Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Glorious Awakening

So I managed to catch up on my sleep. I woke up on a gloomy, welcoming Saturday, which is a good plus in itself. Even though I have to go to the office this afternoon and fix some random stuff, I don't mind. I didn't make any plans anyway, and today is more focused on productivity than surrendering to the isolation of my thoughts. That is something that I don't need right now. I've risked too much gloom yesterday, so I have to do something cheerful, joyful, busy.

Well, I didn't mean to do it at anybody's expense.

This morning I downloaded the video of a certain interview of not so long ago considered a man, now a "woman" reborn, that seems to be the talk of the office and a source of awe for the past few weeks. I was finally introduced to Bebe Gandanghari.

Bebe Gandanghari is a full blown "woman" version of Rustom Padilla. Ever since he joined Pinoy Big Brother, his intimate secret was revealed and controversies came up that he bravely faced. Of all his years in showbiz, and even after the public break-up of his marriage with the beautiful Carmina Villaroel, the whole Philippine nation didn't know that he was in fact Gay, until the exact words came out from his mouth.

After the revelation and the constant public confirmations, his new self has entered a series of "developments" since. He finally become more flamboyant, honest, and open to his new mannerisms, interests and overall personality. Well, the public, including I was shocked at first. I couldn't imagine Rustom Padilla as gay, knowing that he was such a handsome, mellow-down guy, with very masculine brothers. He too became a husband and he may be just a good actor to have fooled us at that point. He fits being a man perfectly that we didn't get to see his inner struggles. Did you even see him in the movie YAMASHITA? Gosh with all that buffed figure, villanous role, I certainly didn't think of him a struggling gay then! Oh gosh! And in a showbiz industry that gets to accuse almost every male stars are gay, Rustom Padilla must have successfully avoided the radar.

Admitting that one is gay, with all the quirks and the interests, is rather fine and heartwarming (not for a wife though), but I must admit showcasing and publicly remodeling yourself as a woman is totally a different thing. In reality both illicit different reactions. I was kind of shocked and was slightly upset that he revealed he was gay because I really liked him as a man. I find him very low key and handsome, plus I liked him and his ex wife Carmina Villaroel. But I ended up accepting easily because that's the least I could do. I know it takes a lot of courage to go against what people think of you and it also takes a lot of courage to be honest with yourself and the world. It's a personal issue that some people go through and they need all the support and respect they can get. I do not have the heart to deprive him of that.

But seeing him modeling, really dressed up as a girl (drag queenish),with full make up, so flamboyant, projecting that he might love to have a boyfriend, makes the issue different. The change has gone to a higher level that what we'd normally handle. Probably I just didn't think that the change was going to be that big. I didn't even consider that he would cross dress. That's taking too much attention and I fear that not all people would gladly welcome the change. It's more than seeing a celebrity in public. This thing needs getting used to. I wonder what Carmina was thinking or feeling to be stuck in a world so small with him. It's not lack of respect, but it's major awkwardness.

But the public is faced with a personal change of one celebrity and that he was brave enough to consider the consequences. He doesn't have anything else to do but to follow through. The ball is at our courtyard now because we are the ones who would react, accept, tolerate or lash out at the pivotal change of this reborn woman, known as Bebe. In the end, as humans, we have nothing left to do but to accept and support, but in reality it takes a while and a lot of effort to do it.

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