After the proliferation of wives, husbands and their mistresses in movies and television shows, male homosexuals seem to take the lead in mainstream production nowadays.
In recent memory, the portrayal of masculine gays—as opposed to effeminate gay roles that have launched the careers of comedians Roderick Paulate, the late King of Comedy Dolphy and Michael V—occurs once in a blue moon, as industry observers say.
Pusong Mamon—a 1998 comedy flick produced by Viva Entertainment which the love triangle of Lorna Tolentino and gay couple Eric Quizon and Albert Martinez—and In My Life—a 2009 dramedy movie produced by Star Cinema with Vilma Santos in the lead and Luis Manzano and John Lloyd Cruz playing as a couple—are just two gay-themed commercial movies produced by big production houses without the shtick of “parlor gays.” In both movies, Quizon and Martinez as well as Manzano and Cruz portrayed masculine gays who are yet or just about to come out of the closet.
The smaller screen took a while to adopt this theme, much more on the prime time slot. My Husband’s Lover broke stereotypes in 2013 when it openly tackled gay relationship.
But this year, the rare portrayal became more frequent with bigger stars taking on the roles.
Viva Films will be opening Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend on October 19 with Anne Curtis, Paolo Ballesteros and Dennis Trillo in the lead. Curtis and Ballesteros play best friends who will try to figure out if Trillo—Ballestero’s childhood love—is among the rising statistics of men who can’t be easily identified as gay for they are dressing up the way straight men do. The movie implores the categorical question, “Why do good-looking men have boyfriends?”
A week earlier, Star Cinema’s Third Party will open in cinemas on October 12. Angel Locsin will play Sam Milby’s former love while Marudo is taking on the role of Milby’s current flame.
On television, ABS-CBN is currently airing‘Til I Met You, which adopts the masculine homosexuality that newcomer JC Santos is portraying opposite one of the country’s top love teams, James Reid and Nadine Lustre.
The rise of this theme can be attri-buted to the country’s acceptance of homosexuality.
In 2013, American “fact tank” Pew Research Center named the Philippines as one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world.
Out of all the respondents who were asked, “Should society accept homosexuality?” a strong 73-percent answered, “Yes.” The country was revealed to be the second most “friendly” in the Asia/Pacific region, tailing behind Australia who scored 79-percent.
“Five to ten years ago, I don’t think this material could have worked,” Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo May Boyfriend director Jun Robles Lana said in his movie’s press conference on Friday.
Actress Curtis agreed to the director’s note saying that, gays dressing as men is the new norm.
“It’s no longer just about gays wearing women’s clothes. It’s actually the norm now, you can’t outrightly say that a goodlooking man is straight for many of them have their boyfriends. It’s the norm and it’s accepted,” Curtis noted.
Trillo, who have played the gay lover of Tom Rodriguez’s character in My Husband’s Lover, said that like most works of art, their movie reflects the current state of the society.
“I think people are now more bold and more open as to what they really want to do with their selves and with their bodies,” Trillo imparted.
In conclusion, Lana—a proud member of LGBT, having married network executive Perci Intalan in 2013 in New York—noted that his movie and the current trend of this theme could mean that Philippines, like what Pew Research Center concluded three years ago, has become more accepting.
“Maybe the abundance in this kind of material means that we are more liberal and more accepting,” Lana finally said.