You can always count on TV host and comedian Vice Ganda to shed light on issues that are not easy to address, especially on TV. On the July 10 episode of Gandang Gabi Vice, while on the topic of straight men going in a relationship with gay men, Vice explains that having a relationship with a gay man doesn’t automatically mean you’re gay. As Vice puts it “Kapag pumatol ang lalaki sa bakla hindi nangangahulugang magiging bakla na rin siya. Kapag ang bakla ba pumatol sa lalaki, magiging lalaki ba kami? Hindi naman, ganoon din kayo. Kayong lalaki, kung lalaki talaga kayo kahit pumatol kayo sa bakla, lalaki pa rin kayo. Hindi kayo naging bakla kasi pumatol kayo sa bakla, naging bakla kayo kasi bakla talaga kayo. Hindi naman nakakahawa ang pagiging bakla.”
The timing of Vice’s statement couldn’t have been more perfect, what with the recent news of Ian King’s coming out as Angelina Mead King got people questioning his identity. Angie, as she prefers to be called, reveals in an exclusive interview with Tim Yap for that Philippine Star that despite his new identity, she still prefers women. “Sexual preference—no, I’m not gay. I like women. Soft, curvy, yeah, no body hair.” And this have caused confusion to many. “I perfectly understand. Sexual expression and sexual preference are two different things. There is no clear description in the Filipino native language, there is no Tagalog version of LGBT… and however how many letters there are—that’s where the blurred lines come from.” From what we understand, sexual expression is how a person chooses to express him or herself and that doesn’t always match the gender we were born in, while sexual preference is to which gender you are romantically and sexually attracted to.
Angie identifies herself as a trans woman. In an article by Sass Rogando Sasot for Outragemag.com, she explains that “Trans is used to describe individuals whose gender identity and/or gender expression do not conform to the gender identity and/or gender expression traditionally associated with their gender assignment.”
[related: Daily Diaries: These Brave Transgender Women Are Totally Winning at Life]
Aiza Seguerra, on the other hand, identifies herself as a transgender. In an interview with the King of talk Boy Abunda in the now-defunct late night talk show Aquino and Abunda Tonight, she said that “Lesbian kasi are women na ang preference nila ay women also. Ang transgender naman, kumbaga iba 'yung gender identity namin sa akin. Kasi before as lesbian, ang dami ko pa rin questions na hindi matanong sa akin, finally I discovered sa sarili ko na I'm not lesbian, I'm transgender. Kumbaga it answered a lot of questions.” And just like her, Charice Pempengco, also came out almost two years ago on The Oprah Winfrey Show, but have no plans on changing anything in her body except for her looks. “Like I’ll cut my hair and wear boy clothes and everything, but that’s all.”
In the hopes of enlightening his audience, Vice further explains. “Kung malalaman niyo ang ibig sabihin ng SOGIE ito ay isang acronym na ang ibig sabihin ay Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression. Yung sexual orientation walang kinalaman sa gender identity, ang gender identiy walang kinalaman sa gender expressions, kaya kung ang sexual orientation mo ay pumapatol ka sa bakla sexual orientation mo yun pero kung ang gender identity mo ay lalaki ka, kahit pumapatol ka sa bakla, kung lalaki ka, lalaki ka. At kung lalaki ka ang gender expression mo gusto mo mag palda, kahit mag palda ka kung ang gender identity mo ay lalaki, lalaki ka.”
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Photographs from Instagram.com/hailtothe_queen_, Instgram.com/praybeytbenjamin, Instagram.com/iceseguerra, and Instagram.com/catharsis.92