The Pride Month Issue

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Cover Illustration by ROB CHAM

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — It’s quite a time to be anything but straight these days. The recent election saw the concern of LGBTQ discrimination and same-sex marriage or unions being raised. The country elected its first trans legislator. Pop culture is (accurately, positively) gayer than ever. Elsewhere in the world, even as hate crimes continue to occur, we’ve seen the passage of marriage laws and other developments that are making this planet more inclusive and safer for the community.

With this in mind, for our Pride Month issue, we’ve put together a number of stories and discussions that capture what it means to be here and queer in the Philippines in this day and age from diverse points of view — whether it’s about growing up bisexual after years spent in an all-boys Catholic school and a born-again church, finding secret places to dance sans expectations of masculinity, or raising an adolescent daughter as a lesbian mom. We’re also including two previously published stories that we feel are important to the matter at hand — namely, our cover story on Geraldine Roman, the pioneering trans congresswoman, and an essay on Charice as a complicated LGBTQ icon.

On our cover, with an illustration by Rob Cham that’s inspired by Fernando Amorsolo’s famous depiction of the making of the Philippine flag, you’ll find three Filipinos who identify as members of the LGBTQ working together to create a Pride flag. Through this, we hope to convey that we’re finally taking significant, concrete steps toward equality and acceptance, no matter how small or how long they take. This flag, it’s by no means perfect or finished. But we’re getting there, and we’re completing it together, little by little, and — dare we say it — it’s looking pretty good.

 

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The only way I want it is both ways: The ambiguity of bisexuality

Knowing full well that it’s not easier being bisexual, what with constant battles against erasure and the stereotype of being “greedy,” a writer talks about his struggle with defining his sexuality in his formative years and coming to terms with who he really is. Read more...

 

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What it's like running the only gay magazine in the Philippines

Five issues in, Team Magazine has built a strong following among gay men (and a few future gay BFFs) who like their gay magazine substantial and incisive on all things homo. Read more...

 

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Finding a safe haven for (gay) dancing

As a lifelong practitioner of the uncoordinated way of dancing, a writer recounts his quest for a place that accepts and champions his preferred way of musical expression. Read more...

 

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Strength and sensibility: A lesbian mom speaks out

What do you do when your child is bullied because of your sexual orientation? Cha Roque, the woman who sent out an open letter about discrimination on noontime TV, talks about being a lesbian mother in the Philippines. Read more...

 

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How hard is it to come out in the Philippines?

Five stories that show that even in times like these, which are generally more accepting of the LGBTQ community, coming out remains an important rite of passage in the realization and establishment of one’s identity. Read more...

 

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7 ways to show support for the LGBTQ community

Because discourse can only do so much and because actions speak louder than words, here’s a quick list of LGBTQ-inclusive and supportive acts that are more likely to have a positive and palpable impact. Read more...

 

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Geraldine Roman wants to be more than just 'the transgender congresswoman'

During the elections, the country’s first elected trans politician had no doubt that she would emerge victorious. The question, moving forward, is now whether she can turn her big ideas into real change for the lives of Filipinos, especially the LGBT community. Read more...

 

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Charice, on his own terms

Whether he realizes it or not, in the three years since he came out, Charice has become a walking paradox and cultural marker who is symbolic of the way Filipinos have come to view gender and sexuality. Read more...