23 Jun A Different Take on the Valkyrie Incident

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JUAN SAYS: A member of the LGBT community, lawyer Bruce Rivera speaks his mind on the incident. And we couldn’t agree more. Again, thank you Sir Bruce for speaking your mind regarding this issue. Hoping that many others, like us, would be enlightened too.

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Let me make it clear that by taking a different stand in the Valkyrie cross-dressing issue, I have never abandoned my stand supporting LGBT equality. Everyone in this world deserves the right to be treated with respect, to be afforded the basic human rights in line with human dignity and to the pursuit of happiness. Perhaps, because I may be one of the few LGBT member or if not the only one teaching Human Rights in a law school here in the Philippines.

Here is where perhaps I differ in the opinion with most LGBT equality activists.

I am with everyone when we want equality, gender sensitivity and freedom from any forms of discrimination. That is a given. That is the reason why gays like me worked so hard to become lawyers, administrators, law professors and other professionals to show to the world that there is no such thing as a gay stereotype. Gone are the days of the “parlorista”, “screaming faggot”, “fag hag” or sidekick to a heterosexual label. We come in all shapes and sizes. Thanks in part not only to the cross-dressers and trans-genders who have showcased the cause but also the the silent members who have worked so hard to make something of themselves in order for them to be in a level of success that they become key decision makers to champion their own kind.

But when we want equality, tolerance and acceptance, we also have to be tolerant and accepting of the fact that in this world where people come in all shapes and sizes, there are those that do not really understand and do not fully agree with the LGBT cause, lifestyle and choices. And as a group who aim for equality and acceptance, we have to respect that.

The problem with most of us is that even though we aim for equality and acceptance, we actually think we are special. We want to be treated equally but we actually think we are above everyone else. That we deserve the attention, that we have to shock and awe them, that we have to shout and scream and the straight people of the world has an obligation to listen and accept.

And if they do not agree with us…we wage war.

That is the reason why our community shames and bully people who do not like us openly. We call them homophobic and bigots. However, most of us fail to realize that by attacking people who do not agree with our choices, we have become bigots as well. We want equality but how will others treat us equally when we cannot even give them the right to their opinion about us.

When we shout “We’re queer, we’re here, get used to it!”, we are shouting for equality and acceptance. But to be equal with everyone does not mean it is the obligation of every heterosexual to embrace us, make us part of their lives, allow us in their space and make us a daily fixture in their lives. We only want acceptance but most of us really want to rub it in their faces.

But the grim reality is, not all are happy that we are rubbing it in. They tolerate us but they want their space. And as a community wanting to be accepted and treated equally, we have to give them that space.

When the term GENDER SENSITIVITY was coined, it was supposed to be a two-way street. They should be sensitive to the LGBT and in return, we should be sensitive to theirs.

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