Please Don’t Ask Me That: Questions Filipino LGBTs Are Tired of Hearing

Written by: Carla De Guzman/Saturday, Jun 17, 2017 12:20 PM

Personally, I feel as though I have no authority to speak about an issue such as this. But we’ve been doing these "are tired of hearing" features for some time now, and we thought that because of Pride Month, we would be remiss not to talk about the things LGBT people are tired of hearing. The US-based Pew Research Center ranked the Philippines as one of the most "gay-friendly" countries in 2003, where 73% of adult FIlipinos agreed that that "homosexuality should be accepted by society."

However, there are still some who would argue that there remains a great divide between acceptance and tolerance, and what it means. So today, we try to look at things we may hear ourselves asking, and caution ourselves to be more tactful and kind. We won’t have the answers to these questions—and we’re not going to pretend that we do. But just seeing them on (digital) paper may make you stop your tongue before it comes out. You wouldn’t want your titas asking you pushy questions like this, why should you subject others to it? 


“Sayang ka!” (What a waste!)

To express that a person no longer has any value, or has become wasted because of their sexuality is a horrible thing to say, even when you’re doing it to make a joke. To say that a person is "sayang" even implies that they would have been right for you, except that they were gay. A person wants who they want, love who they want to love, and sometimes, it has absolutely nothing to do with you. 


“Ang hina naman niya! Parang bakla!” (What a weakling! He is acting like a gay man!)

This is a term we hear often and is degrading on many levels. To say someone "acts gay" is to reinforce certain expectations of them that you have no right to place, and or that to be gay is to be soft or weak. Being gay is not a weakness, and it’s not something you can break down into specific characteristics. 


“Hindi kaya…phase lang yan?” (Could it be just a phase?)

Nobody can judge what it is except the person who’s going through it. To dismiss someone’ sexuality as a momentary lapse, or something in passing is to dismiss them entirely. Yeah I know you had that experience in high school or whatever, but this is their life, not yours. To call it a phase is just insulting the other person’s emotional intelligence. 


“Lesbian ka? Bakit ‘di ka mukang tomboy?” (You're a lesbian? Why don't you look like one?)

To a country where our only image of lesbians are women who don short hair and men’s clothing, the concept of being a lesbian can still be confusing. But really, why judge a person for the way they dress? Wasn’t this already covered in Good Manners and Right Conduct class? 


“So sino yung lalaki/babae sa relationship?” (So which one is the guy/girl in this relationship?)

Every relationship is different. In a somewhat similar way that you don’t understand why your friend calls her boyfriend 'babycorn’, there are relationships that don’t have a traditional boy/girl dynamic. Shouldn’t we just be happy that the couple is happy, and together? 



What other questions and generalizations should we stop asking LGBTs? Let us know in the comments below. #RidethatPride on Lifestyle Network.


About Carla De Guzman
Carla de Guzman is the author of self-published books Cities, Marry Me Charlotte B! and We Go Together. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family by day. By night, she’s writer and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk. Follow her on Instagram (@somemidnights) for more!

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