We went to a “gay event” called KaVogue on August 18, 2013 organized and staged by ESA students in Area 05 in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. It’s a fund-raiser with proceeds intended to be donated to the Home for the Golden Gays, a Home for aging gay men who call themselves the “Golden Gays”, probably inspired by the long-running sitcom, the Golden Girls. The event started at 9 PM with entrance fee costing Php 300 per person. The event title is reminiscent of a Filipino gay lingo term “kabog” meaning ostentatious, a trait associated to the more flamboyant set of gay men and can also be associated with “Vogue”, a known fashion magazine that showcases avant-garde but oftentimes outlandish and out of this world apparel and accessories. Gay men are more prominently recognized in the fashion industry, especially in high fashion, where they are known for their creativity, showmanship and theatrics. The show started late, “Filipino time”. Inside the venue, the place was barely filled with people. The place was a large room with high-ceiling, right and left wings, in one corner of the room is a bar which displayed all sorts of liquors where people could order drinks and food and a lounging area was located on the adjacent side. It was dark but there was enough lighting to cover the stage and the runway situated at the center of the room. There were roughly a hundred attendees gathered around the stage. Directly facing the runway was a quirky looking group of old men in “drag,” wearing dresses, full make-up and even wigs that made them look gaudy. They seem to stand-out from the crowd with their ridiculous “costumes” since some of the guests were more discreetly dressed in smart casual attire as what was required or “appropriate” for attending such events. As the show started, there was a video clip projected on stage featuring a “fashionably dressed” transvestite doing feminine poses and gestures. I had already seen him in a youtube music video called “Gayuma” where he gained online popularity for his portrayal of a gay man who put a love spell (gayuma) on another straight guy so that he would be deceived that he’s a beautiful girl and fall for him. The flamboyant/theatrical/creative poses was supposedly the artistic statement of the event. Not long after, the fashion show began. Women came out of the stage in batches of threes, showcasing the handiwork of each of the clothing designer as they walked through the runway dressed in the different designer gowns. About 9 designers were featured and given the opportunity to flaunt three of their best designs. The guests/ audience applauded depending on how beautiful they thought the dresses were… or how beautiful the model was. The intensity of the applause depended on the audience’s appreciation of the design and/or the model, or the “overall execution”. The women who modeled the dresses had no expression on their faces. My friend explained that “they had to look bored” since they were not allowed to show emotions since it would draw attention to themselves and detract attention from the dress. After all, fashion is all about the dresses so the model are mere instruments. One of the women however, notably stood out, she was the one who wore the most “daring” costume in leotards. My friend informed us that her name is “Kevin” and that she’s actually a transsexual. This shocked us. Beforehand, we were actually expecting for all the models to be “gay” but since they all looked like women, we ditched the idea. A gay friend commented that when men are dressed as women, they are far more attractive and sexier than actual females. After the fashion show, there were lots of picture taking and photo opportunities. The models, the organizers, all took pictures with the Golden Gays as they went on their way to the bar lounge, huddling as a group. Some of them started smoking and drinking. Surprisingly, after the show most people just left and did not care to approach the...
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