Because I thought that my gay son’s rights as a human being would be defended; because I thought that finally, the LGBT community would have a voice in congress; because I believe that it’s about time that gays and lesbians are accorded the same rights, freedom and respect as everybody else, I was considering voting for Ladlad Partylist this coming election.
Then I turn on my computer today and a photo of scantily-clad men in cut-off Ladlad Partylist shirts and underwear greeted me. This was a photo taken during a male pageant, a "bikini open," and posted on Facebook. I would now have to reconsider my vote.
Gabriela Partylist t-shirts being used in a wet t-shirt contest? I don’t think so.
I would like my vote to go to a sectoral representative who would truly represent the aspirations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in congress; a representative who would fight for their right to equality and freedom from discrimination; and most of all, a partylist that would help free the community from stereotypes and the general public from biases.
The photo? It’s several steps in the opposite direction. If this is the kind of politics that Ladlad partylist wishes to introduce to the already rotten political system, then I hope they don’t make it to congress. We have too much of that brand of politics in there already. It is sad that a group claiming to be champions of LGBT rights would be the same group that would help reinforce the stereotype.
What were they thinking? That the image of bulging penises would earn the community the respect that it has long been longing, fighting for?
I give them the benefit of the doubt. I still hope that their politics will go beyond gyrating half-naked men and bikini opens.
I am still hoping that I would live to see the day that my son will live his life in a society where being gay need not be "accepted," in the same way we don't need to accept children who show signs of being straight.
I'm not sure now if Ladlad partylist can finally take us there. Apparently, they too need to be freed from the same stereotypes they're fighting against.