Are We Filipinos Ready for a Gay-Themed Teleserye?

“I’m sure a lot of people are gonna say a thing or two about the show. All I really have to say is, this show is a love story. And love is a beautiful thing and it shines through no matter age, no matter race, no matter color, and no matter gender preference. Love is love and no matter what package it comes in, it’s still beautiful,”  said Dominic Zapata, the director of GMA-7’s newest drama series My Husband’s Lover.

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Ever wonder why he said that? Well, because the teleserye (this what we Filipinos term our drama series) attempts to defy the convention by tackling an unprecedented issue that has never been  explored before  in any drama series. What else? Homosexuality.  American TV series like Glee, The New Normal, and even Will and Grace may have been brandishing same-sex relationship in their plots, but here in the Philippines, the experience of watching gay-laden drama on primetime TV is still a taboo. I mean, yeah, there may have been gay characters present in the teleseryes, but never has there been a story focused on them throughout the duration.  It’s probably how the viewers perceive or even how the writers characterize gays in their stories: a beautician, a gossipmonger, a transvestiteor even a laughing stock.  That sucks, right?

Gay characters take a backseat when it comes to dramas, because we are still enchained to that notion that gays are well fitted to comedy shows.  Even straight actors dress up as women in an attempt to poke laughter at the viewers.  But never have we seen gay characters devoid of the ornaments which make them outwardly gays.  And this time, gays all trapped in the closet. You may click here for the plot of the drama series.

GMA-7 has yet to prove its worth as the coryphaeus of conventional-defying soap operas.  In a country where morality and religion matter even in television shows, yet again, the network has  to wade through clamors about deviating from the status quo as soon as the drama series is aired.  Admit it or not, patriarchy takes a very strong force in our society despite our views on gays and homosexual relationship.  After all, we are a catholic nation,  We still smirk when we see both guys holding hands or display affection in the public.  Can we afford to sit back and enjoy a TV drama with Dennis Trillo and Tom Rodriguez sharing intimate scenes together?  We might not just probably smirk.  We might squirm.

That is, if you choose to close your eyes or just see what you want to see, and be disgusted by what you are seeing.  You refuse to see what is being presented and that is, to borrow from Dominic Zapata’s words, “love is a beautiful thing and it shines through no matter age, no matter race, no matter color, and no matter gender preference. Love is love and no matter what package it comes in, it’s still beautiful.”

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