Justice for Jennifer Laude
I know I promised entries on what I’ve been up to since my break started, but this has to be written. It’s a grimmer subject than what I usually touch upon, and if you disagree with me, please feel free to unfollow – because this is not an opinion I will change my mind on.
Last October 11, the transgender community in the Philippines lost one of its sisters. Jennifer Laude was found dead in a hotel in Olongapo City. She was last seen in the company of Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, a US Marine identified by the Olongapo police and U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service as the primary suspect in her murder.
Jennifer’s friends described her as “full of joy” and “selfless”. Her sister, Marilou, described her as generous, saying she was the family’s breadwinner and never failed to send money back to their mother in Leyte. Those who knew her said she was out and proud of her sexuality, confidently wearing nice clothes and makeup, owning who she was.
This is a heinous crime; one worthy of the highest punishment our justice system can mete out. A woman was callously and cruelly murdered, ripped from the loving arms of her friends and family at the tender age of 26. It’s enough to horrify anyone.
Or at least, it horrifies us Filipinos who have hearts. Us Filipinos who believe that murder is murder, no matter the orientation or sexuality of the victim. Us Filipinos who believe that the murder of Jennifer Laude was a vicious, hateful crime; that nothing she could have done to Private Pemberton warranted the loss of her life.
The distinction is there because – and it disgusts me on so many levels to say this – there are far, far too many of my countrymen who believe otherwise.
The number of digs at Jennifer’s sexuality is appalling. The people who have implied – and even outright stated! – that she got what was coming to her for “pretending to be something she was not”. There are those who have called her delusional for trying to “pass herself off” as a woman. I remember reading a comment calling Jennifer “it”, that she had “ruined this young man’s life”. When news outlets that mis-gendered Jennifer took the initiative to apologise and begin referring to her using feminine pronouns, angry netizens took to the comments sections to call the newspaper insane, idiotic, etc. etc.
Many commenters have expressed disgust and indignation because “a tranny tried to have sex with a straight man”, some have said that it was Jennifer’s fault for “pretending to be a woman”, still others remarked that a “sinner was punished”.
Guys, what the actual fuck.
I am ashamed. I am quivering with anger. I am heartbroken at how utterly cruel and ignorant my fellow Filipinos can be. We are so woefully uneducated about transgender issues that this lack of knowledge has transformed into blind fury. How can people be so vocal and vile about something they know nothing about?
Transgendered people are not the enemy. Transgendered people are not some different species that will attack us. Transgendered people are not morally defunct. Transgendered people are not challenging God or the natural order.
Transgendered people are our brothers and sisters, our cousins, our friends. They are our neighbors. They are our fellow human beings, deserving of the same rights, the same respect, that we would accord anyone else. They deserve the right to define who they are, the right to be happy.
Transgendered people are part of the wide spectrum of humanity that God put on this earth, and they have every right to be themselves and enjoy life as much as any of us.
Currently, Private Pemberton is in the custody of the United States, being held onboard the USS Peleliu while a joint Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Philippine National Police investigation is conducted. The Philippines is, however, seeking custody. As of October 14, the Philippine National Police have filed a case of murder against the suspect, with Jennifer’s sister Marilou serving as the principal complainant.
JUSTICE FOR JENNIFER LAUDE.
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:28-31
U.S. Marine Suspected in Killing of Transgender Woman in the Philippines
Remembering ‘Ganda’: The tragedy of Jennifer Laude
PNP names US Marine tagged in Olongapo slay
Murder complaint filed vs US Marine in Olongapo
PH wants custody of US Marine in Olongapo slay
Jennider Laude is a she
The Ugly Reality of Transphobia in the Philippines
“I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for. I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”—
Jennifer Lawrence on her nude picture leak (Vanity Fair)
This is an awesome response. I have no idea why anyone should have to apologize for taking nude photos and sharing with someone. The only people that should have to say sorry are the people who stole them from her without consent.
Whenever I think I can’t love Jennifer Lawrence more, she proves me wrong.
I don’t like Jennifer Lawrence, but a great response indeed.
Holy crap, have I missed this blog!
My last entry was in August. August. And it’s already October 5. My, how time flies.
Well, I hardly need to expound on what’s kept me away from this blog all this time. Law school, of freakin’ course! I’ve been busy revising for finals, as well as balancing all that advanced studying with the daily grind of reading for recitations. I swear to God, every day I have to ask myself why I thought law school would be a good idea.
I do eventually come up with a good answer, so I guess that’s all right.
Anyway, now that it’s sem break, I fully intend on updating this blog with everything I’ve been up to! So if anyone’s still following me (geez, I hope you all haven’t given up hope on me :<) be prepared to be inundated with the most mundane happenings of my life. It’s amazing how you begin to appreciate things like having the time to read a book, watch a movie, or get a mani-pedi when for the past couple of months finding the time to just sleep has already been a struggle!
I’m putting away some of the books on my to-read list, I’ve gotten into yoga, I have a bunch of new sections and columns for this blog planned out - oh, and last August 27, I turned 21! So there’s a lot I’m gonna be writing about in the coming days.
An Oldie But Goodie: Guardians of the Galaxy + What If?
I owe this blog a couple of movie reviews! Over the past two weeks, I got to watch Marvel’s latest hit, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Daniel Radcliffe’s new romcom, What If? And the reason that this review is titled ‘An Oldie But Goodie’ is that both movies make use of tried-and-tested formulas for their respective genres, and still manage to come out as fun, fresh, and overall just really good films!
Guardians of the Galaxy is nothing new: a bunch of ragtag misfit criminals, led by an outlaw with a heart of gold, who band together to save the galaxy. What makes Guardians particularly memorable is its lovable cast of characters: the tough green-skinned assassin Gamora (and c’mon girls, don’t tell me you didn’t cheer when she refused to fall victim to Starlord’s ‘pelvic sorcery!’); the honorable and cutely literal-minded Drax the Destroyer (and holy hell can Batista act, I never thought it!); wisecracking Peter Quill; and of course the oh-so adorable tandem of Rocket Raccoon and Groot (I cried when he said, “We are Groot,” at the end, not gonna lie).
It’s a refreshing change from Marvel’s other movies, most of which have taken a pretty dark and serious turn. We know Guardians is pretty much headed that way as well, but it’s nice to be able to enjoy a more lighthearted film before everything goes to shit.
Basically, Guardians wasn’t one of Marvel’s best, but it’s still a really nice feel-good film. I think of it as a more irreverent, scruffier Star Wars with a bit of Firefly thrown in. Plus, the soundtrack is awesome! (I’ve still got ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ playing on loop in my brain.)
What If?is also nothing we haven’t seen before. But it puts a pretty fresh spin on the whole ‘can men and women just be platonic friends?’ plot by throwing a boyfriend in the mix and — here’s the kicker — the boyfriend isn’t made out to be a total douchebag! He’s actually a nice guy, and you can actually see the conflict the girl, Chantry, goes through when deciding if she’s still in love with him or if she’s beginning to fall for her best friend, Wallace.
Ah, Wallace. Utterly adorable goofball Wallace. Minus the dead-end job and giving up on med school, anyone else get the vibe that this is what Daniel Radcliffe is like in real life?
But what I loved most about this movie is the absolutely random conversations Wallace and Chantry get into! Can I just say, this shit is so accurate I cannot even. We’ve got loads of ‘boy and girl who are best friends’ movies and books that don’t show this, but this! This is exactly what happens between best friends! Their conversations sound freaky.
Have any of you seen these movies? Let me know what you thought!