By Tim Henares
If there were two horrible things that came out of the Jennifer Laude case, the first one would be her tragic fate, and the second one would be the awkward realization that the Philippines is transphobic AF.
All things considered, while homophobia does indeed exist in this country, we’ve been, on average, better-behaved when it comes to that issue. Transphobia, on the other hand…
8. We confuse gay people with transgendered people.
It’s not a very difficult concept to understand, but it’s difficult to accept for those of us who always identified as heteronormative. Personally, I remember a time when I spoke to someone on a comic book forum, a transwoman who was married to a woman. At the risk of ridicule and yes, her now non-functioning equipment, she went through the transition because she believed herself to be a lesbian woman, even when she was biologically male.
7. We assume gay people want to eventually become women.
Given our stereotyping, a lot of us assume that being gay means wanting to be a woman. That is wrong, by definition. Being gay is being attracted to the same sex. It isn’t about wanting to be a woman, if you’re a gay man, it’s about wanting to be with men.
Thus, while Aiza Seguerra initially identified as a lesbian, when he transitioned, we now realize that he is, by definition, straight.
6. Being transgender doesn’t necessarily involve operations.
5. The pronoun game.
In an act of defiance, some people refused to call Jennifer Laude “Jennifer,” insisting on her birth name of “Jeffrey,” as if this act of defiance meant anything to them at all. The reality is, calling her a “she” and “Jennifer” was just a simple courtesy she asked for, and it is the height of rudeness to insist on denying her that.
Would you pull that crap on Love Marie Ongpauco? Or would you right away call her “Heart,” because that’s her screen name? If you can do it for her, is it too much to do it for Jennifer, or to refer to Aiza with a “he,” regardless of the feminine name?