New master rapper and Awit Awardee, Gloc-9, had his latest album launched last August 17. It has since been making rounds in online forums for having a socially relevant and unapologetic repertoire. Today, it has already landed as the 8th bestselling album in iTunes Asia.
Titled MKNM: Mga Kwento ng Makata, the album features a responsible but battered gay guy (“Sirena”); a provincial lass who ends up becoming a maid who is then sexually abused by her employer (“Inday”); the good policeman and the bad ones (“Silup”); a man driven to kill her woman after catching her in an act of infidelity (“Hindi Mo Nadinig”); and even an imagined correspondence between heroes Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio (“Kung Tama Siya”). He also has a track called Alalay ng Hari that humbly states that he could never take over the vacated throne of the late Francis M.
On Sirena, the gay stereotype and what is actually out there:
The album's controversial single, Sirena is now being dubbed as the new gay theme. Written from the point of view of a straight man, it features the effeminate gay guy that really wants to become a girl. I am not sure if this is to reflect what society generally thinks of what a gay person should be or if it is intended in order for the message to have more impact on our bigoted and ill-informed society. I was meaning to clarify this with Gloc-9 but sadly, I was not able to attend his album's launch/press conference.
While I find nothing wrong with being effeminate or cross-dressing for that matter, I want to clarify that the song speaks of a certain type of gay person. Truth is, at least in my own circle, gay guys do not want to become women. They cringe at the thought and find it as repulsive as breasts and two women making-out.
Some gay guys actually enjoy being gay and are equally attracted to other gay guys. Personally, I am automatically turned off if I find out that a cute guy I like is straight or at least one that cannot admit to himself that he is in fact gay. And while I could appreciate personalities/celebrities that are straight, I am more inclined to be attracted to ones that are at least suspected of being gay.
I wanted to make the distinction before the ill-informed public start quoting the song with lines like, "Hanggang sa nagbibinata na ako, teka mali dalaga na pala 'to." I want to point out and make it clear that some gay guys never go through a stage where they consider themselves as dalaga just because they are attracted to other men. I want to make sure that this is clear because if I hear jokes directed at me that assumes that I wear women's clothes or man-hungry just because I am gay, I can smack you as hard as any straight kanto guy and forever label you uncivilized and a cro-magnon.
But while gay guys are as diverse and as eclectic as Imelda's shoe collection, I think we can all agree on this line: "D sinusukat ang tapang at ang bigote sa mukha kasi kung minsan mas lalaki pa sa lalaki ang bakla." And if being called a sirena (mermaid) means being able to stand up against discrimination, being caring and forgiving, and being able to understand society's misconception and being set on correcting that error, then I think all gay guys can stand behind this theme and be proudly called Sirena.