Homophobia and the case of Boy Abunda
REMOTE CONTROL | DANTON REMOTO
Posted at 06/08/2010 12:17 AM | Updated as of 06/08/2010 12:17 AM
Ang Ladlad -- the national organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Filipinos -- wants to express its alarm over the quality of the debate and discourse regarding Mr. Boy Abunda and the alleged offer for him to become Secretary of the Department of Tourism.
Mr. Abunda -- who is a close friend and ally of the Philippine LGBT movement -- does not deserve the vilification being done to him in print, online and in conversations going on around town. President-apparent Benigno C. Aquino III allegedly wanted Mr. Abunda to be the DOT Secretary to help market the Philippines and its luxuriant tourism potentials to a global audience.
Obviously, some people whose eyes are dead-set on the position have begun to orchestrate a vile and malicious campaign against Mr. Abunda. They questioned his academic preparation, his training and even his job, calling him a "mere entertainer. " This, Mr. Abunda has ignored, letting them slide like water down his back. But when the attacks became personal -- that he is a "mere homosexual," "that where is the Philippines going -- from republican to democratic to pederasyon ng mga bading" -- it is time for Ang Ladlad to make a clear and strong statement.
Thus, in the month of June -- the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month -- Ang Ladlad would like to serve notice that debates and discourse on a person's qualifications for any job in government should be focused on the professional and not the personal. One's sexual orientation and sexual identity have nothing to do with one's qualifications for the job at hand. Those who stoop down to this level are obviously threatened by Mr. Abunda's appointment.
He has said he is inclined to decline the appointment, and pointedly added that those who want the job can now sleep better. Thus, it is time for the gay-bashing to stop -- now, and in the future, if and when Boy Abunda would have changed his mind and accept an appointment as the first openly gay member of an Aquino Cabinet.
And we are certain that the incoming Aquino administration will give no space to homophobia in its governance standing on the strong legs of change and national renewal.
This statement was signed by our new Chairperson, Ms Bemz Benedito, and myself as the Chairman Emeritus.