Sunday, February 15, 2009

On Bebe Gandanghari

The local gay blogosphere was recently abuzz with the recently released (or seeded?) photos of Rostum Padilla (now more prominently known as Bebe Gandanghari)

In case you haven't seen the photos, check them out @ the Rainbow Bloggers site

There's a whole gamut of reaction on the Tranny of the Moment, Bebe. There are those in the community who celebrate her new found fabulous self. And some (either expected or otherwise) are a bit of with the new and improved former Mr Carmina Villaruel.

Personally, my feelings are at odds with regards to Bebe...

At first, seeing him out himself in PBB was shocking, yet I feel good for him and felt that the move might just bring out something good for the community. Then the Urian cross-dressing wowed me! I didn't know he'd be THAT good looking in DRAG. He was hot then, but now he's Ferosh! And now the coming out of Bebe... this... this one REALLY made me think...

Is this still part of the whole 'finding myself' thing? And what's with the publicity? SO is he going to be a SHE now? And where did these photos come from? And finally, what's this gonna do for the community?

On coming out and finding your true self

Growing up and finding one's identity is TRULY difficult for most gay men. Aside from having to go through the hetero rights of passage, there's the more difficult challenge of being comfortable in your own skin, accepting that you're "different" and eventually owning up to it.

When Rustom Padilla came out in PBB, local television was just SHAKEN. I mean NO ONE has ever done that before (as far as I can remember). This is truly a defining moment. Seeing one former hot baby-faced action star looking so thin and wraith-like with awful hair and finally admitting that he's into guys! WOW!

People think that us gays, like butterflies, just come out of our cocoons and look fabulous! Well, that goes to show the majority of the ignorant Filipinos that NO it's one tough emotional journey; however hard it is for the "normal" people to accept us, it is waaaay HARDER for gays to accept ourselves when it means being hated, feared, and discriminated. It's just soooo emotionally draining...

But of course once THAT drama is over, it's off to becoming fabulous!

On the transformation

An so he was out... Did he become fabulous? Well when the smoke cleared, the media turned their attention to other matters. But while he was still an item, he had somewhat of a revived career:

Some found it weird but who cares, right? For me, I was cheering "You go gurl!"

And then it got WEIRD... He went to the Urian and THIS happened (sorry for the poor quality video, can't find other vidz on Youtube)

Well, it was a bit odd. He said that it's a preparation for his one-man show in 2009... A drag show, perhaps? I dunno... But honestly, it's all good...

Though personally, I felt hat she's on the high way to trannyville.

On the New and Improved Bebe Gandanghari

I was winded when I first saw this report from the primetime news:

and the weekend before that this was shown on afternoon TV:

I was confused... He says he's a woman... and yet he loves his body... I'd understand if he maintained a male look for his day-to-day affairs and put on Drag for his performances... But he's not. He's actually putting himself out there as a WOMAN!!!

How can you feel like a woman, say it out loud in front of National TV and go home to shower and see your penis hanging out right in front of you???

I would've understood her of felt sympathetic if he admitted to being transgendered. It's OK if he feels like a woman trapped in a man's body... but to say that he's not taking hormones and that he's not going to have Sexual Reassignment Surgery and yet he says he's a woman... THAT is just whacked.

Besides, what;s so wrong with just being plain and simple GAY?

I understand the transformation does take a while and the road is often challenging... But what I'm seeing is that he's being turned (and perhaps turning himself) into a circus. Watch this interview in The Buzz, which I think has some rather distasteful questions. While Rustom feels like answering them so openly, I felt like I'm watching Kris and Ruffa make a freak out of Rustom (and it doesn't help that he's dressed up in GAUDY clothes - it's one thin to wear drag, quite another to look like a fashionable woman)

What's Bebe going to do now?

As I said, I'm all for his search of identity... but not for the whole Bebe Gandanghari circus...

What does he intend to do?

He can't go and be model. I mean look at Ruffa, she's aged but she's quit and she STILL looks great... Bebe, with the stringy face and neck... I rather doubt it...

Is he going back into acting? Pwede, but being transgendered quite narrows the characters he can portray... He can't play a woman nor a man... He can only play a tranny (which up until now, the only role I've seen in local Tv was the one Paolo Ballesteros portrayed)...

If he gets sustainable popularity, the Networks might give him a magazine show... still, being a conservative country, I'm not sure it's gonna fly with the majority of the Filipinos. And if ever it does, God forbid he features other "circus" topics...

As for his one-man show... I think we're already witnessing it and I think thi i going to be as good as it gets... the features are gonna patter down soon enough and after that he'll need a new and interesting gimmik to get us hooked up (or at least sustain our curiosity). I didn't get the chance to watch him in the Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah movie... but from what I hear it was a big disappointment...

So again, What's this all about? What's all the publicity for? Ok, so you're now a confused tranny, so what?

On Bebe's impact to the community

At this point, wanna share this short news clip about some negative reactions on the New Bebe Gandanghari

Are they haters? probably, I dunno, but I quite agree wih some of the points these guys said.

Vice Ganda is right. Rustom is gay, Bebe is a delusional tranny. Coz REALLY, no matter what clothes he put on, no matter how much make up and wigs he uses, no matter how perfectly he tucks THOSE in, he will never be a woman with a penis. It's ok to FEEL like a woman. But know your limitations, sister.

I also agree with Ricky Reyes. Bebe is making homosexuality a joke; and he's a one-man circus.

Growing up, the most popular gay icon on TV was Roderick Paulate's characters. And I thought one has to be THAT loud, flambouyant, and exuberant to be gay. I thought all gays end up in a beauty parlor wear women's clothes and go after straight men...

Imagine what a 10-year-old queer will feel when he sees Bebe Gandanghari on TV...

And think about the "normal" people. Most people already think of us gays as a joke... Unlike other countries, we don't have much gay role models that will break the stereotype... SO how exactly is this popular new gay image of Bebe Gandanghari working for us?

I have nothing personal against Bebe Gandanghari or Rustom Padilla. I sympathize with Rustom when he said:

“Yes exactly! Wala akong inaway at sinaktang tao kaya naman kung ano ako ngayon I just feel very happy now. So, I just wish people can be happy for me too."

I just hope he'd try and stand up for himself and not indulge on his womanly fancies and save himself from the circus the media is putting him into.

To end this all, here's a glimpse of Rustom in "Mistah" waaaay back when he's still that cute baby-faced tough guy trying to step up to his brothers' careers:

Now, wouldn't have been wonderful if he retained his former physique and look and still announced that he's gay? That'd be refreshing... That would certainly be the start of cracking the stereotype... That will teach Piolo and Samto come out!!! hahaha

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