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Pinoy LGBTs must address the discrimination within their community

Earlier today, thousands of Filipino LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders) trooped to Marikina City for the annual pride march. As always, the organizers and participants touched on familiar themes of love, equality, and togetherness. Standing up and going out there to promote a cause is always a good thing, so I wanna say thanks to everyone who came.

Nevertheless, once the fanciful celebration is over, the hard reality is bound to stare back right into the faces of everyone within the LGBT community: It makes it harder for them to ask others to treat us without discrimination when they themselves perpetuate a hierarchy within the community.

For example, the over-glorification of muscular gay men on one hand and persistent shaming of fat and effeminate gays should stop. It’s as if having good abs makes gays more worthy of respect.

Last year, a study by social psychologists Olivia Foster-Gimbel and Renee Engeln published a study for the journal “Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity” where they concluded that as much as one-third of their respondents reported directly experiencing antifat bias from fellow gay men. The most common type of antifat bias they noted was rejection by potential romantic partners on the basis of weight.

Metro Manila Pride March 2017

Thousands attended the LGBT Pride March in Marikina City this June 24 (Credits: Regie Pasion)

Another common victim of this exclusion and marginalization within the LGBT community are the effeminate gays, cross-dressers, and transgenders. For instance, on social media, it is not hard to see users who say they prefer “straight-acting” ones over “effems.”

Nico Lang of The Daily Beast argued that these attitudes are rooted in misoginy and in hating things associated with femininity.  “This cycle of insecurity sets a nearly impossible beauty standard and sends a toxic message to queer men: If you don’t look a certain way, you don’t deserve to be accepted and loved,” he wrote.

Lest it be misunderstood, this article does is not against the #Pride2017 march. It’s a noteworthy endeavor. However, the glitz and glamour of #Pride2017 shouldn’t give LGBT Pinoys a false sense of equality and togetherness within their community.

That’s still far from being reality. Ending lingering discrimination among themselves would help a lot in achieving that goal.

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