Young Blood

Standing ovation


I have to admit I used to be semihomophobic. I say “semi” because though I did not run away at the sight of gay people, I would silently condemn them and pray they would become straight. I studied in a Catholic school and I guess this is primarily why I used to wish people would stop being gay. I thought heaven was not for gays and that straight was less complicated.

I can’t say when I managed to shake it out of my system, but one thing’s for sure: I’m semihomophobic no more. It does help when one puts a face or a name to the label, and I thank my talented and really good-looking gay friends for my change of heart. They made me realize that one’s heart and passions transcend sexual preference and appearance.

I am no diehard fan of the recently out-of-the-closet Charice Pempengco, but yes, she manages to give me goose bumps every time she takes the stage. At a very young age she won the hearts of many, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries through pure talent. She has received countless standing ovations, whether in her own concerts or those of other international stars. She has made the Philippines proud and has made its presence felt in the international entertainment scene. Still, and as though she owes anyone anything, Charice has been bashed in the media countless times—all because she was suspected to be, and has eventually admitted to being, a lesbian.

As a psychology major, I cringed at the nasty comments such as “abnormal” and “may sapi  (possessed).” It made me uncomfortable to see nonpsychology majors attaching the “A” word to someone so easily when in fact that someone has to be meticulously checked against the 3Ds (dysfunctional, distressed, deviant), and subjected to psychological tests, etc. before such a diagnosis can be made.

Of course, there are those who support the former “Glee” star, but sadly they are few. Conclusion? The number of narrow-minded beings is still greater than those who treat people with unconditional positive regard. Carl Rogers would certainly be upset.

In times like this, we tell ourselves: If they can do it to someone like Charice and Rosie O’Donnell and Clay Aiken and Lance Bass and Ricky Martin, all the more can they do it to ordinary people, like you and me. In times like this, we ask: What if it happens to my kid or to a brother, or another loved one? That’s going to be perfectly hard, and emotionally taxing. And in times like this, we reflect: We have become so bound by labels (black, poor, disabled, old, etc.) that we forget the significant things of humanity. As a gay friend put it, there are many things we don’t understand, and most of the time the things we don’t understand cause us to be repulsive. Do we blame the homophobic for who they are? No, we blame them for what they do.

The Charice issue resurrected, and magnified, the great disconnect between how we say we view homosexuals and how we actually treat them. We say we tolerate, if not accept, gays and lesbians, but there is still pervasive discrimination. But why, when we see them literally everywhere?

We get our daily dose of Vice Ganda and his flamboyant costumes on TV. We adore Pepsi Herrera’s designs and we frequent Reyes Haircutters for the latest hairstyles. We are filled with pride and joy every time Ellen Degeneres invites young Filipino talents to sing in her show. And what about that gay office colleague of yours who never fails to entertain everyone as though no deadlines are coming up? Oh, and remember the ever-approachable female guard they call “Lesbo”? Or the gay professor who made you comprehend (finally!) the formulas in calculus?

And still we laugh each time someone is taunted “bakla”?

Being gay or lesbian, regardless of stature, is and should never be an issue. Everyone has the freedom of choice to live life the way he or she wants it to be. Homosexuals should be praised for inspiring others to never be ashamed of themselves.

Charice, sans the international career, powerful voice, and boyish do, is a human being worthy of our respect. For her courage to come out despite the odds and for choosing not to hide her real self because of the ignorance of other people, she has won the world again. With her bravery, she will soar to greater heights. It is but right to give her another standing ovation.

The same goes to all the homosexuals out there. Be proud.

Felisse Marianne Z. San Juan, 21, works at the Lyceum of the Philippines University-Laguna.

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  • Eelap

    Like!! Like!! Like!!

  • just_anotherperson

    We should accept gays as our brothers and sisters in Christ, after all, let the sinless cast the first stone.

    But should we also accept their “modern” idea of gay marriage?

    Absolutely not!

    • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

      If you don’t like gay marriage (or if your God is upset about gay marriage) then don’t get married to the person with the same sex as yours. It’s like preventing all your neighbors from eating meat just because you’re vegan. LOL

  • igmat

    you sounded as though you are “sick” with homophobia. Believe me you are not and this word is used to label those who abhor the practice as “sick mind”. This has nothing to do with you being a catholic raised and instructed either. It is your nature telling you that it is the proper relationship and no amount of research will yield that homosexuality is ever hereditary because it is always a preference. Humans are dynamic but nature takes longer to agree. Respecting them is another important matter and they should be allowed to practice their preference as well but those who disagree with their preference should not be called sick either.

    • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

      “1,500 animal species practice homosexuality but only one specie practice bigotry”. I think you’ve tried to spread yourself too thin here. If I may summarize the points you’ve made (and comment at the same time)

      1) People who feel bad about homosexuality (or gay relationships in general) do so because their human nature says so. — Last time I checked, I have found no scientific basis that we are programmed to be repulsive towards gay relationships. Otherwise, if it were in-born, then we should ALL have it and we’d all feel a certain dislike towards gay relationships.. but we don’t. Ergo, maybe we’re not? ;)

      2) Who we love (or who we want to bed) is a matter of prefence. Righht. When did you pick to be straight? When did you wake-up and say, “Mom, Dad, I wanna be straaaight!”. If you didn’t pick heterosexuality, what makes you think it’s a choice?

      PS I am sick in the stomach about people who preach about homosexuality and it being a choice. You CAN’T preach/talk about something you don’t know. PERIOD.

      3) “those who disagree with their preference should not be called sick either.” — they are not sick. they are bigots. Unless bigotry were now a sickness.

  • virgoyap

    What’s the point? To be? or not to be?

  • josh_alexei

    Felisse, in just a matter of few hours the streets of Toronto will host the 33rd annual Gay Pride Parade with more than a Millions spectators lining its streets and the Province Top Man, a Married Lesbian the Premier will be Joining the Parade and there will be a very loud cheers for her and her partner and children and grandchildren.

    Yes, a decade of two ago, we did have the same kind of feelings toward the Gays, and the whole country now accepted the reality that we are all Equal before and under the law and each has the Right to Equal BENEFIT and Protection of the Law without DISCRIMINATION…only then that a nation can move forward without a baggage of hatred and discrimination to carry.

  • Keith

    Yes, we should not judge people who are lesbian or gays but let us not forget what God really intend for us to be. Let us not condemn them but help them to realize how the act of gayness is really sinful.

    • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

      Here we go again. Gayness is sinful by what standards? If you check the bible, Little Miss or Mr Bible Preacher, there has been NO mention of homosexuality as a sin. You should read you know, it makes you appear less ignorant about what you preach.

      Oh, and PS, if gayness is a religious sin, to whom do atheists sin against? I mean, it’s unfair to be non-christian and STILL be subjected to christian laws right? Do atheists get a free pass and can we leave them alone? :)

      • Keith

        That’s what you believe in. I have my beliefs as well. The bible has been very open about gayness and homosexuality. If you really read it whole heartedly, it will not make you appear MORE ignorant on what you believe in. Any sinner should always remember that the God who commands us to love our neighbour is the same God who will cast any and all unrepentant sinners into the “eternal fire”. Here are more Bible quotes, Lev 18:22-23 “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” Lev 20:13 “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.” 1 Cor 6:9 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals” 1 Tim 1:9-10 “

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        I don’t know which bible you’re quoting but dear, 1 Tim 1:9-10 reads “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those.” LOL. I don’t see any effeminate or homosexuality, even in the King James version. Where did you get that? or did you write one?

        Anyway, If the basis of immorality were on a the bible, then oh, I can quote the bible too. “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves”

        So, Leviticus also says I could own slaves. Do you agree? So yeah, where can I buy one? ;)

        In fact, Levitics 19:19 even prohibits us from wearing clothes made of two different threads (cotton and polyester, which is what majority of clothes are made of today). You’ve surely worn that at least once in your life, right?

        You see, you just can’t CONVENIENTLY pick what to follow or not. The bible contains inconsistencies too, especially rules that are no longer applicable on this day and age – like killing people who work on the sabbath, having sex on your period, and selling your daughter (Thank God they no longer do that!).

        If you’re going to preach about following the bible, then you better be sure you’re sticking to it. Otherwise, that makes you a hypocrite.

