I have heard, read and watched the word “transgender” many times in the past month than any time in my whole life. Thanks to Caitlyn Jenner FKA Bruce Jenner who brought the topic front and center. But just like my friend told me the other day while we were taking our daily walk, we had our Caitlyn Jenner way before this time. Yes we did. He was a heartthrob and his name was Rustom Padilla.
The word transgender didn’t enter our minds then. Many probably thought that he was just a man who wants to dress in women’s clothing. He transformed himself from a hunk whom men and women desired back in his hay days to someone barely anyone can recognize.
I had a chance of seeing him in person one early morning / late evening at a bar in Makati I believe. He was with Aga Mulach, Rachel Alejandro and other folks around 3:00 a.m. at Venetia bar. He was really handsome and totally charismatic.
Then, he joined Pinoy Big Brother where he revealed that he is gay. A few months later, he came out as Bb. Gandanghari. He may have been the brunt of jokes at that time but looking back now, he was just ahead of his time.
So, what gives? Right? Why would anyone choose to be a transgender? I have to say that I don’t fully understand it and I can say that from what I’ve read and what I’ve seen experts say, it’s a term described as “denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender.” Kung baga sa pag-iisip nila, hindi wasto ang nakikita nila sa nararamdaman nila. They believe in their heart of hearts that their physical sexual assignment is not aligned to what they feel and think.
Unang una, kudos to Bebe Gandanghari FKA Rustom Padilla for being so brave in facing the world to let them know who she really is! He may have faded into obscurity but people will remember her.
So, let’s fast forward to 2015. Caitlyn Jenner. She is now to subject of major news networks and major celebrity magazines. The public – whether they show it or not – is interested to find out how and why someone would choose to do this. I’m certain that when her docu-series airs this month, it will gain a record number of viewership.
Then, last Friday, same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states in the United States. As the leader of the free world, this is huge. It took a long time coming but when it finally came, the world rejoiced. Over 26 million people changed their profile photos on Facebook to rainbows after Facebook released the feature as people celebrated the ruling of the Supreme Court.
Then, somebody became an internet sensation overnight when she released “selfie” videos while she walks the streets of London and many times, sitting on her couch at home drinking white wine. Of course, she takes “selfie” videos in restaurants as well while she takes sips of wine, talking about celebrities and politicians from the Philippines. When I first saw one of her videos, she had a following of about 4 thousand followers. Today, she has almost 40 thousand followers on Facebook. Within weeks, she amassed new followers ten-fold! Her name? Maria Sofia Love.
I tried to figure out her appeal and charisma. It’s blatantly obvious that she doesn’t hide the fact that she is transgender. She is proud to be a transgender. She preaches love and peace. Of course, she’s half drunk most of the time but her message resounded with a lot of people. Her wit and sense of humor captured audiences worldwide. What I really love about her is her preaching. LOL. Yes, she preaches but when she does, it’s very subtle. You won’t even know that she is preaching because she says it with a smile. Hahaha! She advocates love not hate. She fights for the rights of animals. In jest, she talks about corrupt politicians and calls those who mistreats “bakulaws” into question like Tim Yap and the Valkyrie incident.
Why do I know she’s proud that she is transgender? She mentions “operada” in her videos. And lately, she posted a photo of herself as a young boy. Guwapito siya even as a child.
Ngayon, heto na siya:
With the ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States came jubilation among supporters of same-sex marriage. It was a strong indication that the LGBTQ community is being heard as far as its cries for equal rights. And the world applauded that. However, there are “Christians” out there who have used their “faith” to attack the ruling and the people who believe in equality. One person said to me, “because of this ruling, in the future blood brothers and sisters will be able to get married! They don’t know what this ruling did and how it is going to affect the world.”
I said, “What?” Nakakaloka siya! Saang lupalop ba siya nakatira? Kuweba?
Apparently, these “Christians” do not know what Christianity is about. And this is why I love Maria Sofia Love even more. She preaches LOVE. #NOHATE
From her videos, you will always hear her say, “We are all equal. We’re brothers and sisters. Love na lang guys, wala ng hate.”
I am a Christian too and I am gay. I had a hard time reconciling the two while I was growing up. But I came across a big revelation through the help of an Irish monk. I was able to understand that God loves me and everyone else for who and what they are. Since then, I’ve always gone by one rule. The greatest commandment that fulfills all laws. Jesus said it himself when asked, “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment?”
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets – Matthew 22:36-40.
Sa tingin ko, sundin ko lang ang dalawang commandments na ito, hindi ipagkakaila sa akin ni Lord ang langit. Why? If you love your neighbor as yourself, would you steal his goods? If you love God with all your heart, mind and soul, would you disrespect him? If you love your neighbor as yourself, would you kill? Just like it says, “On these two commandments HANG ALL THE LAW and the prophets. At sabi ni Maria Sofia Love, hindi dito ang hearing. “Sa langit ang hearing!” Hahahaha!
To Maria Sofia Love, keep doing what you do and keep advocating love and peace. (Maybe curb the drinking a little bit!) Your star is shining and people are watching. What you do can influence many followers. Use your gift wisely.