Monday, November 23, 2009

Gay Guy in Seminary Day 099 (Bakla)

Super crazy busy day (if anyone is curious about today's subtitle, I'll be getting to it in a minute) Went to Church History, which was unfortunate. Not really into history, but I think you all know that by now. I had breakfast at the Sunflower Cafe, as per usual for Monday morning. I had the eggs florentine, which was really good.

It was 11:00 by the time I finished eating. Although I normally stay until it's time for Intro to Ministry, I decided to get some new tires in anticipation for the drive back home. $530.00 later, I was at the bead shop to pass some time as I waited for them to put the tires on. Went to Gameplace, the local gaming store, thanks Ian, and bought some Magic booster packs for the thrill of it because it's been so long since I've done that. Wouldn't you know, I opened a $15.00 card in the second pack! Sweet!!! Now I just have to figure out how to sell it on ebay...

Got the car back, went to class, you know my other favorite class. Then had dinner with Faith, turned the beads into bracelets, did a butt load of dishes, then learned about bakla.

Bakla, to put it in simple recognizable terms, if the Filipino word for "gay". Tom and Faith had informed me that they were going to have a "gay Filipino" speaker in their Cultural Psychology and I thought to myself, "How many times am I going to get a chance to listen to a gay Filipino speaker in a seminary class?" So, I went. This is the video that he showed us to start the lecture:
Fun, huh? He started talking about Filipino culture and I learned all kinds of things that I am ashamed to say that I knew nothing about. Apparently, there's this Filipino concept of the essence of a person being on the inside, and the outside of a person being more amorphous, something you can play around with. Basically, until very recently, there hasn't been a concept of "gay" in the Philippines. Instead, you had the convention of the "bakla" who is someone who has the heart of a woman, but is physically male. It is an idea that persists in the culture to this day, even as Western gay culture has been on the rise. "Bakla" is almost like a third gender, but a man who is "bakla" is essentially seen as female. Because of that, their partners are inevitably straight men. Or, what people in the Filipino culture would consider straight men. It's all very convoluted when you look at it from a Western perspective, and I know I have a lot more to learn about it.

He also showed a video clip of 5 bakla men working as caregivers in Israel. They were supposed to do a drag show at a gay club, but the person in charge of entertainment dressed them up as geisha's instead and had them bowing at people as they entered the club. They were so shocked at what they were expected to do, they had no idea how to react and ended up just going along with it. It was one of the most racist things I had ever seen in my whole life, and the fact that it was perpetrated by a gay Jew makes it even more shocking. Just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach. As imperfect as life in the United States is, it's things like that that remind me of how lucky I am to have been born in Southern California. SoCal rules! NorCal is just jealous!!! I have to do my part to perpetuate the rivalry between Northern and Southern California, even though people in SoCal HAVE NO FRIGGIN' CLUE THAT THE RIVALRY EXISTS!!!!! But, that is a blog for another time...


  1. So Cal thinks No Cal has some personal problems. Is it really a "rivalry", if No Cal is in the thing all by themselves? Sounds like No Cal is just jealous. :-P

  2. NorCal thinks it's a rivalry, so I'm not really sure what to call it, LOL.