        PS. How about atheists or non-christians? They can’t sin against the bible right since they’re not covered. Does that mean they can be gay? :)

      • Keith

        I don’t have to defend myself against someone who has literally, uh, PHILOSOPHICAL views of immaturity and gayness. My God created MEN and WOMEN to understand his ONLY creations. I am afraid for you, kiddo. You may get a good riddance for your views but you are conforming to the pattern of this world. I am not contending, I am just sharing my thoughts which is for people like you, are TOO Defensive ;)

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        Philosophical. Big Word. Nonetheless, nothing about that comment above answered any of my questions. If you find thinking offensive, especially when applied to the context of the bible, then it is YOU who should be afraid. You are so blind in faith that you accept things as they are – without even thinking about (and accepting) that the bible has limitations. You say gay people are sinners, WOW. By what standards? The translated bible has made mention of homosexual acts but not homosexuality. And the last time I checked, only God can pass judgement so yeah, so much for your statement that gays are sinners ;)

        It’s funny because you’re calling me defensive but I was just being reactionary since you’re the one who first claimed that the bible “says” gay people are sinners and I just played your game of quoting the bible. After you got tired because you were backed on the corner, you’re calling me defensive? LOL.

        You’re afraid of me ‘coz you think I’m a kid? LOL. Check my credentials dear ;) Anyway, thanks for the chat. You christian conservatives and bible hugging people wake me up more than my coffee does. :P

      • Guest

        Are you TOO Affected because you’re sort of, oh, correct me if im wrong, GAY? You wont be to defensive if not, right? LOL

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        LOL. I raise valid questions about your belief in an effort to spark intellectual discussion but instead of arguing on the merits of my argument, you’d rather ask if I were gay. My sexual orientation is irrelevant, it is not the topic of debate nor does it affect the validity of my argument (or the invalidity of yours, to begin with).

        “You wont be to defensive if not, right? LOL”
        — Do you have to be black to be sensitive to racial discrimination? Do you have to be a victim of rape to know and fight for their rights? Lastly, do you have to be gay to fight for equality? We believe in the same God and I sincerely hope your actions as a Christian Crusader and promulgator of the holy scripture make him proud right now. Seriously, your ignorance baffles me and I am not even one to resort to insults.

      • Keith

        Seriously, what’s now the connection of rape here? SERIOUSLY? And seriously, kiddo, why do you keep on raising irrelevant discussions that were too drastic? Following the threads youve been into, you keep on posting and commenting about this “gayness” matter, aren’t you? And for God’s sake, if you are someone who keep on tolerating this kind of act, you have to think again. Don’t brag your credentials or whatsoever you have attained, I believe that I have achieved more than you do. And relate to your previous comments, a shameless thing. You keep on battling people just because they are against your opinion? It’s definitely, uneducated. I have posted my opinion here and you have yours. So where are your so-called credentials, honey? Do they reflect on your criticisms?

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        Read and understand my previous comment. I am not one to spoon-feed. We’ve gone this far. Surely you’re able enough to grasp the entire thought of my comment.

      • Keith

        Yeah, right. I understand how you shared your uneducated criticisms. I understand your point, sweetie. But you never have to argue just because i have different opinions than yours. It’s too pathetic to realize that there are people who want to dominate this world with their opinion. And to count your credentials by the way? You should start to count on them again. They seem to fluctuate.

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        Again, none of your recent comments have addressed the points I have enumerated earlier. Have you reached the boundary of your understanding of your religion, such that you would rather talk about me?

        Uneducated? Honey, in the past few comments I’ve left, I have done nothing short of stating validated facts about religion, culture and beliefs. If someone were not doing their part in this intellectual back-and -forth, it wouldn’t be me. As for my credentials, they don’t fluctuate. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? LOL. It doesn’t even make sense to say something that does not vary irregularly (Fluctuate, definition) fluctuates. LOL

        “It’s too pathetic to realize that there are people who want to dominate this world with their opinion.”

        — Yeah, like someone I encountered recently who said that ” but (we should) help them (gays) to (sic) realize how the act of gayness is really sinful.” I mean, she WASN’T trying to dominate this world with her opinion of gayness being wrong right? LOL. Oh wait, was that you trying to convince the world, specifically, gay men and women that they are sinners? LOL. Hypocrite.

      • Keith

        Hahaha. Too funny to think Mr. Sevillano? You seriously argue, uh? Hypocrite? LOL should I say it’s a BIGGER word? How Pathetic. Honey, believe in your own world. You seem to be out of it. And just a little suggestion, try to explore the world LITERATURE so you’ll understand what fluctuate really is. Your credentials did not even meet mine. Gah. Such nonsense. (Lol, the power of Google) Hahaha :D

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        This conversation has gone pointless. As the person above said, “You can’t defend your position on the bible”. PERIOD. If you want to continue this discussion, raise valid points and contest my argument about Leviticus. Otherwise, have fun not going beyond the boundaries of your understanding of the bible and your religion.

