Me: I love it when people don’t assume gay = femme.
Friend: Ah, yes. What do you think of those flamboyant gays in showbiz? Do you think they’re making it worse for dude-liking dudes like us? ‘Cause when society sees them, they immediately expect all gays to act like them. What do you think?
Me: I don’t blame them because that’s who they are. But, I think, we can blame those who perpetuate the idea, and that also includes a lot of those “femmy gays” on telly.
Friend: Though now that there’re a lot of “masculine” natured celebrities that have come out, I think that’s really going to change.
Me: Not in the Philippines, not yet. We don’t have cisgender gay men in showbiz!
Friend: We don’t?
Me: They’re all pretending to be straight, because they love their masculinity too much.
Friend: What about those gay-rumoured hunks?
Me: None of them are out.
Friend: You don’t have to throw away your masculinity, but okay.
Me: Right, heterosexuality and masculinity are not the same banana, but they fear stigma.
Friend: Why is masculinity so “valued”, anyway?
Me: Because we live in a culture of hypermasculinity (and pseudomasculinity). Actually, the likes of [insert name of closeted gay celebrity] make it worse. He’s femmy in real life, but he pretends to be butch (never mind that he’s gay or straight).
Friend: But, he acts it so well!
Me: So people will think “O, kaya pala pa-macho, hindi pa kasi naglaladlad” (Oh, so that’s why he’s acting macho, he hasn’t outed himself yet).
Friend: Yeah, I hate that.
Me: They will think anybody who comes out is going to turn out like BB Gandanghari (not that there’s anything wrong with being gay and transgender). I will write about this!
Friend: Aaron Schwartz already did.
Me: Not in a Pinoy context, no! It’s different here.
Friend: Well, I mean, hopefully Western culture will trickle down as it does.
Me: I hope change trickles down soon, but I’m not sure if Western culture is going to help. Exactly what Aaron wrote.
Activist, former England rugby union international player, and gay icon