The liberation of a nation is through the liberation of it's people (Professor Danton Remoto and 2010 candidate for senator).
01 March 2009, I met the statuesque and jaw-dropping BB Gandanghari in the flesh at Power Books in Megamall at the launching of S, the new entertainment magazine in town from Mega Publishing Group. I was overwhelmed to witness on how the people from across classes welcomed and accepted her in pride and jubilation. The image that I saw was a far cry from the hunky Rustom Padilla that BB Gandanghari killed and buried as she metamorphosed into the glam and glamour of the style and beauty icon Audrey Hepburn.
A few weeks ago, I was personally insulted and offended by the uncalled for remarks and tirades of gay comedians Vice Ganda and Chokoleit on national television about BB Gandanghari's blossoming. And as if they were not enough, considered gay icon, entrepreneur and philantropist Ricky Reyes also lambasted BB Gamdanghari on the boob tube and quantified her self-actualization as a laughing stock. A dismal judgement from a person who is a cross dresser himself.
Then last week, the convivial and fair gay host Boy Abunda interviewed BB again for her response. She was hurt of course, but she did not dignify those tirades and instead intimated once again that being gay or woman is not important at all. All that is important according to her is that she is a human being and that means she deserves dignity bar none. If a person has the capacity to think and feel well, I think that will suffice everything.
Some would still insists that the old Rustom Padilla who started to come out in the reality program of ABS-CBN 2 must have remained as it is. But what those critics have forgotten is, are they the one who will decide for BB? Is it what they see is the real gender identity that she hopes, aspires and pushes to live with? At the end of the day, it is only her who would know her very self. People have forgotten the existence of transgender women in society. They are those individuals whose gender identity is different from their assigned sex at birth. They are also those individuals whose gender expression doesn't match the gender expression dictated by the norms of society that is based on assigned sex alone. Transgenderism is all about gender identity and gender expression regardless of the existence of a sex re-assignment surgery (SRS).
Remoto even commented that those who keep on upbraiding BB are those ugly ones. The more that they castigate her, the more uglier they become. Now, that's a dose of their own medicine from someone who should know better than them.
Professor Remoto even explained further:
"What I think is that the young gay boy who was bullied by classmates and beaten up by his father because he was gay, who was forced to marry to pass for a straight man and who has now grown up to be a taller and prettier than the rest of them has chosen to assert himself. To shape his own identity, to form his own self, which is the way it should be. And whether he makes money, becomes more famous, or snags more fabulous boyfriends because of this blossoming, it will be a bonus in the reign of Her Majesty, BB Gandanghari"
Life have driven Rustom Padilla to many crossroads, altercations, left and right turns and dramaturgical parkings in life. Now that Rustom Padilla is dead and buried in a manner of speaking and BB Gandanghari have come out of the closet and re-emerges to be a happier and dispatched person in a new world that is no longer bound by old customs and old judgement. Let the woman to be home at last and savor freedom in its very essentials. Her bravery to come out is indeed extraordinary but isn't it more painful to think of those times where she remained in the closet. After all, the closet is like a coffin and in life hereafter, we will all be judged by God on how well we did on this earth.