God knows how many gay people I have in my posse. Needless to say, I have always had high respect for people who have gotten out of the closet to be true to themselves and to others. But I can only sympathize with those who find it hard to come to terms with their sexuality. The Philippines is laden with misguided moralists and homophobes who blame whatever misfortune that befall on their families on their gay family members. Talk about miseducation.
As my college history professor said, the hardest thing to change in people is the mentality. The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders while the World Health Organization reclassified it from being a mental illness to ego-dystonic homosexuality. But people still pray that gay guys and girls will get well!!! Why, one actress even gave a testimony in her church about how their family was happy when her cousin recovered from homosexuality! And this lady graduated from UP for crying out loud. Well, I do know a lot of chauvinist and homophobic UP alumni.
Anyway, the senate hearings have hinted that there is (was?) a special friendship between former NEDA chair Romulo Neri and former Philforest president and ZTE scandal whistleblower Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr. Former COMELEC Chair Benjamin Abalos also speculated on what kind of relationship the two had. Now Senator Jamby Madrigal threatened to expose Neri’s personal secrets. Could there be a homosexual undertone in all these?
Regardless of whether Neri’s gay or not, no one has the right to condemn him or even maliciously high-hat him because of it. Whatever happened to human rights? Are they a special provision for extrajudicial killing victims? Why am I not surprised? This world, after all, is heavily tinted with the glass of double standards.
Which leads me to wonder, could this be Malacañang’s hold over Neri? When there’s smoke, there’s fire but please spare me the drama. Spare the Filipinos the theatrics and the hystrionics that this gut-wrenching soap opera has spewed on a daily basis. We need to know the truth but can’t we have another Clarissa Ocampo or Emma Lim? And please, don’t let one’s sexual orientation and preference get the spotlight.