Gown-wearing gays are under fire in the Philippines. Catholic Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales made headlines this weekend after declaring on Church radio that we homos have no place in May’s Santacruzan festivals. The event – also known as Flowers of May – involves girls and women getting dolled up in their finest threads and marching for the Virgin Mary. And, as you know, the Catholics take their Virgin very seriously, which helps explain Rosales opposition.
Gay activist Danton Remoto insists, however, that the gays are just as dedicated to the legendary lady:
In the eyes of God, everyone is equal. Some of these gay men have saved a lot of money for their gowns (to be worn in the procession) and they were doing it because they believed in the Virgin Mary. They need understanding, not condemnation.
Rosales, for his part, insists he’s not against the gays, just their gay ways, “I am not angry at gay men. But, I am against what they’re actually doing.” What we’re “doing” remains undefined…
Turning a religious ritual/ceremony into a drag show is appalling. It’s a religious festival for women and girls. What’s the big deal about that? This isn’t a gay rights issue, this is about a religion and its right to create and manage its rituals.
From a feminist perspective, why shouldn’t women have a festival for themselves? Regardless of the sexuality of men, this festival has been about women and their place in Catholicism.
It really disappoints me when men who play at being women, assume that they understand what it means to be a woman. Unless the “gay man” is a transgendered woman, he has no place in this festival.
After the festival ends, will the men go home and have to deal with the issues women face? No. It’s condescending and disrespectful to pretend otherwise.
I’m sure the cardinal included an exemption in there somewhere for transgendered (mtf) women. I wonder if he objects to FTM transgendered men participating.
Why should women have an exclusive festival that bans men? Does feminism mean women are more special and can exclude men while men cannot exclude women? I thought feminism was fundamentally about equality of the sexes.
All religions — at least all the ones that worship the psychotic god of the Arabian desert and his entourage — are deeply homophobic. Gays should not pretend they can be accommodated in these cults.
I agree. It seems to be especially true of the three religions who lay claim to Abraham.
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