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Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men In The Diaspora

by Martin F. Manalansan
by

Hannah Wallace

on 17 March 2011

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Transcript of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men In The Diaspora

Baklas view coming out as a silly American/Western practice
Silence is as much a part of the culture as performance is
Baklas find American gays as vulgar
Homosexuality is something to wear, not vocalize Global Divas:
Filipino Gay Men
In the Diaspora Chapter 1 Purpose and Argument “This book is an ethnographic study of how Filipino gay men, most of whom are immigrants or long-time residents, negotiate between hegemonic American/Western and Filipino/Southeast Asian sexual/gender ideologies.” -Manalansan IV "Coming out" as Bakla or Gay &
Differences Between the Two Tagalog umbrella term for gay, transgendered, or simply effeminate
Bakla = Tagalog word for woman (babea) + man (lalaki) = hermaphrodite
Suggests effeminate mannerisms, characteristics, and cross-dressing
Pusong Babae – heart of a woman (looking for real, straight men) Arturo Bakla Rarely have sex with each other
“eating ones own flesh”, “bronze”, “lesbians”
Masculine baklas are not considered real
Baklas have sex with straight men
80% of working or lower class men have been involved with a bakla prostitute (Whitam) Coming Out Chapter 2 Swardspeak
Gay Filipino dialect Biuty and Drama
How they deal with displacement
Swardspeak demonstreates immigrant queer life Chapter 3 Gay life in New York
How it demarcates race, class and gender
Gay Filipino life in NYC
View of gay urban landscape in modern scoiety Chapter 4
The Biyuti and Drama of Everyday Life Why should I care? Studying the daily, routine lives of immigrant men of color is where you really learn how they engage with their status and search for identity.
Everyday Filipino Gay life
Race/class/social relationships/religion/family – differences and exclusion Manalansan says, “Filipino gay men are gendered feminine because of their race,” (187) and they [Bakla] consider themselves to have the heart of women, i.e. to be hermaphroditic. Considering how vastly different this perspective is from our own, what bearing do you think this has on the nature vs. nurture argument? What do you think about throwing these terms, which we consider distinct – gay, transgender, transvestite, hermaphrodite – under the single umbrella of “bakla?” What does that say about the differences between Western and Eastern society? Meet Alden Middle-aged Filipino gay man living in an apartment in Greenwich Village.
His apartment has two sides:
One wall has an Herb Ritts poster of a naked man.
The other wall is a shrine of family photographs and religious images and statues.
Alden affectionately refers to this as his “guilt corner” or “Filipino corner.” Forty-year-old Filipino gay man living in Queens
Cross-dresses on weekends
Puts on a suit and tie for work in the office on weekdays.
“Nobody would guess who is under this suit and tie.” Meet Roldan Relationship Status Chapter 5:
The Pageantry of Identities Why should I care? Cross-dressing is a way to redefine identities. This is a space for marking and articulating difference, and an attempt to mimic real women. The Santacruzan Traditional Catholic celebration in the Philippines, with a procession that reenacts the discovery of Christ’s cross.
A pageant of Philippine history.
Important social practice, especially for immigrants, who use this celebration to confirm and strengthen their social identities.
Here, cross-dressing for the pageant is a form of nostalgia for the homeland.
The Santacruzan is part of a Filipino gay man’s invisible baggage. The family is the strongest tie, the most enduring tie.
“Friends with benefits” are rare.
Lovers are highly sexualized.
Class, social ranking and religion are big influences in the relationships that Filipino gay men create. Bakla don’t think it’s necessary - and even find it vulgar - to “come out.” Do you think the ritual of coming out is a vital practice in the life of a gay person? The equation of women to suffering is intrinsic to the Filipino culture. What do you think about the fact that many bakla suffering from AIDS and HIV use their disease, or suffering, as an affirmation of their femininity? Do you think this attitude detracts from the severity of the issue? Do you think the fact that this ideology helps these women cope with their disease justifies the association between women and pain? Do all clouds have a silver lining? Chapter 6 Tita Aida: Intimate Geographies of Suffering
“Filipinos have the highest number of cases of AIDS among Asians and Pacific Islanders.” (Manalansan, 156)
Deterritorializing, Reterritorializing and the Importance of Family
The Discourse of Tita Aida and the Feminization of the Disease “Sometimes, even after trying to fit in with other gays here, you need to show that you are different. One has a different drama.” Conclusion AIDS and the Everyday:
Tools Gay Filipino Men use to Combat the Disease
1. Religion
2. Gossip
3. Humor Murriah Carrey crayola karir/career kape/cappucino/coffeemate Pochontas Fillet O'Fish Jesus Christ Superstar/Optimus Prime Oprah Winfrey Barbra Streisand
Full transcript