Keep the SOGIE conversation going; #IAmSOGIE
It’s been some time since Wonder first went on the record to talk about the SOGIE bill. In the article, it was pointed out that Filipinos were globally ranked the 10th most accepting nation of the LGBTQ+. But as the article went, “acceptance is easier voiced out than lived out.”
We can talk a big game about having family and friends from the community—of even admiring them—but what does it matter when we still don’t see themselves as our equals. Our admiration means nothing if we still see the disparity, if we still see a them and us. The real question for us cis individuals is: How can you call yourself an ally when you still think your rights are above theirs?
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Since we first touched on the topic, what real outcome has occurred other than the harsh realization that some of the LGBTQ+’s so-called allies are actually, at the very least, petty or—at the most—homophobic?
I’ve seen the worst of people and heard them utter insensitivities, with certain situations coming to mind very quickly, particularly when Gretchen Diez’s restroom debacle made rounds online. People claimed that “they’re just looking for attention,” have had the audacity to ask “Bakit pa ba kailangan yan?” and have been selfish enough to think that the SOGIE bill is an attack on their own straight and privileged “rights.”
Another example, the comments section of this very article (on Facebook), where people have said the unfathomable:
“Ohhh for the love of…Theres a simple response to that (in which the question is: What right does anyone have to demand & insist less for others?). There WILL ALWAYS be people that wont like and agree with you [regardless] there is a SOGIE Bill. Come one toughen up you bunch of snowflakes”
“Nag-iingay lang yang mga lgbt na yan para sumikat..mga hayop at demonyo naman..anong pinagsasabi nila na discrimination sa kanila? Wala naman ah…tanggap naman cla ng society natin dito sa bansa natin…tapos nagccgaw pa cla na may discrimation daw? Potang INA nila…mga baboy sa lipunan…”
“And in the future, straight people will be discriminated against for being straight.”
And yet, there has been so much support for Elliot Page as he finally came out as his true self. I’ve read comments that lauded his courage and how he has made the voice of the trans community that much louder. There has been such an outpouring of support that it makes you wonder why we cherry pick who we support and who we don’t.
Whose side are we really on? And in fact: Do we have to choose a side at all?
But let’s get back to the subject at hand: The SOGIE bill and the clear misunderstanding of the same.
First of all, the SOGIE Bill is simply an anti-discrimination bill that requires consequences on unfair treatment and biases towards anyone based on their Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression. If you’re straight, then congratulations, because that is your gender identity and the law would prohibit others from discriminating you based on your preference of the opposite sex. Good for you. But it also protects those that aren’t you.
Secondly, keep your head high because the bill states nothing of same-sex marriage. So good on you because marriage is still only for cis couples—if that’s something that you think should be celebrated.
Third, if you think this bill is a simple call for attention and you’re questioning why it’s necessary, then hear the community out. Listen to their stories. Read up on Gretchen Custodio Diez (taken out of the women’s restroom for being trans), KaladKaren Davila (refused entrance to a bar for being gay), Adam Eli (harassed for being gay) and Mathew Shepard (murdered for being gay).
And in case you need more stories, there are countless others that you could hear if you just dared to look and listen—and each of them are exactly why there is a need to make the SOGIE Equality Bill a reality.
Because when you hear stories of people being denied jobs, of students being suspended and of everyday individuals being rejected basic societal involvement, how the fuck can you still only see clearly in front of a mirror? This isn’t about the rights and privileges of straight individuals.
One last thing: Before you open your mouth or start typing away a status or blog post or whatever else the internet gives you the opportunity to touch, maybe read up on what you’re actually talking about. We’ll make it easy for you; just click here to read the actual proposed SOGIE Equality Bill. Do not be lazy—ahem—ignorant.
Art Alexandra Lara