Apparently there has been a great breakthrough for the LBGT community in the Philippines. This article appeared recently in the UK's Daily Mail: “Transgender politician is poised to become the first LGBT politician in staunchly Catholic Philippines where same-sex marriage is illegal.”
Where do I begin?
Apparently most Brits, or Canadians, or Americans, have no idea. The truth is, transvestitism is far more acceptable in public in the Philippines than in Britain, Canada, or the US, and always has been. Just turn on the TV. A lot of top performers in the Philippines are transvestites of the most campish sort. Or take a trip downtown in any largeish Filipino city, and not see at least one transvestite.
You will not often see transvestites walking alone in broad daylight in Britian. Canada, or the US, outside “pride” parades. They would, I presume, risk being spat upon, or beaten up. No such fear in the Philippines, even though the overall crime rate is much higher. You want to dress like a woman, it's your own damned business.
|Filipino transvestite being awarded "Miss Queen International" title.|
This highlights a crucial difference between Calvinism and Catholicism. Being ignorant of religion generally, the secular public of Britain, Canada, and the US do not understand. This leads, in turn, to a lot of prejudice, and a lot of lousy policy.
Homosexual sex is, of course, in Catholicism, sinful. So is refusing to accept one's natural sexual identity. But then, a lot of things are sinful in Catholicism. The ultimate result is, we are all sinners.
For Calvinists, by contrast, to call someone a sinner is to condemn them to hell. You are either saved, or not saved, by divine fiat, and there is nothing you can do about it. If you are saved, you will not sin; you cannot sin; whatever you do is not a sin. God has preordained it. You are born with a white hat, or a black hat. So wear a bra once, as a man, and, if it is acknowledged as a sin, you are doomed to the outer darkness.
There used to be a pop song back in the Seventies, a Christian crossover hit, with the lyrics “Never been a sinner/ I never sinned./ I have a friend in Jesus.” Sounds good to a Calvinist. To a Catholic, sounds more like Lucifer. It is the sin of pride.
To a Catholic, denying that you have committed sin is the biggest sin. Therefore, it is anathema to Catholics to say that transvestitism is not sinful. On the other hand, sin is not that big a deal; we all sin, and the key to everything is forgiveness. Why do you think Jesus died on a cross? You do not condemn, but you do not say it is right.
In practice, a far more comfortable way to live life as a transvestite than in Britain or North America, either forty years ago when crossdressing was sinful, or now, when everyone has to publicly say it is a good thing.
No doubt it is true that no transsexual has ever before been elected to the Philippines congress. This is no evidence of popular resistance to the idea: transvestites are, after all, a miniscule proportion of the population, perhaps 0.03%. It is far more likely no qualified transvestite has ever stood before. If a political party representing the interests of the LGBT community has never elected a member, this too is unsurprising in the real world. When you represent a special interest group that is going to be about 0.03% of the population in any constituency in which you run, why would you ever expect to be elected?
Especially since the Philippines has lots of real problems. One of the big ones appears in the article, but is not even commented on. You will note that Geraldine Roman has not, in fact, been elected. Nevertheless, the writer of the piece can and does take it as a foregone conclusion that she will be. Why? Because she is the scion of the “big family” in the area. She is inheriting her mother's seat.
There is a real problem: behind the mask of democracy, the Philippines is still a thoroughly feudal state, and Filipinos feel they owe their vote to their seigneural master. But this, apparently, is “progressive” so long as that master wears a chemise.
When was the ruling class not effeminate?
|The Philippines's official entrant in the Miss Universe 2015 competition. Yes, she is a transvestite.|
Before we go, one other thing. The headline assumes that not recognizing same-sex marriage is some sort of discrimination against gays. It has no more to do with discrimination against gays than what the Philippine president ate for breakfast this morning. It is a question of definition: what is marriage? The intolerance is obvious, surely: if you do not conform and think in lock-step with me, you are a bigot. It is a paradox, but a typical position on the left.