Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Eye Con

My straight friend was curious: “So how come Madonna and Mariah Carey are gay idols? What made them gay idols?”

I thought for a moment. “I think gay idols are usually public figures, often in showbiz or entertainment, whom most gays embrace because of two things: either they’re so diva-esque that most gays would want to be her, or strive to be like her; or they rose up from difficult circumstances and triumphed, and so are great examples to emulate. Then there are those who are embraced because they embody the “oh-we-are-so-sawi-sa-pag-ibig” that’s a common theme among gay people.”

“Really?” my friend was awestruck.

“In general I think that’s the idea,” I said. “There may be exceptions; you really cannot predict how a group of people will act all the time, you know.”

“But why are gays so sawi-sa-pag-ibig?” my friend asked.

My brow furrowed further. “Well, given that society frowns on us, it’s not surprising that we find ourselves in doomed attractions at one point or another in our lives. Either we fall for the impossible—like, straight guys who can never reciprocate. Or we cannot make it work because circumstances—and people around us—are against it. When you’re young and you’re attracted to the same sex and you’re told that’s not what’s normal, doesn’t the whole situation take on a tragic appeal?”

My friend nodded. “I see.” He stared into the distance for a while then turned to me again. “So are there any local gay icons?”

“Hmmm,” I searched my memory banks. “Nora Aunor, especially during her height of fame. Regine Velasquez—” then I backpedaled a bit, “—but I think only if you like her songs.”

“Jolina?” my friend volunteered.

“Fashion victim, not icon,” I said. “Now has-been.”


“Gay, period. Icon? Maybe.”

And we both laughed out loud.

* * * * *

Later I checked Wikipedia. It turns out my “definition” was close to what was in the online encyclopedia. I was also surprised to find out that the first recorded gay icon was Saint Sebastian. But then one look at his tortured portrait, all muscular and nearly naked, and I thought, “Ay! Closet case!”

To be honest, I never paid particular attention to local gay icons. Here are several names of public figures and tell me if you think they deserve to be called “gay icon” or not:

[1] Vilma Santos
[2] Sharon Cuneta
[3] Cherie Gil
[4] Imelda Marcos
[5] Sarah Geronimo
[6] Judiel
[7] Lea Salonga
[8] Madame Auring
[9] Aiza Seguerra
[10] Kris Aquino
[11] Melanie Marquez
[12] Tessa Prieto Valdez

Okay, I’m sure you can come up with more. Your turn.


Mugen said...

Pwede si Kris Aquino. Hehe.

Dati meron sa g4m na thread, Regine vs Lea. Ang tindi ng away ng mga fans nila. Personalan talaga kung sa personalan.

Anonymous said...


how can you forget :

1) Ms. Celia Rodriguez and

2) Ms. Rita Gomez

PS. I am not that old. hahahaha.

joelmcvie said...

@ANONYMOUS: Sino sila?



I had no intention of putting up a complete list. I wanted you guys to supply the rest.

Misterhubs said...

Maricel Soriano
(and even if I hate their toned guts...)
La Gretta
Ruffa G.

WalaLang said...

I feel Ruffa Mae Quinto and Ai Ai De Las Alas deserve to be in the pantheon, devah? c",)

Nelson said...

@ walalang: mmmm Ruffa Mae and Ai Ai are "baklang babae." I'm not sure if the gays would like to emulate them. Befriend them and make them fag hags, yes, but not exactly icon material....

@ Joel: I laughed out loud with your cutting comments about Jolina. He he so true! I think she tried too hard to be unique with her taste in wardrobe that she alienated most people. A true gay icon is someone the gays can relate too. Bad kikay fashion is not.

I'd like to add to the gay icon diva-divahan (big hair, big voice) list:

[1] Lani Misalucha (there's a lot of rabid fans out there, and there's a really harsh war between Lani and Regine fans -- check out the YouTube commments)
[2] Jaia
[3] Kuh Ledesma (di ba lesbyana rin siya?)
[4] Zsa Zsa Padilla

I think Piolo is already a gay icon (yes, we all know he's already gay to begin with). He's got this certain urban style that appeals a lot to young gay yuppies. I've had at least two guys ask me if I could possibly style and shoot them like Piolo (this was shortly before I left Pinas). I was a little disturbed, because they sent me a ton of Piolo photos that they like. I was a little shocked that they actually follow his style religiously. Now I wouldn't mind shooting the man himself (I think he's incredibly photogenic!), but I feel that copying his style and shooting these guys to be like him seem a little far-fetched. Lalo na kung hindi masyadong photogenic. :-)