Ramil H. Agapay Jr.
AB Political Science II
Political Science 1: Academic Paper
If being a human has own rights, does it mean that this right could be possibly limited if not eliminated because of societal and religious discrimination? Has this so called “Third Sex” considered as alien by the people and don’t have equal rights in the political world before and even today? Has this claim of sexuality successfully evolved today the same with the heterosexual persons? This paper explains what happened historically, socially and politically about the LGBT to be accepted by the society and in the policy making body of the Philippines. It suggested the expression and stand of the LGBTs on the Pre-colonial days and during the Spanish Era. What influenced them on deciding to break their silence and heed their clamors not just social but political in terms of gender equality, claiming their rights and on the government and how their struggles affected the country. This paper also discussed how they politically evolved and are socially accepted.
Third-Genders on the Pre-Colonial Days
Neil Garcia, a prominent gay historian agrees that no specific written reports were recorded during the Spanish colonial days. However, he relied on oral accounts that need further studies about the “third genders” at that time. Women were revered by the society. They were strong in terms of power because they were priestesses and matriarchs. Having the authority to divorce their husband if they like, choose the name of their children, accumulate wealth and owned properties. With that, the so called “somewhat-women” also have the distinction of being highly regarded. They were called as “bayoguin (a bamboo specie) asog, bido, and binabae”. They transformed themselves by donning female’s dress and acting as women, thus they were cross-dressers and gender-crossers. They had crossed the male and female gender lines.
Like women’s reputation, sex-crossers were also “babaylans” and “catalonans” who healed sicknesses a medium that intermediates the world and the spirits. They were highly consultants by the people, respected leaders and a figure of authority. Sometimes they were treated as concubines. With a great cared reputation of the sex-crossers, it was the state of affairs when the Spanish arrived at the country.
Third-Genders on the Spanish Period
This prestigious reputation was present when the Spanish arrived, and they found out that it was by nature immoral, a violation to the teachings that they introduced to the Filipinos. We heard from Spanish accounts of encounter between the “conquestadores” and the archipelago’s various “indios” that means dressing as women was a cultural feature of early colonial and presumably pre-colonial communities. With that, gender-crossers were significant not just because they crossed the male and female gender lines but because to the Spanish, they were astonishing even threatening as they were respected leaders and figures of authority. Being “babaylans and catalonans” they were capable of communicating the spirits, the visible and invisible worlds that’s why local rulers (datus) look on them with a great deal of respect. They calmed bad angry spirits, foretold the future, healed sickness and even brought peace between angry couple as tribe.
As the Catholicism spread out and the Spanish domination became more strong as the years went through, the status of the women were progressively deteriorated, gender-crossers become more and more difficult. Spanish accused Chinese people for being responsible for the spreading of the gender-crossing or making it “sodomy people.” Local men dressed in as women suffered from the strong made pride introduced by the Spanish culture. From being “bayoguin” as a specie bamboo, in tagalog speaking regions of Luzon, the name “bayog” was changed into “bakla or kabaklaan” meaning “confused and cowardly”. Since confusion has always corresponding resolution,...
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