I'm voting for Ang Ladlad party-list  

Posted by Laya in ,

Just because I'm straight doesn't mean I'm not voting for Ang Ladlad party-list on Monday.

Logically, I should vote for a women's rights party-list. Or something. But, I figured, there are many women's and children's rights advocates in Congress already. On the other hand, there are no LGBT rights advocates.

This is a decision that crystallized, actually, long before the infamous Comelec decision on Ang Ladlad, and its subsequent overturn by the Supreme Court.

Credit it, in part, to BB Gandanghari. Yes, that BB Gandanghari and her “Be all that you can be” thing, when she tried to explain the death of heartthrob Rustom Padilla and the birth of BB Gandanghari. Assigned to write articles about her, I had to find a deeper understanding of the larger picture, the situation of the LGBTs, in order to do justice to her story. This article was one of the results, the reason why I can easily address a member of the LGBT sector by the gender he/she prefers, in BB's case, “she.”

When Comelec came out with their homophobic decision to disqualify Ang Ladlad as a party list, I was one of those who reacted in indignation. The memory of BB and Dee came back full-force: why deny them the representation they so badly need in Congress? If women's and children's rights groups had representation, why not the LGBTs? Even security guards could be granted representation, but not, it seemed, a much-maligned and misunderstood, often denigrated and overlooked, substantial sector of our society clearly in need of representation. Ang Ladlad did not disappoint me; they fought it out all the way to the highest tribunal in the land. When the Supreme Court decision came out, I cheered.

That does it, I said. That's the party-list I'm voting for. They want representation, they fought for it, they deserve to get it. Besides, I asked myself, in which other congress in the world do LGBTs have a voice in their own right? Perhaps this is the first. And I want to give them, if only for once, that victory.

BB, Dee, and all the LGBTs out there: This vote's for you.

This entry was posted at Friday, May 07, 2010 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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