Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"Last Night I Heard the Screaming..."

I was browsing the Sunday paper off our porch when I came upon this article with the same title as above written by the superb writer/advocate Bum Tenorio Jr. As I conscientiously read the article, I was surprised to find out that it dealt about domestic violence present among homosexual couples. I was immediately engrossed and enthralled, not only because of my affirmative interest about the topic, but because I (probably) had become a victim of one in my past.

To quote from Bum Tenorio’s article:

“Not many are in the know—or perhaps they are just unmindful and insensitive or simply oblivious—to the fact that domestic violence is NOT just a crime affecting heterosexual couples. The structure and dynamics of homosexual couples are ALSO SIMILAR to the abuses that take place in heterosexual relationship. After all, VIOLENCE IS NOT JUST ABOUT ANGER. It’s about POWER and CONTROL.

“Unlike women, however, who can report cases of domestic abuse to many a women center all over the country, gay and lesbian victims in the Philippines normally do not seek help not because they are ashamed of their plight but because they think there isn’t any help available to them. More often than not, gay people lodge their complaints in the barangay. Many times, the buck stops there.
“Homophobia truly compounds the problems faced by gay and lesbian victims of domestic violence. The rest of the society may not admit it but I still believe that homophobia — the society’s fear and hatred towards gay and leasbians — is a contributory factor to the difficulties and complexities faced by battered homosexuals. Though there is much tolerance now, the persistent and palpable societal homophobia leads to isolation of the victims, therefore contributing to the violence they undergo.
“It is always, always unjust and unwarranted to hear heterosexuals saying that a gay couple’s main function for coupling is because of SEX. Look closely here, the configuration of gay and lesbian relationship mirrors that of their male-female counterparts. Unions between two gays or lesbians stream from far more than the desire to have a steady copulating partner. LIKE THE HETEROSEXUALS’ SEARCH FOR A LOVER, HOMOSEXUALS ALSO LOOK FOR LOVE AND LOYALTY, DEVOTION AND DEDICATION, FRIENDSHIP AND FIDELITY, COMMITMENT AND COMPANIONSHIP IN THEIR PARTNER. The many parallels and similarities between a man-woman relationship and man-man or woman-woman relationship make homosexual domestic violence equally alarming as that of the heterosexual’s… Only, there are no 24-hour crisis hotlines or emergency shelters that solely cater to domestic violence in same-sex affair.”

Its extremely gratifying to realize that there are people who still speak out for the oppressed, the exploited and the voiceless in the society. I have personally heard some first-hand accounts on domestic violence among my homosexual friends and it is even widely depicted on our television screens (think Six Feet Under and Nip/Tuck). Why does our homophobic society still thinks of homosexual relationships as subhuman? Is this the impression they want to imprint on the minds and hearts of our youth? That relationships involving same-sex couples are dehumanizing, irrational and absurd?

Lately I’ve got to thinking that domestic violence among homosexual and heterosexual partners does not only involve physical assault or battery, but mostly of the emotional repercussions of every act of violence. The pain of a hurtful blow might subside after weeks but wounding words is even more painful, agonizing, and unbearable for one. Every hurtful word said is an act of violence in itself. No matter how subtle the hurt is, damages will still be done either knowingly or unknowingly inferred.

And then I realized how I had been a victim of one. Like many homosexual people in a relationship, we all had experienced the pain and the hurts of domestic violence in the emotional aspect. Hurtful words are said, so are the consequences and the repercussions. Time might heal all of the corporeal wounds, but the emotional ramifications are much more deafening. And no amount of balm can successfully cure the wounds.

We all had been to several hardships in our relationships, and whether they survived or failed, enduring all the pains is an inevitable reality. Like Agent Clarice Starling in the Silence of the Lambs, we all woke up in the middle of the night to hear the screaming of the lambs, our personal pains, our burdens, our fears, and all we can do is ask:

When will the screaming ever stop?

PS. Kudos to Mr. Bum Tenorio Jr. for his article entitled “Last Night I Heard the Screaming.” I’m encouraging everyone to obtain a copy of June 12, 2005’s edition of The Philippine Star where the original article is published.


Mr. Schizophrenic said...

Nakakarelate ako sa ganitong situation ... emotionally that is. So far, wala pa naman kasi nanakit sa akin physically ... maybe because malaki ang built ng katawan ko. But, for me disciminatory words hurt more than physical abuse.

Btw, I linked you up dahleng. Have a nice day! :)

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

Thanks Mr. Schizophrenic! I sooo soo like you talaga (in a nice, friendly way, that is)! =)

As my friend would say, what's the point of hanging out with the person who hurts you and does not know the meaning of true love? Though wala pa din namang nanakit sa akin in the past, like you, hurtful words hurts just as painful as the physical blows.

