The word “bakla” is a derogatory term. When I was in grade school in an all-boys school, we called school mates who exhibited effeminate behaviour bakla. However, though we liberally threw the term around in the school yard, the notion of being a male person who is sexually-attracted to another male person was completely alien to my ten-year-old mind.
Often, we’d extend the use of the word bakla to refer to spineless and cowardly people — as in when someone who is called to a fist fight then refuses or flees we shout Ay bakla! Or if you make a strong assertion and then, when challenged to stand by it, do a backpedal, you’d be told, “Bakla ka pala e”.
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The short of it is that nobody wanted to be called bakla. To be on the receiving end of the words “Bakla ka pala e” was to cop the equivalent of a demotion in the male power structure of the time. Back then, the concept of bakla had nothing to do with sexual orientation and everything to do with strength of character.
Fast forward to the 21st Century and we will find that the brains trust of Filipino Snowflakedom have, in all their laughable wisdom, linked this derogatory term to the identity of the gay community. Now it is supposedly “ok” to be calling people bakla or even to refer to one’s self as bakla.
Filipino snowflakes fail to see that bakla hails from a time when narrow minds thought that effeminate behaviour necessarily makes one a gay male or that gay men are necessarily effeminate. Thus they had turned what is essentially an obsolete reference into a notional pillar of their community identity.
Trust snowflakes to apply such dimwittedness to their “woke” messaging.
I’ve met gay men who are more man than most straight men. And I’ve met straight men — and straight women — who are, to use the term in its real sense, profoundly bakla in character. Indeed, extending that term further, there are many women — both straight and gay — who ooze with kabaklaan in that sense. Bakla men and women say something on one hand then, on another, say stuff that completely contradicts what they earlier said. They raise shrill stinks around perceived “issues” without first stepping back to regard the facts surrounding them. They pretend to be “experts” on a topic but lack a sound foundation of meta definitions and frameworks to guide what they preach to their impressionable audience.
Nowadays, in an age when no one institution — including the once-chichi “journalism” profession — could be trusted and where one needs to be equipped with self-sufficient smarts to separate signal from noise, sober voices from shrill screeches, and real people from “woke” pretenders, peeling the degenerate “woke” layers off the confused notion of the bakla becomes more important. Boiled down to its core, the term can be applied properly to evaluating the dishonest behaviour of some of our society’s most revered “influencers” and “thought leaders”.
Case in point. All one needs to do to spot a bakla “influencer” is to ask the simple question: What do you mean by that?
“Head for the hills! The Philippines is in the midst of a massive assault on press freedom!!!”
Member of the audience:
“What do you mean by that?”
Member of the audience (making a mental note):
“Bakla ka pala.”
Seen from this perspective, it is high time we regard the term bakla for what it really describes — spineless, dimwitted, dishonest people. The biggest challenge Filipinos face in this “post-truth” world order (to use these bakla people’s own gibberish right there) is the pressing imperative to purge their communities of these shrill shills who have, over the last several decades, seriously misled millions of Filipinos.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.