Call for Fair Play: Pressing for gender rights

FEU Advocate
July 29, 2016 18:39

With or without a megaphone, the message is clear: The members of the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Quarry, and Intersex) appeal for only two things from society - respect and acceptance.

The Pride March might have ended sometime ago, but their battle still continues inside the Green and Gold land. Far Eastern University (FEU) is an advocate of great causes and one of its primary pursuits is creating an accepting and gender-sensitive environment. Some members of the Tamaraw community are proudly part of the growing circle of the LGBTQI, religiously fighting for the liberties of those who belong to the third sex and striving to give them equaled service.

Blast of discrimination

Illogical criticism and crude judgment are just a few roadblocks in the lives of the LGBTQI community. Even though the world sings 'love wins,' standing on a different spectrum puts the LGBTQI in the bull's-eye for judging glares, insensitive remarks, and improper treatment.

Mula sa pagtingin ng mga tao kapag nagsi-CR [comfort room] ka, minsan hindi ka lang titignan, pariringgan ka pa. Kapag mag-ma-mall naman ako, susundan ako ng mga nagtitinda at tatawag-tawagin ako ng ‘sir’ dahil nag-cross-dress ako (From the stares you get from people when you go the comfort room. Sometimes you just won’t just get stared at, you’ll even hear them talk about you. When I go to the mall, a salesperson would follow me around and would call me ‘sir’ because I cross-dressed),” shared Francis Ann Mijares, 3rd year Communication Student.

For some LGBTQI, being boxed in the norms of society and being condemned for being 'different' is not an easy pill to swallow.

Marami kasing may hindi tanggap [sa sexuality namin], may binabastos. [Siguro dahil] religious ‘yung iba, naniniwala na babae at lalaki lang ang gender sa mundo. Marami talagang naiilang sa’min, dahil nga iniisip ng ibang tao na masama intensyon namin (Many people do not accept our sexuality, others get disrespected. Maybe because others are religious. There are several people who are awkward around us, because they think we have bad intentions),” 3rd year Architecture student, Carl Michael Ilan explained.

Another Tamaraw, Reynald Galicia, an incoming 4th year Business Management student, divulged that the "judgmental" society he lives in used to shake his self-esteem and self-worth.

"There were times that I consider myself as an abnormal because I had strange feeling, that was the time where I felt confused with my gender orientation. People always say that gays [LGBTQI] are the cancer of the society, but to tell you the truth, we are not, never have been, and never will be," Galicia remarked.

May it be in words or actions, some people's lack of sensitivity and regard cause immense pain and emotional injury to those who belong to the rainbow lane. But despite this, these brave warriors continue to tighten their grip on their quilt of identity.

Bottling it up

It is not only in the bigger community that the LGBTQI members are being boxed, even inside their family frames they are fenced in.

A 3rd year Communication student, who requested for anonymity, confessed, “One time sinabi sa’kin ni papa na 'pag nalaman niyang ganito ako, hindi niya na ako pag-aaralin. Kaya pinili ko na lang na manahimik kesa naman hindi makapag-aral (One time my father told me if he finds out that I’m part of the LGBT group, he won’t finance my education. So instead of not being able to go to school, I chose to keep quiet)."

There are still gray areas in society that have not allowed all the colors of the rainbow to shine. But there are homes who have completely opened their doors to the LGBTQI.

Kenneth Mendoza, 4th Legal Management student, shared "My parents understand that their children's sucess is not based on their gender because we're a traditional family that is open for changes in our society."

Being comfortable with one's identity and sexuality can come as a challenge for some. But having a support system and an accepting environment would give the LGBTQI an easier march.
Ring of acceptance

Anyone can find solace in the luscious and accepting arms of the Land of the Green and Gold as more and more students learn to welcome the members of the LGBTQI.

To grant them adequate freedom, the LGBTQI members are allowed to cross-dress, to choose an alias, and even use the rest room of their orientation inside the realm of the Tamaraws.

"One thing na dapat nila [others] isaulo para mapatupad ang gender equality ay freedom. Let them be who they want to be, hayaan natin sila, hayaan natin by means of positive vibes. [We should] be happy because they are happy, sa ganong paraan, maganda ang vibes, walang hate, walang discrimination (One thing others should keep in mind to achieve gender equality is freedom. Allow them to be who they want to be. Let us give them freedom by means of spreading positive vibes. We should be happy because they are happy, in that way, there is no hate and discrimination),” pointed out John Edward Romina, 3rd year BS Architecture.

It is not only through gender-sensitive policies is equality of the sexes achieved; it is also through the open-minded actions and upright treatment of the majority of the student body. Being sensitive to their feelings is one way to give them their most coveted whim - to live a life of normalcy.

Kimmy Sotto, a 3rd year Medical Technology student, explained, "We should start within ourselves. I'll try to put myself in their shoes. Kasi ako, ayoko rin na ma-discriminate ako so why would I discriminate others kung alam nating masasaktan sila (I don’t like getting discriminated so why would I discriminate others if we know too well how they would feel)."

Big things start from little ones and as for the Green and Gold territory, inch by inch, they will strive to see a majestic rainbow on the other side of the land.

- Allyson Nichole S. Honra