On October 7 (Monday), “It’s Showtime” made everyone go gaga over a new segment called “That’s My Tomboy.” In an unexpected twist, the segment pitted against each other two gay women who could easily pass for male teenage heartthrobs.
Congratz Boyz!!! Hehe #ThatsMyTomboy #ItsShowtime - Eric Tai via Instagram
And judging from its reception online and among the studio audience, it appears ABS-CBN's noontime show has found a new attraction that can level the success of its celebrity lookalike segment “Kalokalike.”
I hope #ThatsMyTomboy sparks a wider discourse about lesbians and LGBTs. Currently, the context is too patriarchal. But it's a start :)
— Jamie Delos Reyes (@WTF_Jamie) October 7, 2013
— Jeff Lucas (@fiercelucas) October 7, 2013
#ThatsMyTomboy i enjoyed watching the show. its a breath of fresh air...not the typical show that you watch on tv, its out of the box,
— gerrykho avestruz (@gerrykhoavestru) October 7, 2013
“Alam mo ang gwapo mo! In fairness sa'yo,” host Anne Curtis told Rejoice "Phao" Faraon, a contestant from Malabon City.
Pwede bang pang 'That's My Tomboy?' Manalo kaya ako? 💋 - Anne Curtis via Instagram
“It’s Showtime” co-host Vice Ganda also thanked those who have shown support for the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders) community.
"In behalf of lahat ng mga tomboy at bakla, nagpapasalamat ako sa madlang pipol kasi lantaran ang pagsuporta niyo sa'min," he said. The loud cheers from the audience could very well validate the statement.
In hindsight, Vice Ganda’s assertion could be founded. Last September 28, the two openly lesbian performers Charice and Aiza Seguerra kicked off a successful tour in Araneta Coliseum where gays and straight concert-goers paid a few thousands for a three-hour show.
GMA’s gay-themed series “My Husband’s Lover” has become so phenomenal it’s set to end with a big concert in—guess what—Araneta Coliseum.
Acceptance, equal rights sought
While it’s been said that the Philippines, largely a Catholic country, has become more tolerant of the LGBT over the years, the community’s quest for full acceptance and equal rights has yet to see better days.
Will a segment celebrating homosexuality like "That’s My Tomboy" be the answer?
For Ira Briones of the Lesbian Activism Project, Inc. (LeAP, Inc.), it could drive the issue up.
"I think the Philippine society in general have been quite tolerant of LGBTQ (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and queer) people for a long time already,” she told Yahoo Philippines OMG!
“The goal, however, is to push it further to acceptance and better understanding and eventually translate those into something more tangible like equal rights. The segment That's My Tomboy may not be perfect as it is now, but it is an avenue for opening up discussions that could lead to the goals I mentioned,” Ira added.
When asked on how the noontime show can refine the newly premiered segment, the lesbian advocate suggested a crash course in gender identity.
“It will be helpful if the people involved in the show can seek education on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) and from there I think they will know how to improve on the segment.”
'Still a woman'
Back to the segment, contestant Phao told the hosts that while she may look manly on the outside, she will never forget the fact that she's still a woman.
"Sa pinakita ko nga po (Tahitian dance), ako po 'yung tomboy na lalaki po ako pag tiningnan niyo, pero hindi ko po kakalimutan 'yung pagiging babae ko.”
“Phao” also answered in the affirmative when asked if she wants to build a conventional family. As expected, Vice Ganda quipped, "Gusto mo tulungan kita diyan?"