Sunday, May 27, 2007

A HIGH PRICE TO PAY



A High Price to Pay

(a story of two Cebuano gays)


Some people refuse to follow the norm.


Indeed, when they do, they end up maimed, tortured, jailed, and killed – literally and figuratively.


In a backward, pre-industrial and agrarian country like the Philippines, those who refuse to follow the norm, and walk the road less traveled will also walk along with pain.
Pain in its stricter sense. Pain in its most hallowed, most brutal, and murderous component. How can one survive, if, the moment you open up to the public your sexual orientation is also the time you face greater risks? And how to sustain it, is another painful story.


But that is the same story we are about to tell. The risks of being a member of the LGBT community and the responsibility behind it. The absence of supportive laws or LGBT center and the presence of a strong, centuries-old backward and macho-feudal society is life-threatening for the LGBT groups.


Take the case of "Bea Bianca" the "murderer"…


Bea Bianca or Babes was accused of murder in Manila while working to support his family in Cebu province suffering in irreconcilable poverty.


He is a male sex worker catering to the lustful desires of his foreign clients for almost three (3) years. For that span of time, he was able to educate his two (2) siblings in college and a nephew while at the same time providing the daily needs of his family.
He did not finish his secondary schooling.


Since second week of December 2006, Babes got text messages from someone wanting to be his boyfriend and sex partner. Eager to meet, Babes met this mystery guy on January 8, 2007. It turned out later that Babes was texting to the brother of the sex worker he allegedly murdered. At the supposed meeting place, Babes was invited by the police for investigation and later imprisoned. He was framed up by the brother of the murdered sex worker.


Babes remains a suspect for killing the sex worker on December 5, 2006. With no concrete reasons on hand and the case still being evaluated in court, we opted not to divulge the confidentiality of the case as narrated by his sister and close gay friends.


During his stay in prison, Babes was tortured, sexually molested and maimed by his fellow inmates on the basis of his being gay. No less than the head of the inmates informed Babes relatives that the family of the murdered sex worker offered him P1,500.00 / day (or roughly $30.61 in the current P49 - $1 exchange rate) in exchange of inflicting physical (including sexual) and emotional pain to Babes. In that way, they can offer "spiritual-refuge", give justice and avenge the death of their beloved.


Upon learning, Babes' family raised an amount they could only raise in their dreams just so they can unburden the emotional and physical pain their breadwinner experienced inside the prison cell. With the help of their family and fellow LGBT friends, they raised a petty amount of P5,000.00 (the prescribed amount by the head of the inmates) to counter the P1,5000.00/day. Thankfully, the head of the inmates decided to cool-off his brutality so long Babes' family and friends can sustain the financial requirement. The P5,000.00 was an immediate physical relief, to say the least.


Bea Bianca is not his real name. It is just one of his countless names.


…And Geramis the murdered 17 year old gay


His decomposing body was found without his left leg. His face bore a sign of boundless revenge and hatred. And his only crime was that he failed to pay P200.00 (or roughly $4.08 in the current P49 - $1 exchange rate) the amount they mutually agreed as payment for sexual satisfaction on January 6, 2007 on that fateful night somewhere in a remote barangay of Carcar.


It happened while the local community celebrated and rejoicing the feast of their patron saint.
Literally, he was stoned to death by his last sex partner.


A week of searching for their lost and beloved Geramis, his grieving mother not only identified his decomposing body through the so-called motherly instinct, but, quite incidentally through his black t-back underwear.


The suspect is Aldwin Alcos, 21 years old and a high school student of Maximina Noel Memorial High School. Accompanied by his school principal and teacher, Aldwin surrendered to the police station for investigation.


While languishing in jail, Aldwin asked for forgiveness.


Speaking with the local gay groups in Carcar, I was shocked with the comments of one of its officers claiming that it was Geramis' fault. I wonder where we failed since they are the same group that we are linking with to raise their understanding of LGBT rights and responsibilities.#

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