I don’t really watch TV on a regular and I did not see this incident on the actual day it was aired, but that does not mean I did not get offended by this new segment on local noontime TV show Eat Bulaga called “Problem Solving.”
In this particular episode, a husband and a father of 3 tells Eat Bulaga’s hosts about his situation: He is a gay man with a wife and children. He asked the hosts for advice on what he should do so that his children would not get discriminated because of his identity. (PODCAST: Coming out, parents, and kids)
I cannot even start writing about all the offensive remarks he received.
I am a lesbian mom, and I was greatly affected by what I heard from the hosts. I wrote this open letter to Eat Bulaga to hopefully get my point across:
Dear Eat Bulaga,
I am Cha, a single lesbian mom to an 11-year-old daughter.
I’ve seen the video of your segment “Dabarkads na beki, may asawa at tatlong anak (Gay Eat Bulaga friend is married with 3 children)“ and I was appalled at how you handled the situation.
How you suggested that this guy should go back to the closet so his kids won’t be discriminated is like saying that homosexuality is a sin. You made it appear like homosexuality is a disease and that he should keep it from his kids so as not to “infect” them with it. I feel sad for the guy for trusting you with what he is going through only to be treated that way.
It was an immature and uneducated move. Eat Bulaga is an institution, you have millions of followers spanning the whole Philippines. Needless to say, the personalities in your show are influential. You even have a senator blatantly telling this guy to go back to the closet. Don’t you have gay or lesbian colleagues or staff in your show? What if the participant was a lesbian mom? Would you ask her to go back to the closet as well? Would you say the same to Aiza Seguerra if she were in the situation?
I am a lesbian mom and I chose not to hide in the closet because I love my kid. I don’t think she deserves to be lied to, and lying to her about who I am is the biggest betrayal. You don’t hide secrets from the people you love – more so your identity.
It is shows like yours and opinions like those that was expressed in your show that encourage the bullying of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people and their families.
It is unfair for my child to get bullied because of who I am. The way I raised her equipped her with with the strength to face the world bravely. It is unfair for people (like you) to judge my child not for who she is, not for how she excels in school, not for her craft but for who her mom is. This is why I chose to come out of the closet and fight for our rights.
We (LGBT people) do not want to hide. We want to be accepted, and acceptance is different from tolerance. It is not okay that you are only okay with us if we keep quiet. It is not okay that you coexist with us just as long as we don’t complain about how we are treated.
You are not in the position to tell this guy, “bumalik sa closet” (return to the closet) or “bakit kasi nag-asa-asawa?” (Why did you get married?) or to threaten to hurt him (jokingly).
You are promoting a culture of hate. You are telling the world that it is okay to beat up gays to turn them “manly.” You are telling the world that the only key to being accepted is to hide who you truly are.
We have the right to our choices. We know who we are and you don’t have the right to tell us to be otherwise.
Judging from all the things you said here, I say I better make my child stay away from your show. I feel more secure with my kid hanging out with my gay and lesbian friends. I am more secure that she will get valuable life lessons from them and not learn rubbish.
This incident just proved once again how homosexuality is far more clean than Eat Bulaga and its hosts’ opinions will ever be. – Rappler.com
Cha Roque is a literary writer, filmmaker, and video instructor. She is a council member of Dakila Collective for Modern Heroism, a collective of artists and individuals who believe in the power of art to inspire social change. She is also a proud lesbian mom to her 11-year-old daughter, Kelsey.