Jul 5, 2015

[Pink Culture] We Need More Than Tolerance In The Philippines

About two years ago, some survey claimed that the Philippines is among the most LGBT-friendly in the world. And I suppose it's easy to see why this may be true given how we see members of the community everywhere ranging from your local hair salon to hosting shows on national television. But in light of the recent US marriage equality ruling, the renewed attention on the LGBT community just stresses how far we have to go.

A more recent survey shows that 7 in 10 Filipinos are against same-sex marriage in the country. The Speaker of the House has also been quoted as saying that he is against any same-sex marriage bills in the House. And just look at the comments section of any news agency for articles about same-sex marriage or LGBT rights and you'll see all the Bible-thumpers proclaiming how to be LGBT is a sin and other statements along those lines.

So it doesn't feel like we're LGBT-friendly - if anything we're only really LGBT-tolerant. Just look at how different it is when a conservative person seems okay with LGBT people outside the home, but the moment a family member comes out all hell breaks loose. There's a weird line between knowing LGBT out there in general and having an LGBT member of the family that changes everything. And thus so many members of the pink community stay in the closet out of fear of rejection and disdain from those they love the most.

But all is not lost - I will always believe in love and love will see us through. That and a lot of hard work and major efforts to educate others why the LGBT community is very much real and why we deserve truly equal treatment. This is not about fighting religion or something - we just want a space of our own that we should feel fully entitled to as human beings. We deserve full recognition and not just tolerance. We deserve acceptance.

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