Gays more accepted now, but biases still endure – Mariposa

  • March 20, 2017
  • Dominic I. Sanchez

By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY, March 15 (PIA) – Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) have now become more open about their sexuality as society has been more receptive compared to some 5-10 years ago.

Edwin Abu, an educator and president of Mariposa de Zamboanga, a local LGBT organization said that in the past years, LGBTs particularly gay men are heavily stereotyped and “confined in a box.”

“Five to 10 years ago if you are gay, you can only work in a beauty parlor,” shared Abu.

Engr. Ryan Despalo, also a member of Mariposa agreed. “People were very close-minded before.”

Both said that much has changed in recent times.

“Many LGBTs today are successful professionals. We can be nurses, doctors, engineers, youth leaders, you name it,” Abu said.  

However, given these positive developments, the stigma against gays is still there.

“There are still some who look at us negatively,” Abu said.

“I observe that many people have a negative first impression with me, but that impression changes when they get to know me and what I do,” Despalo said. Aside from being an engineer, Despalo is highly engaged in community work and anti-HIV-AIDS advocacy together with Despalo and Arman Mitra, a local youth leader.

“We want to show everyone that we are not just confined in beauty parlors. Of course, we still do beautiful things, but on a wider perspective. We have a social responsibility to the communities, and we share with them information that can help them in their lives, not only to LGBTs, but to the general public,” Abu explained.

Mariposa de Zamboanga has been working with the City Health Office in promoting awareness about HIV-AIDS, and more importantly, how it can be prevented.

Statistics from the Department of Health (DOH) show that the gay community has a high incidence of HIV infection.

“But we want to reiterate that males having sex with males or MSMs are not all generally gays. There are bisexuals who are not open about their sexuality, and there are those who engage in ‘transactional’ sex, who get paid,” Abu said. “MSM is a behavior, regardless of your sexual identity.”

“The best way to avoid infection is abstinence, this is what we always say to other LGBTs. You just have to be faithful, and be very careful,” Abu said. (ALT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)


Other News

PCSO’s Medical Assistance: A lifeline for 300K Filipinos
  • March 28, 2017
A visit to a corner of the Lung Center of the Philippines complex can be heart-breaking. Patients in various stages of critical illness wait in line to seek medical assistance. Without any capacity to pay for lifesaving and essential treatments, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is their only lifeline. A total of 319,091 Filipinos nationwide became beneficiaries of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)'s medical assistance program under the Duterte administration, a number which the agency expects to significantly increase this 2017, PCSO General Manager Alexan...Read more
DOLE issues implementing rules of new SPES law
  • March 28, 2017
MANILA, March 28 --  Department of Labor and Employment  Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III recently signed the  Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) or Department Order No. 175  of the Republic Act No. 10917 or the amended Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES), to streamline and effectively implement the program.   SPES is one of the Department of Labor and Employment’s youth employment-bridging programs which aims to provide beneficiaries with short-term job opportunities during summer and/or Christmas vacation or any time of the year to help them continue their ed...Read more
SSS eyes mandatory OFW coverage
  • March 28, 2017
QUEZON CITY, March 28 --  State-run Social Security System said it is seeking the help of lawmakers to implement the mandatory coverage of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) following its goal to expand its members’ coverage while providing security protection for the country’s new heroes.   SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel F. Dooc  in a statement said the shift to mandatory OFW coverage is one of the provisions of the proposed charter amendment the pension fund is pushing in the legislative stage.   “Our objective is not just to strengthen enforcement of ...Read more
Upland Farmers attend GAD Empowerment Sessions
  • March 28, 2017
SAN JOSE , Antique (PIA) - - Upland farmers in Barangay Igbucagay, Hamtic recently attended the Gender and Development Empowerment Sessions as they culminated their Farmer’s Field School (FFS) on Corn Production. “Women farmers are as good and diligent as their men counterpart and more than 50 percent of the FFS participants are women, thus GAD empowerment sessions is really apt for them,” said Agricultural Technologist Rylan Mabaquiao of LGU Hamtic. More than the empowerment they learned from the session, it is also an affirmation of their vital role in farming and food security i...Read more