Photo / Drag Race Philippines

Drag Race Philippines just crowned its first winner. The show found the country’s first drag superstar and at the same time, introduced a set of talented local queens to the mainstream public and launched their careers. Now we wonder, what’s next for the community after this historic win?

We had a sit-down interview with Jiggly Caliente, a Fil-Am queen who has competed twice on RuPaul’s Drag Race, first in the fourth season in 2012 and then in the sixth season of All Stars in 2021. She is one of the permanent judges on Drag Race Philippines.

According to her, “I hope that with the visibility of the queer community being out in the mainstream with Drag Race, I hope that there can be more rights, at least the bare minimum of human rights, for the LGBT community where we don’t get fired for who we are, [where] we don’t lose our jobs.”

Caliente cites the trans community as an example. She wants the trans community to be able to “change their name and live their authentic selves and not have to be forced to see their deadname while living their truth. These are the little things that our country could do better with.”

Deadname refers to the name that a transgender person was given at birth. They no longer use it after transitioning.

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A post shared by KaladKaren (@kaladkaren)

The Philippine franchise of Drag Race is unique in that it has two trans women on the panel: Caliente and KaladKaren.

“The entertainment value of Drag Race is beautiful but when you get to know the humans behind the glamour and behind the mask, I hope people can really empathize and understand the plight of the human being, especially the LGBT community,” Caliente added.

SOGIE Bill in the Philippines

This June, Sen. Risa Hontiveros announced that she wants to revive the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) equality bill in the 19th Congress.

To summarize, the SOGIE equality bill prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression (SOGIE).

Sexual orientation refers to whom a person is attracted to. A straight person, or heterosexual, is attracted to the opposite sex, while a gay individual is a general term for a man who is attracted to another man. There is a wide range of orientations, from asexual (not attracted to anyone) to bisexual and pansexual (attracted to others regardless of gender).

Gender identity and expression, meanwhile, refers to how people identify and express themselves. The difference is that the former refers to their sense of self, while the latter is about how they present themselves to the world.

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A post shared by Jiggly Caliente (@jigglycalienteofficial)

A cisgender person is someone who sees themselves as the biological sex assigned at birth. A transgender person is someone whose gender identity and/or expression is different from the sex they were assigned at birth. There are other identities and expressions, such as non-binary, which applies to people who do not see themselves as fitting the categories of male or female.

Everyone has a SOGIE and it is not limited to the LGBTQIA+ community.

According to Divina Law, the SOGIE equality bill is “meant to fulfill the rights set forth in the 1987 constitution, particularly the equal protection clause. It recognizes the LGBTQ++ as equals and ensures that their rights are protected inasmuch as everyone’s is.”

“Even in the US, our civil liberties and rights are being taken away. What more in a country where you don’t even have that? It’s a fight. To not have that, it boggles my mind. Because we are human beings, we are part of the human thread of the world. So why can’t we have the same rights as everybody else?” Caliente shared.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below!

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