One of the most pressing issues in society today is homosexuality. Over the last few years strict regulations against gays and lesbians were being loosened, the most important aspect of which is to allow homosexual couples to marry. And recently lesbianism made headlines not only in the United States, but also in the Philippines.
In late April, NBA player Jason Collins announced via a Sports Illustrated article that he is gay, becoming the first active professional athlete to come out. But he was not the first athlete to come out. The likes of John Amaechi have also come out, albeit after retirement. Weeks after Collins’ statement, soccer player Robbie Rogers, who had come out several months earlier, joined Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy, after which he became the first openly gay player to play in the professional level.
In entertainment, the most notable lesbian personality today is Ellen DeGeneres, who came out on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997. Other notable gay entertainers were Elton John, Ricky Martin, Drew Barrymore and Anderson Cooper. More recently Tammy Baldwin won a seat in the Senate, becoming the first openly gay elected senator, while erstwhile congressman Barry Frank married boyfriend Jim Ready, becoming the first sitting politician to marry a person of the same gender.
Yesterday Filipino viewers were treated to a long-awaited revelation by Charice. The one-time Ellen guest made her feelings known through this phrase: ‘Tomboy po ako!!’ (I’m a lesbian). In the months leading up to the announcement Charice showed up with a shorter hairstyle, tattoos and a manly appearance. She was even reported to have an affair with a female contestant on the X-Factor Philippines. Charice’s coming out statement was supported by many netizens through various social accounts.
Now that more and more people, celebrities included, are coming out at a high rate, is it now time to loosen the barrier between heterosexuality and homosexuality? I believe the time is now. There is nothing to fear about a person’s feelings or thoughts with regards to their sexuality. If their decision to come out is the safest and the best thing to do, so be it. No longer will the gay person be tolerated, he must enjoy equal rights that heterosexuals enjoy. Social acceptance of gays and lesbian need to be expanded.
In short, because of overwhelming support and sympathy received by these celebrities who come out, the best thing that people do is to welcome homosexuals as ‘one of them’. Their rights and habits need to be respected and admired, and they should feel safe with the rest.