Gandanghari si BB!, Or, the butterfly emerges.  

Posted by Laya in ,

Over the weekend, the world of Philippine showbiz and showbiz lovers has been abuzz. He came home, but he was a she, and she said he was dead. “Rustom Padilla is dead, long live BB”, headlines and blogs proclaimed.

Starting at his, excuse me, her arrival at NAIA Friday noon, the erstwhile Rustom Padilla, who is now "BB Gandanghari" has been on the airwaves. Startalk on Saturday, The Buzz on Sunday. Whew. And all the questions are the same: "Why do you say that you are now BB?" "Did you undergo a sex change?" "Does this mean you now have a boyfriend?"
\Sometimes, too, the questions were about Rustom Padilla's past, to which the answers were always the same-- "That was Rustom's past, not mine. How many times do I have to tell you, Rustom is dead. I am BB." Lolit Solis persisted in this vein of questioning to some degree, and was finally told "Ang kulit ni Manay Lolit... Nakukulitan na talaga ako kay Manay Lolit, ha. (Manay Lolit is so importunate... I am beginning to be annoyed with Manay Lolit.)" To which Joey de Leon quipped, "Paano kasi si Manay Lolit, walang sex yan. (Well, that's because Manay Lolit, she has no sex.)" (Take that at face value or a double entendre, haha.)

Reading over the coverage of the BB Gandanghari thing, looks like people are pretty much divided. Some laud her for having the courage to "be herself"; others put her down by saying that she looks ridiculous because no matter what she does, she will still just be a gay and not a woman. Still others ask what's with the BB thing? Why did she have to say that Rustom was dead and BB was alive? Isn't she one and the same person?

What does it matter, if she is gay and "not a real woman"? What looks ridiculous to some may not be so for others. (From this infer that I am in the "be yourself" category.) She is in the process of discovering what it is like to be herself... she did say that as long as she didn't do anything to hurt others, she believed she wasn't doing anything wrong. Gays don't choose to be gays; they are what they are. Why should we force them into molds that they do not fit? If she were, like, a doctor who realized she was happier as a fashion model than as a healer, or a singer who realized she liked teaching more than performing, we would probably be nodding and saying "follow your heart" or some such thing. Instead, because she is a boy who realizes that she is a girl inside, people get mad when she chooses to show what she really is as opposed to bottling it up within.

In the process of reinventing herself, perhaps BB needed to view her former persona as a separate entity. (It happens, I know it does.) Thus the insistence on Rustom being dead and BB being alive. But, be careful, BB... that smacks of MPD (multiple personality disorder), more commonly known as having a "split personality". Although two more different persons than Rustom and BB I can hardly find, and me a fan since Rustom entered showbiz in my high school days. (Yes, I watched "Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko (I Wish I had Two Hearts)" and "Maruja", and I was one of those who thought Carmina and Rustom were just right for each other, both being upcoming young stars at that time.)

We shouldn't view her as a sideshow, or worse, a comic relief, laugh at the man who thinks he's a woman. "The lucky people are those who don't question anything," to paraphrase Olivia Goldsmith in "Fashionably Late". Perhaps some people may go through life not ever asking who they are and what they're supposed to be, but some do, and the process is often painful because there are never any pre-formulated answers. The least we can do is respect their feelings about it and not ridicule them just because they don't conform to what society thinks they should be. Don't you ever think that it might be hard for them to find their own identities? Yes, it takes guts to be yourself. And don't ever let anybody convince you otherwise.

What struck me, though, was that people automatically referred to BB as "she" and "her" without being awkward about it. Even the guards at the airport called her "ma'am", she said. Hmmm. What does that say about what she is? Looks like people think of her as female, anyway.

Basta, go lang, BB!

Nota Bene: Dyan dya raan!!! I found BB's Facebook (BeBe Gandanghari), Friendster (http://profiles.friendster.com/bbislove), and e-mail (bebe(dot)gandanghari(at)gmail(dot)com)!

This entry was posted at Tuesday, January 20, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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