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MARCHING ON. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Manila Pride March, 2002. Have things changed for gays and lesbians since? Photo by Kia Sison
Things gay people are still told

in PHILIPPINES, 03/05/2013

It's been 15 years since I came out as a gay woman in the Philippines, and even if Aiza Seguerra is now an out adult lesbian with a girlfriend, Rustom Padilla is now BB Gandanghari, Pinoy Big Brother always has gay characters, and Boy Abunda is now out and proud, an educated Pinay I met recently still asked me, "When did you decide to become a tomboy?"

Is the Philippines regressing in terms of gender sensitivity? The LGBT movement seems to be more visible than ever with strong leaders, powerful party list campaigns, and support from both political and celebrity realms. Why does it seem like people's notions about homosexuals have not changed?

For starters, what I'd like to know is why I'm still being told the same things I was told a decade and a half ago. "Sayang, ang ganda mo pa naman! (Too bad you're gay when you're so pretty!)" as if gay people should only be the ugly second choice. You'd have to be blind to think that only unattractive and unwanted girls are gay. Or do our qualities need to be validated by the opposite sex in order to be considered worthy?

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