At present, i'm wiser na din because of the emotional sufferings i have endured in the past. Kasi no matter how hurtful some words might be, in one way or the other, it somewhat reflects what other people thinks of you. We just have to stand tall and be strong (and leave him coz we deserve better!).

Thanks again! Hope you enjoyed your Aussie experience!!! =)

bing said...

hi ruffles,

for me, heterosexuals and homosexuals could experience that fate of being discriminated and hurt physically and emotionally in the same way. if a person is bad, it doesnt count if you are a woman or a gay, he/she will hurt you without second thoughts. but sad to say, in a society like we have in the Philippines, the culture of naive realism still lingers, and that just worsens the circumstances.

Mel said...

"Some people cant say the word 'gay', even if their mouth is full of one."

There are just too many narrow minded people who are just too caught up in their own sh*t.

As for the emotional badgerings, bago pa maging kami ni x, medyo verbally harassed na ako. Nagalit nga ang mga nakarinig sa kwento. Over daw kasi. As a friend said (kwento ko sau kung sino), "gusto kong tadtarin yung balls niya ng pinong pino, ibabad sa suka at ipakain sa aso." Pati yung friend ko na piiiinakamabait sa class natin eh napa "Gago siya".

Emotional abuse for me, is harder to deal with than physical ones. Kapag may peklat o pasa, pwede mong ipakita sa ibang tao, tell them that 'this was what I went through'. Sa emotional, wala kang pruweba. Ikaw lang at siya (minsan hindi pa) ang nakakaalam. And this makes things harder for us.


nasabe 'nyo nang lahat . . .

thumbs up . . .

at least they are bring these issues up on the broadsheets.

haaaaaaaay . . . .

hard yatang maging battered GAY.

PS. ruffles, MABUHAY! belong ka na sa LIGA ng SANGKABAKLAAN

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

Hi bing “aka” juliet. My deepest appreciation to you for visiting my blog site.

I couldn’t agree more with what you have said. I am not saying that the entire Filipino society is homophobic but the reality that there are still A LOT of people condemning homosexual relationships makes me feel remorseful of their narrow-mindedness (and stupidity).

That fact and the reality that our laws do not extend its jurisdiction among homosexual couples make me feel even painful for the victims of domestic violence. There is no provision in the constitution that protects the welfare of gays and lesbians who underwent nightmarish experiences in the hands of their own partner. As Bum said, “There are no Manay Gina de Venecia who would take the cudgels for homosexuals battered by their lovers.”

I know that there is much, much more education our society has to learn, and all I could do is hope that time comes when all people will respect each other despite their personal differences, and I will be grateful when that time comes.

Thanks Bing! You’re such a precious balm to my aching soul. =)

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

Hi Mel! My super best best best best friend, confidante and supporter! =)

You’re so true Mel. As with our personal chikahans and as chronicled in your blogsite, I am sure that in one way or the other (in many ways, I presume), you had been a victim of that damn emotional violence.

The saddest thing is that, it is prevalent among people involved in a relationship, yet we do nothing to stop or prevent it. Instead, we compromise, telling ourselves that we can still endure these pains because we love our partners (and we believe that such emotional pains are purely inevitable and unavoidable). But most often than not, the problem becomes perennial and we are left with no choice but to surrender and flee with our hearts broken and our ego shattered. But despite the ordeal, there’s one thing we should be proud of—that is, WE HAVE SURVIVED despite the scars our emotional wounds have imprinted on our hearts and minds.

Mahirap talaga pag ganun. At times, hindi alam or nag-mamaang-maangan pa ang ating mga mahal sa buhay na sila ay nakakasakit na ng damdamin. And that makes the problem worse. The best thing to do is to let go of the affair (before he/she kills you). You deserve to be happy. We all are…

As Desiderata tell us, we must always “strive to be happy.” Sometimes we can find real happiness in letting go of the pains and the burdens that weigh us down. And when that time comes, I will be forever happy for you Mel. I’m always here for you. You are special. You are loved.

Love you mel.. =)

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

Thanks so much Bernadette. From the very beginning, I had this comfortable feeling towards you. Its probably because your stories, views, opinions, and attitudes towards life and living epitomizes with that of mine. =)

I’m elated with the fact that there are still good angels roaming this wonderful planet of ours that are sensitive enough to feel the anguish of our fellow homosexuals. Nakaka-tuwang malaman na marami tayong kakampi sa ating quest for justice and equality. That fact is simply FABULOUS.

Keep on blogging Bernadette! I so so so love you!!! You go gurl!!! =)

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