime show’s segments is a game called “Mas Testing” i.e. a spin on Eat Bulaga’s “Bawal Judgmental.” But unlike its forerunner’s informative albeit erratic approach, the player’s goal here is to guess who is more straight, tigasin, magaling magpalabas and kulot between “Gaya sa Pelikula’s” Ian Pangilinan and Pao Pangilinan. Pao even mouthed “’di ako straight” on camera when the player pegged him for someone who’s straight-passing.

What’s worse is that Vice Ganda, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, facilitated the game and didn’t even flinch on how this perpetuates stereotypes against the LGBTQ+ community. They often use crass humor and go all in with no filter. It shouldn’t be a surprise that microaggression happened on their watch, and it did.

In a country where we are “tolerated” and “have no need for the SOGIE bill,” national television has made guessing people’s sexuality a quirky game for entertainment’s sake.

Am I being overdramatic? Am I hearing you type “it’s just a game, bro”? Our sexuality is not a fucking game—we get killed for it.

Sure, this segment is only for fun. But it’s not fun. This is a perfect example of microaggression by a heterosexual society that “tolerates” us. They say, we tolerate queer people ’cause you make us laugh, you make our hair beautiful and you are so creative. Newsflash: These are not compliments, these are microaggressions on full display.

Instead of highlighting the rise of queer stories online, our sexuality became fair game for jokes and laughter.

People might not even know what microaggression is, but we have either inflicted or experienced it. It’s a form of indirect, subtle or unintentional discrimination against a marginalized community. If the meaning still isn’t clear, let’s have an example from “Gaya Sa Pelikula” itself.

Its fifth episode is about how a district-wide blackout brings Karl (Paolo Pangilinan) and Vlad (Ian Pangilinan) closer together. While sharing stories, Karl tells Vlad how he didn’t look gay. But while it was meant as a compliment, Vlad quickly scolds him and explains that it’s not a compliment—it’s insulting.

“Siyempre, akala mo matutuwa agad ako kasi hindi ako halata,” says Vlad. “Pero what does that say about people who are effem?” Straight-passing isn’t a compliment. Quite frankly, it brings out the worst in us, our own internalized phobias.

What if I’m not gay enough? Or bi enough? Sometimes, discrimination knows no sides. Not only are we subject to straight prejudice but worse, it comes from within the queer community itself. These are the painful questions that plague every queer person out there in the darkest time of their lives.

What we do need is to be celebrated and loved, not tolerated.

That’s why this “Showtime” segment struck a chord with a lot of queer Filipinos. Instead of highlighting the rise of queer stories online, our sexuality became fair game for jokes and laughter. What my community struggles with every day was reduced to a form of entertainment—and it’s not even funny.

At a time when we’re battling for the SOGIE bill, normalizing microaggressions live on national television isn’t what we need. What we do need is to be celebrated and loved, not tolerated. Tolerance starts with microaggression, only to bleed into something more horrific and vile like more queer-related violence and discrimination.

We’ve had enough of microaggression from “tolerant” straights. We’re not tolerating your “tolerance” anymore.

Read more:
How Eat Bulaga’s ‘Bawal Judgmental’ segment normalizes coming out on national television
Allyship 101: How to amplify the voices in the LGBTQ+ community
Here’s why the SOGIE bill is for the straights™️ too

Art by Yel Sayo

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Rogin Losa
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