By Kevin de Vera
September 23, 2021
First, happy Bi Visibility Day!
Now, do not be confused with the term Bisexual. "Bisexual" is not about one's identity, rather it is about one's own affectional expression and capacity for profound emotional and physical attraction to individuals of more than one gender. We need to understand that each person is unique in expressing themselves in ways like how to identify themselves, express their sexuality, and manifest their intimate and physical attraction to other people. Basically, being a Bisexual, is part of a person's SOGIE, or Sexual Orientation, Gender Identify, and Expression.
"Being a Bisexual is Valid
Bisexuality is exactly what it means - the capacity of a person to be attracted to more than one gender, be it physical, emotional, sexual or romantic in nature. Academics categorize bisexuality as a person's sexual orientation.
According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation is a part of individual identity - it means “a person’s sexual and emotional attraction to another person and the behavior" and may also include "one's social affiliation that may result from this attraction" (APA 2015).
'Paminta' or black pepper as its direct English translation means in LGBTQ lingo as 'pa-men' referring to a gay man presenting himself as masculine. Being masculine has nothing to do with one's identity and one's sexual orientation. Being 'paminta' is a gender expression under the masculine category.
Gender expression refers to how one person wants to express his personhood to the world. How you dress yourself, you fix your hair, the color you prefer, the accessories you wear - to how you flip your fingers, wear your smile, manner you speak and tone of your voice. Basically, Gender expressions is usually how a person express themselves which are observable behaviors which may or may not conform to socially defined societal expectations and characteristics typically associated with being a man or a woman. It could be labelled as either masculine or feminine, or to some extent, can be neutral and can be androgynous which means an expression of both masculinity and femininity. Hence, being a 'paminta' does not mean bisexuality, and being a bisexual does not mean that a bi-male person must be a 'paminta'.
"Bi the way, it is also a Right
All persons can freely and responsibly choose who they want to be with. Who to love and spend time sexually and romantically with. Who to be their Mr. Ms. or Mx. Right! Who they want to spend the rest of their lives with. It all goes back to a person's sexual rights, and sexual rights is anchored on the principle of human rights.
The Department of Health clearly outlined that sexual rights refers to one's free and responsible decisions on all aspects of their sexuality, including protecting and promoting their sexual and reproductive health. It denotes that such decisions should be free from discrimination, coercion or violence in their sexual lives and in all sexual decisions (DOH 2021).
Sexual rights is aligned to the spirit of universal human rights. We are all equally entitled to our sexual and reproductive health rights without discrimination on basis of one's sexual orientation or gender identity, be in along civil and political rights (UNHR 2017). The right to life, equality before the law and freedom of expression. Hence, sexual right regardless of a person's SOGIE is indivisible, universal, interrelated and interdependent.
DOH 2021 - https://doh.gov.ph/node/1375