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On Celebrities and Homophobia


A few days ago, Brian Gorrell's blog posted this letter outing a local actor/TV show host:

Hello Brian,

I am one of your dedicated readers and I am sending you a photo of Paolo Ballesteros with a Caucasian male friend. To be honest, I was adamant to send you this photo. However, I find it disappointing that Paolo is hiding his true self to the public.

There is nothing wrong with being gay and perhaps, through your blog, he will realize this. He should never be embarrassed of his sexuality. Perhaps, this photo may be helpful in proving that what you wrote about him is true. No straight male would ever pose in a photo like that. It is too compromising. Don't you think? Keep on blogging, Brian. You are doing the Philippines a favor.

Truly yours,

**** ********

Click here to read the actual post.

While I have always been a follower of Gorrell's blog and while I do believe that sometimes you have to resort to the extreme in order to correct a mistake committed against you especially if the authorities and local courts prove themselves useless, this post goes way beyond what the blog has always been about... exposing wrongdoings for any minute chance that people will act on and correct them.

Local actors just like everybody else have a right to a private life. They can choose to expose or hide their sexuality if that means limiting the work that they can do and avoiding the ire of moralists and the ill-informed that still think that being gay is a sin and is like a disease that you can cure. Celebrities DO NOT have the responsibility to tell the masses that support them, whom they sleep with and what they do in bed. That is none of their business. People DO NOT have a right to be disappointed if they do not know the most intimate details about these actors. Their craft is what you see on screen. Judge them based on what they do there... not based on their sexual orientation.

True, these actors should not be embarrassed about who they are but if who they sleep with becomes a factor for them to be unable to do their jobs effectively, then they should not be required to talk about it either. In our society where even the most educated people spew out the most uneducated attitude about gender related issues, we cannot blame them.

Case in point is the Philippine Entertainment Portal. This online showbiz magazine site allows user comments on every article that they publish. Often loosely moderated, here one can see the the actual goings-on inside the minds of people from different backgrounds ranging from the bakya and the trolls, the students and the die-hard celebrity fans, the moms, the yuppies and OFWs from different countries... all aptly literate mind you and educated enough to use the computer and post their two cents on any issue presented.

Today an article was published about actor Piolo Pascual, a talented actor/singer who is often rumored to be gay. While the issue at hand is a simple explanation as to why the actor was not able to join the recently concluded Bench Blackout Fashion Event, most user comments were not even about the article but about the actor's sexuality. Some of these comments are downright stupid and some are so bigoted, you'd begin to wonder if we are truly an evolved specie.

Throwing back these comments to the person who wrote the "expose" to Brian Gorrell, now do you still wonder why some people opt not to come out of the closet? While you think that it is your right to know who other people bed, would you be there to shield them from verbal lynching and would you share the burden it would cost and the damage that it would do to their careers?

In our country where bakla (fag) is used as an expletive along with tarantado (jerk) and putang ina mo (son of a b****), and coming out of the closet could mean jeopardizing your career , losing friends and even getting disowned by your own family, most people do not have the luxury of "coming out". We can blame it on not having an actual law that protects the rights of gay people from discrimination... but such law even if it existed would only apply to the workplace. We cannot hope to stop discrimination in the minds of people. And until we do, nobody has the right to demand from anybody that they come out of the closet and reveal who they are if they aren't willing to do so.

Dale Bacar
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  1. What's so sad is that it's the gays who out their closet counterparts. No wonder, many closets do not go well with the effeminates.

  2. i totally agree wth you, naiinis din ako sa mga taong kung maka koment sa PEP eh parang kilalang kilala nila. hay naku, kaya naman ang pilipinas baka one day pulutin na lang sa kankungan (God Forbid)

  3. Anonymous8/04/2008

    about gorrell... it's really sad he sunk this low. i used to sympathize with him but now I realize he's becoming no different from the person he's trying to get even with. gorrell, i hope you realize early that this isn't the path you'd like to tread upon. you're becoming a monster!

    about the PEP comments... this is what's really perplexing about filipino society. you'd think in this day and age, people would be more open and respectful towards one another. but hell no! these comments come from the supposedly well-educated. just goes to show that a high literacy rate does not necessarily translate to a good education. no wonder this country is so f**ked up. filipinos need to grow up!

  4. This is not only a problem discrimination. It is also a problem of people who do not have the ability to do analytical thinking yet regard themselves as experts. There are also those who open their mouths without bothering to find out whether there is truth to what they read or heard. Those who automatically think that what they read, specially from the internet is gospel truth. From my own observation (and this is not an intention to pass this off as gospel truth, mind you), Paolo Ballesteros has NEVER made an effort to deny his sexuality. He has never admitted in public that he is not straight. Neither has he denied it. Ang issue na ito ay kagagawan ng mga taong makitid ang pagiisip o kaya'y talagang walang utak.

  5. discrimination in general is unfair.

    Some people are just full of insecurities that's why they resort to shouting blabbers to cover their inferiority.

    whoa! nasabi ko yun? hahah

  6. it's their thing. thir show. their life.

    for as long as they are not doing anything wrong, it's okay.

    gay or not, who cares? i pity those guys from PEP. hindi pa sila ang bumubuhay kay piolo, ganun na sila magsalita. what more kung galing sa kanila ang nilalapang ni piolo?

    at apektado sila sa kasarian ng artista? e ano ngayon? nahada ba sila?

    its sad to know that sometimes, you can't be YOU.

  7. Ngayon ko lang ito nabasa. Ang daming mambabasa ni Gorrell.

    Minsan, kahit nagpapakatotoo ka na, ang tingin ng iba ay nagbabalat ka.

  8. SOOO true, what these "monkey" don't understand is that "outing" is a very deep personal choice....

    i dunno why they focus more on the actor's sexual orientation when it doesn't have anything to do with his ability to act!


  9. I have a friend who opened his heart to me and told me he’s gay. Until now, our common friends (and I think even his family) do not know about this. He was so afraid. He’s just too conscious of what people might think of him.

    I really hope gays would get the respect they deserve. Besides, most of them I truly find intelligent, talented and gifted. Let’s all be fair-minded.