It is touted as the fight of the century, a match several years in the making. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquaio, both boxing legends in their own right, have finally gone head-to-head on May 3, 2015. The world stood still.
By now everyone knows the results and each has their share of debate and analysis to contribute to the general conversation. But there’s this one aspect in this historical event that many, if not the majority, seem to ignore. It is not about the alleged rigging by the judges and especially not the dancing and running skills of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
It is that Mayweather on this day is apparently gay. He is a fag, talawan, bayut, bakla, bading, or simply and ultimately put, “Gayweather.” As for him being a wife-beater, that’s a different story.
For having defeated a crowd favorite by sheer calculation, physiological advantage, and maybe even luck, Mayweather has received the ire of millions. But what surprised me was that many people still brandish the word “gay” as a kind of insult in this time and age.
I shared this sentiment online, and those who used the slur countered that I was over-reading it. “No offense”, “It’s just an expression,” “It’s for fun”, and “Chill” were the responses I received. Some even personally messaged me, perhaps, to hide their lapses and lack of better judgment. But this is not something to be chill with.
Chill my balls.
It is easy to raise hell and fire back, like slitting some throats with a butter knife (kidding), but as how a friend has reminded me, the best way to approach these people is with education. We need to teach everyone to stop using “gay” as an insult, a joke or for fun. Most especially the latter.
Take note, this is the same kind of reasoning why some arsonists burn houses, why anarchists terrorize people, or why rapists do what they do. They do it for fun.
In fact, hate is perpetuated by being too casual on matters that are actually derogatory. The fact alone that it is used as an “expression” only underscores how far we are from becoming aware of this or how plenty of people are becoming mindlessly oppressive by thinking they are better than the others. This is a case that makes it truly terrifying to the gay community.
Educating people is hard, especially for the older generation when it comes to sensitivity, but it is not impossible. My generation, our generation, is a tribe that has the responsibility to learn from the previous generation’s mistakes. And whether you agree or disagree, one of their mistakes is the shaming and disgust towards the LGBTQ community (which goes back further into the prejudice against the black community and the exclusion of women’s rights).
If we drag the word “gay” as a convenient slur, we also drag a community that has experienced a long, painful history of injustice that resulted to more fights and unnecessary deaths. If we continue to act the way we act right now, what are we showing to the youth who are still coming into terms with their inner selves? What are we teaching to some kids who already feel bullying is just normal?
Yes, we are a nation that is shamed. We Filipinos (and supporters of Manny Pacquiao from around the globe) have a collective morale that is deeply wounded. The classic story of an underdog winning at the end of day just did not happen. And it is all right. There is no need for this hatred.
Bigotry is not how we should project our patriotism to the world. Discrimination is not the proper attitude towards defeat. Think again and think harder. There are still many fights to fight, and more are not found inside the boxing ring.
[ image borrowed from this site ]