The Problematic Media Portrayal on Mark Bautista’s ‘Coming Out’


I don’t understand why we should be making so much noise and paying so much attention about Mark Bautista’s “revelations” regarding his sexual preference and personal experiences. The media attention’s nothing but gossip in plain sight (and a good advertising platform for Bautista’s book).

If any, the attention makes LGBTQI issues, like “coming out”, as something of a spectacle reminiscent of the infamous St. Louis fair, an intriguing, exotic, camera-worthy and profitable event. In this case, the homosexual becomes a spectacle himself, and whether he is conscious or unconscious is another matter.

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We are not yet even talking about how Bautista’s physique and social standing/class is contributing to the physiological and conceptual construction of the male homosexual image (and the image that one is able to visualize, construct becomes a powerful, sometimes twisted, reality) among the viewing public.

What we can say so far is that the mainstream, “socially tolerated” constructions of the male homosexual are the comic, cross-dressing type and the “beautiful macho” type, which are problematic and disempowering constructions. For one, they are actually disguised forms of discrimination.

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Sure, the whole situation is interpreted by most as a positive contribution to the task of LGBTQI articulation by becoming “mainstreamed” in the eyes of the viewing public, and also communicates the otherwise tabboo discussions on male sexual abuse and the sorry state of LGBTQI recognition and inclusion in Philippine society.

However, I have come to a view that people care or show a semblance of care or interest (Like, Share, Gossip) in LGBTQI issues such as this as part of their pop-culture consumption as in the case of Vice Ganda, whose stardom is a defining moment in the whole process LGBTQI articulation (and discourse?) in the Philippines.

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If any, Mark Bautista’s coming-out of the closet/book is becoming more and more like that of Bruce Jener: all publicity, devoid of empowering and progressive advocacy. His coming-out would have carried more impact and meaning if it was connected with the larger social issues like human rights (of which, an LGBTQI-specific legislation is currently underway in the Congress). I still maintain that the personal is political. But then again, we cannot expect every person to hold the view as such and to be more active as such.

Tungo sa tunay na pagbabago at kalayaan!

Mataas na pagpupugay sa mga Beki ng Bayan na ngayon ay lumalaban!

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