Thursday, February 16, 2023

On SOGIE and Pinoy Drag

News about the Sexual Orientations and Gender Identity Expression Equality (SOGIE) bill in the Philippines was recently all over my social media due to the appeal of a Senator to dismiss this on basis of religion. He also said that what the bill is really about is same-sex marriage, which he is against. 

I don’t want to be too political about this but I don’t see a reason for not having this law passed if it is truly only for providing equal rights for and to prohibit discrimination of people of different sexual orientations and gender identities. I don’t agree on dismissing this on basis of religion when not all of us have the same religion. If we all have the right to different kinds of faith, we cannot lock in our laws based on just one of them. You can also say that there are only two genders but we cannot deny that there are other people who identify or express themselves in another way. I believe this bill is simply asking that we respect each other’s preferences and give them room to be themselves. It is not about insisting that we become like them but that we allow them to live their lives in the way that they are comfortable with. As long as they are not hurting other people I don’t see the reason why we cannot give them the freedom to be themselves.

Speaking of this kind of freedom of self-expression, I was very happy to see that two shows featuring drag personalities in the Philippines were launched in the country thanks to HBO and Amazon. Ru Paul’s Drag Race (Philippines) and Drag Den (hosted by former Drag Race contestant Manila Luzon) were both very successful shows that recently concluded recently. I say successful because I have seen that almost (if not all) of the contestants on these shows are now very actively working and doing shows, showing how much exposure and popularity they have gained from these programs. 

I remember watching Drag Race (US) years ago. I never really followed it as much as some of my friends have but I did enjoy watching it whenever I had the chance to. Seeing a local version of the show and how the Filipino culture was incorporated into it was very entertaining to watch and I thought that it was refreshing to see these drag personalities not just as performers but as people as well. I immediately had my favorites in the show and I am happy that most of them were in the top during the finals. My favorite did not win, but I am still very happy with the result!

Drag Den, which features former Drag Race contestant (and my personal favorite) Manila Luzon as host/Drag Enforcer, was not what I expected. I have to admit that while I am aware of the drag community I am not familiar with every aspect of it so seeing the format of the show revolving around drag queen pageants was new to me. Pinoy drag is truly a different animal compared to the US and I thought that this concept made the show feel more authentic to the local drag community. I also loved that they did not eliminate contestants in every episode so I got to know the contestants more and see each one grow as the competition went on. My favorite won the competition and I look forward to seeing more of her now that she got that big boost from this show. 

I hope that these two shows get to have more seasons in the years to come. They were both able to combine entertainment, social commentary, humor, and fashion into one show. I loved them both! Hopefully these drag queens can be featured in other shows get more exposure in other forms of media in the future. Maybe one day I can even see them perform in person, I think that would be fun!

In an off-season episode of the Fandesals Podcast, Judith shared four shows that she liked, which included Drag Race Philippines. For more on this, you can watch the episode here. Enjoy!


No comments

Blog Layout Designed by pipdig