Added: Kenisha Cusumano - Date: 25.07.2021 11:20 - Views: 40326 - Clicks: 5436
The labels we give ourselves can be helpful but restrictive too. W e were excited young film-makers, sitting in one of our first pitch sessions, a panel of executives lined up against us. They had flicked through our script, looked at our mood boards and praised our song choice for the sizzle reel Man!
I Feel Like A Woman. I realised I was the only one holding my hand in the air. In this day and age of diversity, Australia is making great strides as a country in promoting and celebrating our differences, but in other ways it feels like it sits frustratingly behind the curve. It might have to do with how we label ourselves. While diversity sometimes relies on labels to facilitate communication, those labels are also historically loaded.
But what if we start to rethink these labels — or even start to look at others? It is an identity built on performative cultural practice more so than sexuality. The bakla were renowned as community leaders, seen as the traditional rulers who transcended the duality between man and woman. Even today, many bakla in the Philippines retain high status as entertainers and media personalities.
When I was eight years old, on my first and only trip to the Philippines, I met my older cousin Norman. He had shoulder-length hair, wore lipstick and eyeliner, and would walk around in heels. As Filipinos moved to countries such as Australia and the United States, the bakla were mislabelled as part of western gay culture and quickly physically sexualised.
Even worse, the word can sometimes be heard in Australian playgrounds, used in a derogatory way. It was quite confusing to my ears when hearing the word used in a negative way, its meaning truly lost in migration. I even made a film about it. As my mother often explains when speaking about the differences between her inherited and migrated cultures, westerners point with their fingers, but Filipinos point with their lips in a general direction. Similarly, Tagalog does not categorise people with limited gendered pronouns, and English can be constricting.
Bakla and similar identities, such as hijra in India and the Native American concept of two-spirithint at the striking fluidity that can exist in humanity, often suppressed by the western identities pushed upon them. We are seeing more intersectional queer and ethnic groups rise up in Sydney alone, and hearing more and more conversations about non-labelling, so perhaps the next generations of the queer community are moving towards a fluid sense of self.
As someone who is often mistakenly identified the result of an apparently unisex nameI can only see this non-labelling as a positive. By undefining ourselves, we free ourselves from the performative aspects of our respective queer cultures, and can embrace the intersectional diversity Australia has to offer.
This article is more than 2 years old. Labels that resonate with particular communities can be loaded with historical baggage. Sun 3 Mar . The joy that comes from embracing trans identity shouldn't be so rare Andy Connor. Reuse this content.Do you like filipina girls can you host
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