Thursday, May 27, 2010
Tumba Lata: Ang mas interes ko pa gay politics sa Manila. Do you even want to talk about it?
Anna Leah: Which gay politics you want to talk about, ang mga intrigahan ng mga lesbiana sa Manila? [Laughter]
Maria: Ang question ko ay, exciting ba ang sex life ninyo?
TL: Meron ba?
Anna Leah: That depends on your partner. What’s the difference, ba.
Maria: Kasi, alam mo na that you’re lesbians di ba, so… tapos di ba lesbians are such a small group in Philippine society, di ba, kaya mas may choice kayo ng sexual partners, di ba?
Anna Leah: No. Iyon ba’ng iniisip mo?
Maria: Ini-imagine ko lang naman iyon. Hindi rin totoo? Hindi automatically exciting?
Anna Leah: No! There’s nothing automatic about sex no matter what your sexual orientation is!
Anna Maria: It’s much more difficult nga e kung lesbiana ka kasi hindi mo alam. Kung alam mo naman, 95 percent tago, o kung hindi naman tago, merong pang okay, but we cannot do this, we cannot do that. It’s tiring. And then there’s the role playing.
Maria: Meron role-playing?
Anna Leah: More! Ako, I cannot accept this kasi galing ako sa feminist movement. Playing boy and playing girl and all of that na it’s kind of ridiculous na.
TL: Yeah. Kasi na-raise sa heterosexual mold. I hate it.
Anna Leah: Ya. In one place I went to, sa New Zealand ba yun o sa Sydney, kasi may isang grupo diyan na mga Pinay lesbians. They are more open dun, pero they have this role-playing! They’re so old-fashioned. May butches, may femmes, tapos ang tingin nila, yung butch girlfriends lang nila ang lesbian, kung ikaw ang femme, ikaw lang ang maganda.
TL: Ya. Napaka-heterosexual. My gosh, kaya ka nga naging lesbian eh…
Maria: Akala ko wala na yang ganun.
Anna Leah: In the olden time! I’m talking about the olden time! It was like that eh. They’re so old-fashioned.
Sheilfa: Ya. And so ignorant.
TL: Dito sa Dabaw ganyan. Yung mga girlfirend ng mga taga-Link, halimbawa, tingin nila sa sarili nila hindi sila lesbian, normal sila, yung butch boypren ang lesbian.
Maria: Bakit ang anak ko gay, dalawa silang magan... dalawa silang pogi. Pag tinatanong ko sinong lalaki sa kanila, wala raw.
Anna Leah: Ya. Sa younger set iyan. Sa old-style hindi ganyan. But those who grew up sa feminist at post-feminist period, siyempre, hindi na ganyan.
Sheilfa: Meron ding parehong lesbians. Pero…
Maria: So you can be natural about it na?
Anna Leah: Oo, you can dress in whatever way you like with all the affects. But a lot are still like that. Majority of young lesbians are still like that. In so many ways they are still very conservative. Because they love to go to church, they feel guilty of whatever it is they're doing, they think they have this long litany of sins to confess… I mean, what’s this!!! To think they’re supposed to be younger than us, ha. [Laughter] But you see, some of them are in the Charismatic! Some are born-again!
Sheilfa: That’s true.
Anna Leah: Majority, 95 percent of young lesbians are still like that. Pero yung mga nakapunta na sa Amerika, siyempe hindi ganun.
Maria: Mas matatag na?
Anna Leah: Not necessarily. Most of them still cannot do what they really have to do. Sa mga iilang quarters lang, only inside the women’s movements. But not outside.
Maria: Can you also say that of yourselves? You cannot go outside? [to TL] Ikaw, kaya mo?
TL: Ako kaya ko, pero kung ang partner ko ayaw, mahirap iyon. You cannot be.
Anna Leah: Ya. If your partner can’t, it cannot be.
Maria: You see? Sabagay anak ko, iyan din problema nila ng partner niya eh. Sabi nga niya, siguro antayin lang kung magkaroon na ng stable na hanapbuhay…
Anna Leah: Ya, that’s one thing I realized. When I saw the… iyong first exposure ko kasi sa lesbian life, sa Regumi, it was in a way self-sufficient. Sa Tokyo in Japan, Regumi Studio.
TL: Ha? Ano yun?
Anna Leah: Re-gu-mi. I don’t know what gumi means anymore but the Re there stands for resbians.
TL: Really? Regumi Studio?
Anna Leah: That doesn’t exist anymore. They were about my age or a little younger. Mga artists, writers, at the time some were students pa, kaya they somehow had their own means of earning money, so even if they were living with their parents, if they had to leave they could leave.
Maria: That’s not only for lesbians, that’s for any body who wants to stand in their own feet and raise their fists and make an opinion.
Anna Leah: In any society where the family is very dominant. That’s the reason why there’s a small percentage of migrant workers who are not poor but still want to leave the country. Their reason for leaving is not economic. They are constricted in a society where the family is very dominant.
Maria: Pero alam mo, Anna, iyong pinagdaanan natin, tayo na nakipaghiwalay, thinking back? Ang hirap! I shut everyone off in my family. I never got their support! Not that I minded. But I don’t know why naman…
Anna Leah: They’re worried because they’re thinking of what will people say.
Maria: Ya. And not only that but also what will happen to your life now.
Anna Leah: Ya. Ako kasi, I felt as a parent. Among parents of gays and lesbians that’s very strong.
Maria: Ako ganyan din. When I learned that my son was gay, I said it’s my fault, I made mistakes in the decisions that I made. I failed as a parent. Sabi ng anak ko, ‘Ma, huwag mo naman agawin sa ken ang eksena, ako ang dumadaan nito…’ [Laughter] That really put me in my place!
Anna Leah: Ako naman yung guilt ko as a separated mother. Did I become so self-indulgent sa sarili kong mga problema kung kaya hindi ko na naasikaso mga anak ko.
Maria: Ya. Sa mga decisions na ginawa natin. Bumabalik talaga sa atin iyan, no.
Anna Leah: We tried our best! That’s all we could do!
Maria: Pero kung hindi natin ginawa yung mga ginawa natin, baka patay na rin tayo. If not physically, baka spiritually!
Anna Leah: Oo. The thing is, to do something more. What else could I do now?
Maria: Pero ikaw, nung nakipaghiwalay ka, it was not because lesbian ka?
Anna Leah: No! I discovered that I was lesbian later on na. Pero siyempre para [sa ex-husband ko], it was my fault. Siyempre i-justify niya, kahit pa at the time may anak na siya [sa ibang babae]. Hay… ngayon nga kapag nakikinig ako sa mga kuwento ng ibang babae, sabi ko, parang pareho lang kami [Laughter], hindi nga lang ako binato. Pero iyong mga pang-iinsulto…pareho lang!
Maria: Baka hindi ka lang binato dahil di ka niya kayang batuhin. O baka pag tumagal pa kayo, kung nag-stay ka pa baka nabato ka na rin niya.
Anna Leah: Ya.
Maria: If it took longer baka binato ka rin kasi gitgitan na kayo eh.