If you’re a queer person and have been on Twitter long enough (ugh), you will notice there’s a commonality to the cycle of cancellations happening online. A few days ago, a gay man was canceled for leaking sex videos without consent from his one-night stand. Just before that, some gays were mocking the new owner of the Miss Universe Organization, Thai trans woman Anne Jakrajutatip –– the transphobia was alarming, but not surprising, as a number of gay guys also questioned the inclusion of trans women in the competition. And just around the start of the year, a wannabe influencer whined about femme gay guys pretending to be masc on social media, then used the “respect diverse opinions” card when people began to rally against him.
What is wrong with us gays?
I understand that the loudest among us are not necessarily representative of the whole population. But as a gay man, I am ashamed that the noisiest queers are often the most problematic gays. I actually wonder why the community hasn’t decided yet to officially distance themselves from us, since our toxic behavior online may be setting back queer rights for everyone in the country (Yes I know, it’s largely the fault of zealots and bigots like Eddie Villanueva, but damn it –– our main character delusions aren’t helping the cause.)
Frankly, I think it’s time we hand over leadership to the lesbians. Allow me to make my case, as it’s Women’s Month after all: when was the last time a lesbian threw the Filipino queer community under the bus? Can you think of an instance when lesbians got canceled online for being stark-raving mad POS?
In a 2020 research by the UN Development Programme with Galang Philippines, we discovered that Filipino lesbians (together with bisexual and transgender women) experience economic insecurity, and are predominantly found in low-wage, precarious jobs with short-term contracts. Their dismal situation makes them more vulnerable to predatory loan systems with usurious rates (such as the five-six system), while also being shoehorned into stereotypically masculine jobs –– surely you’ve heard of the running gay joke, “Lady Ga-guard”.
Adding to that, can we talk about how gay misogyny has targeted lesbians too? We gay guys casually make fun of female genitalia, trying to affirm our gayness by painting vaginas as the most disgusting thing to look at or even come close to.
Not only do lesbians have to contend with bigotry and queerphobia from the outside, but they also are cruelly ostracized within the community.
Through it all, Filipino lesbians seem to be generally chill about it, like Stoic masters recognizing the situation and rising above everything. A cursory look at the social media platforms of popular lesbian influencers reveals how vastly unproblematic they are compared to the gays: they’re financial advisors, business owners, teachers, tech enthusiasts. And then there’s also cute lesbian couples sharing their day-in-the-life videos on Tiktok. Rarely will you see a lesbian dropping the nth shitty take for the sake of stirring the pot and greedily scraping the barrel-bottom for clout and attention.
If we are to win against the patriarchy and all the cis-het machismo, it’s about time we sincerely consider restrategizing as a community and letting the lesbians lead. Think about it: what’s scarier to a cis-het man in power than an empowered lesbian who will never, ever need to ally themselves with them the way a gay man will thirstily do?
Cower in fear, cis-het male bigots: the lesbians are immune to your dick swinging.