      • Keith

        Have you really defended what you’re trying to believe in? Yeah, RIGHT! This conversation has gone pointless. I am not trying to argue Mr. Sevillano. YOU were the one who started this thread. Do you, by any chance got some relational problems? Now, let me give to you a peek of my credentials so you’ll know your limits and not everyone around you can be inferior as you think, you, highly created specie. An Ateneo De Manila MBA Graduate and presented papers outside of this country. Currently working on my dissertation for PhD. And I am applying my education based on my principles and NOT trying to argue on petty comments. My GAAAHD. You know the word ‘SHARING’ opinions? Seems not. This is not about religion but my OPINIONS. And i guess i am to educated just to “patulan ang batang pikon” Nice try dear. God bless you! :)

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        MBA Graduate – same.
        Doctorate Level – same.
        Working on Dissertation – same.
        Int’l Paper presentor level – same.

        The fact that you have to enumerate psychologically means you’re more threatened than I. Yes, that is a Fact with basis. Happy?

        Again, argue on the merits of leviticus. Otherwise, everyone who reads this can see that you have contributed NOTHING intellectual to the discussion after I contradicted your bible quoting comment on leviticus.

      • Keith

        Doctorate Level? LOL. Try to search your name on Google and let’s see if you’re in doctorate level. LOOOL. This really made me fell off my chair! Hahaha

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        LOL. So if Google says I’m a tree, you want to believe that? Your Facebook profile says you’re studying (not a graduate of) MBA but I gave you the benefit of the doubt, didn’t I? You are starting to insult the name of your school, dear.

      • Keith

        Your question has bounced back! HAHAHA! So if facebook is trying to tell you that i’m a tree, would you believe that? How pathetic HAHAHA And your school? Gahd? LPU?

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        That’s the meaning of “benefit of the doubt”. Oh, GAWD.

      • Keith

        K. Hahaha. Explain it to your school, what was that? Uhmm, LPU? Hahaha

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        Now you just opened yourself to more criticisms. Goodluck.

      • Keith

        God bless! :) >:D< Cyber hugs for yaaah

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        Wait, someone sent me this link to your blog.

        I THOUGHT you finished your “MBA” from Ateneo and are on your dissertation but you posted on JUNE 26, 2013, roughly TWO WEEKS ago, and it reads:

        “I am Keith Feliz Banania, 20 years old, currently teaching Literature Subjects in AMA Computer University. Studying my Master’s Degree in English Language and Literature Teaching at
        The Ateneo De Manila University and planning to pursue Doctor of Philosophy after MA degree”.

        Your June 15, 2013 post also reads:

        ‘Hiiii! Today is Saturday, June 15, 2013 and it’s my first day of class in Graduate School!”

        Hindi nga pala talaga tayo magkalevel. I am, after, all a doctorate student working on my dissertation. I’m pretty sure God said don’t lie somewhere in the bible ;)

      • engkantosakanto

        This is one good discussion. The bible is one good book that anyone can use for his own subjective thought, the danger however is when you close your mind from outside facts and then start viewing anyone who deviates from the Book as evil. The girl in this thread, with a somewhat limited knowledge from the very Book that she is defending and is loosing in the argument, went personal and that is unChristian-like.

      • Kurt Paolo Sevillano

        Thank you. Finally, someone here who actually understands :)

      • Guest

        Are you TOO Affected because you’re sort of, oh, correct me if I’m wrong, GAY? You wont be to defensive and explaining such if not, right? LOL. Good luck, or should I say, God bless honey!

      • Keith

        Are you TOO Affected because you’re sort of, oh, correct me if I’m
        wrong, GAY? You wont be tooo defensive and explaining such if not, right?
        LOL. Good luck, or should I say, God bless honey!

    • Eustaquio Joven

      God intended us to be as cows in a pasture. No sense of guilt nor shame. The serpent gave us a choice: You want to be as God who knows right from wrong? Adam and Eve ate of the apple. The serpent told Eve the truth. We became rational beings. The couple didn’t die on the they disobeyed God. Didn’t God lie? So? He could also by lying when He said that “the act of gayness is really sinful”.

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