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Of God and Blow Jobs

I bumped into screenwriter Ramon Bayron (Abakada, Ina) and he was ecstatic to share his thoughts on our film “Ang Lihim ni Antonio” (Antonio’s Secret). He liked the existentialism of the material and all. I was surprised that Mr. Bayron liked the film despite him being very religious. And he caught me by surprise by asking a very thought-provoking question.

“Why would God be concerned with men sucking each other’s penises when there are millions of other life-threatening and earth-shaking problems in this world?”

And I paused to think about it. What’s with ejaculation that God (as supposedly represented by the church) should make a big deal about? First, it thought about it in a particular context. If such an act would create destruction of a particular family, causing pain for the wife and her children, I think God should definitely look into it. But if two responsible and educated adult men help each other into ejaculation, what does God have to do about it?

It was such an interesting perspective to probe on. But unfortunately, I can’t force myself to continue with it. I don’t believe in the Judeo-Christian God. And I have known for a fact that historically, we humans are fond of ascribing and imposing our own attributes and values to the god that we create for ourselves. Hence, such an idiosyncracy from a supposedly “god being” isn’t really a surprise.

But if you are a believer, just like my friend, it would really be interesting to think about it. “What’s really with responsible men sucking each other’s cocks that would make God (Judeo-Christian) so angry that he will condemn you to hell for all eternity?”

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Graphic Gay Sex

I am an advocate of the complete integration of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transexuals (GLBT) in the society they live in. And I believe that by sincerely showing graphic gay sex in films as well as other materials, we hasten the process of this integration.
The visual representation of gay sex may be offensive to many people. But it is a visual message needed by this advocacy. My conjecture is that when people are exposed to such images, the idea that “gay sex” is a predominantly natural act for a significant segment of our population becomes easier to comprehend for most people.

There is this popular church who declared to “love the sinner. but hate their sins.” And this has led to society accepting gay men as productive individuals but reject the very idea of their sexual behavior and their sexual preferences.
Accepting us gay men as productive individuals is not enough. Society certainly benefits from our productivity. We are tax payers. And some gay men in the Philippines even controls some of the most powerful corporations in the country.
But I don’t think this so called “acceptance” or tolerance accorded to us gay men is not enough.
Society has to stop forwning on our sexual preferences and behavior. Gay sex is very much a part of animal behavior albeit it is not reproductive. And whether you reject evolutionism or not, animal behavior is at the core of human behavior. And more importantly, love among the same sexes is as genuine as its straight counterpart no matter what your bible say about it.
Gay sex is normal. Gay love is genuine. And society must begin to accept it.
For these very reasons, I shall continue to promote the representation of honest, sincere and sometimes graphic gay sex in media.

Why I Write Gay Stories

“Thank you for speaking for us. For bringing to memory the fondest and darkest moments in my life…helping me understand myself… (and realize) that it’s ok to be me…” (Jeffrey, 25 years old)

 

This is a part of a letter from a viewer after watching the film that I wrote “Ang Lihim ni Antonio” (Antonio’s Secret). And receiving such letter is a confirmation on why I have long wanted to write stories about gay men.

 

When I was young, way back in the 80’s, the images of gay men in mainstream cinema were comic and slapstick. They were best represented by Roderick Paulate’s characterization of “Petrang Kabayo” and Dolphy’s iconic “Facifica Falayfay”. These film characters were certainly far from who I was and who I want to be as a gay man.

 

It was only before the end of the century that Filipino gay men were more accurately represented in film through “Ang Lalake sa Buhay ni Selya” (by Carlitos Siguion-Reyna) and Pusong Mamon (by Joel Lamangan). And it was just in 2002, that films started to honestly represent the angst of the urban gay men through Crisaldo Pablo’s “Duda” and “Bath house”.

 

Writing the screenplay of “Ang Lalake sa Parola” (The Man in the Lighthouse) and “Ang Lihim ni Antonio” (Antonio’s Secret) represents my sincere effort to connect to other gay men out there, to share their voice and to continuously remind our society about who we really are and why we deserve acceptance and not just tolerance. And if you’ll allow me to qualify further, what I personally demand is acceptance without compromises.

 

“Coming Out”

One quiet evening by the low tide beach of La Union, a beautiful friend of mine, Mayi Fabros, shared an interesting speculation on people who have come out with their sexuality at a young age.

For her, people who are able to admit their queer sexuality publicly at an early age tend to be unafraid to make drastic decisions in their lives way into their adulthood. In her observation “Coming out” is a test of character and determines one’s capacity to make strong decisions in life.

Thinking about it, it could also work another way. Maybe only strong-willed people are able to come out. And “coming out” is probably not for everyone as a particular strength of character is necessary to be able to accomplish it given the harsh realities some people experience after they admit their sexuality.

Either way, “coming out” for me is a complex task that primarily requires two factors: self acceptance and wisdom. And a person’s strength must be founded on these to be able to come out.

Above is a photo of Mayi, which I took when we both went to La Union. Mayi is a civic worker fighting against poverty in the Philippines.