LGBTI people in the Philippines are growing inpatient with constant delays in passing the SOGIE Equality Bill and opposition from Christian groups. Here one artist explains why the Bill is so important to all people in the Philippines.
I saw the reports the other day about a horde of Christian groups rallying against the SOGIE Equality Bill. ‘No to SOGIE: Yes to Family’ one placard read.
The message was difficult to understand. What kind of family are we talking about? And what kind of family values require children to wage some bloody war on a concept meant to help us appreciate the diversity of human gender and sexuality, the diversity of the human species made in God’s image? No sane or decent person would want to be part of that kind of family.
But so many of us are, and many are trapped.
I do not want to engage in polemics. We LGBT activists have done our best to be kind to those who do not understand what kindness is, and to be understanding with those who refuse to bear even the slightest discomfort that understanding requires.
But it isn’t working. The cruel remain cruel, the wicked remain wicked, and where the suffering go, there is little consolation.
They continue with their polemics, like broken speakers spouting the same broken virtues over and over until the soul bleeds. But we are too busy doing God’s work anyway. Consoling the suffering takes up all our time.
Frankly, I am tired. Polemics is so easy: just drizzle some vague nonsense about morals, encourage the free expression of prejudice because, hey, ‘God loves you’, and incite frenzy among ignorant hearts under the guise of some holy war. But research, evidence-based arguments, logic, kindness, and understanding—that’s hard work. Polemics are for the lazy and the morally inept.
As activists, being lazy and morally inept are not in our job descriptions. So here we are, with all this hard work: a gay boy being beaten into masculinity by his angry father; a mother forcing a stranger to rape the homosexuality out of her lesbian daughter; a trans woman being drowned in a toilet by a soldier.
By the way, that last one was all over the news, but the rest are mostly quiet affairs. We have to do God’s work quietly. We wouldn’t want to upset all those people God really loves.
LGBT people and resilience
But while God’s work continues, the questions go unanswered. LGBT people are always expected to turn the other cheek, and wait for the blows to come, wondering all the while where God really is in all of this. They ask me why. I am out of answers.
The others say they need to protect God’s law, but I cannot imagine any law needing protection through blood and terror coming from a loving God. Their answers are not enough: clearly the suffering of Jesus has taught them nothing. But my answers are not enough either.
It is no longer enough for me to tell them to be strong, to have faith in the good of others, to choose God’s work over viciousness. But surely the human heart has its limits.
This message has gone on long enough. My Christian friends: I am tired, and I am running out of answers. We all are.
Many of you have come to our side, and we are grateful. But the cross grows heavier, and the crying does not stop. I hear it even in my sleep sometimes, and even then I consider myself lucky.
Some of us can’t even sleep anymore.
There is no easy way to say this. There is no sidestepping our moral obligations, no ignoring the writing on the wall and the blood on the cross.
Your brothers and sisters have become brutish beasts, and we need your help.
This piece was originally published on TEAM Mag and has been republished here with permission.