Gays are accepted in the Philippines. Although gays may be discriminated, I believe that this is not like the discrimination practiced in other countries. Gays are discriminated in this country in that they are pigeonholed to careers society believe is ONLY suitable for gays, e.g. the beauty and hairstyling businesses etc. But gays have begun to be aware of their rights.
Gays work with, stand for basic human values and go to school with non-gays. I am not inclined to use the word “Straight” for non-gays since that would imply gays are “crooked”. Gays are not crooked. It is more likely that there are gay crooks and non-gay crooks and being crooked has no relation to sexual orientation at all.
Perhaps the most recent test of gay tolerance among the non-gay population (at least the movie watching kind) is to watch “Brokeback Mountain”. At the cinema, I noticed that there are few men or women watching the movie alone. Most men came with the wives or girlfriends and the women came with other women friends. Some movie reviewers have written that men would rather sit through the movie rather than appear like a troglodyte to the women in their lives. I couldn’t take the risk. I had to see the movie with a lady and I took extra effort not to sound like a troglodyte! And the women? I am not a woman but perhaps, women are wondering if the what they feel for a man is what gays feel for another man. Non-gays may not completely understand because society has stereotyped gays.
So “Brokeback Mountain” is a good eye and heart opener. But there is nothing in the movie that is offensive. I heard a woman in the ticket queue say that “she expected something that is seen in gay porn”. The same woman rode the escalator down two hours later disappointed. There is nothing offensive in the movie. The movie presents that gays can get heartbroken and the worse thing is that this heartbreak has no way out.
I have heard men and women who saw the movie coin the words “Brokebackla Mountain”. We still find it hard to cast away stereotypes. The truth is whether one is non-gay or gay, you may experience your own “Brokeback Mountain”. And many of us do.