In solidarity and celebration of pride, these online talks with BJ Pascual and Vince Uy are set to shed light to the intricacies and nuance of the queer community.
There isn’t a day that goes by in this pandemic where we aren’t inundated with talking—jumping from one virtual meeting to the next, juggling multiple group chats at rapid fire succession, and typing out passing thoughts to saturate many cramped timelines on social media. A lot of words are peddled, which runs the risk of it being not taken as seriously as one would intend it to be, especially when at this point in time, these written and spoken manifestations are all the tangible things we can hold on to in a world where movement either has to be justified or outright limited. This isn’t to say that no sediment settles into a bedrock of ideas, because while it is challenging, the message that cuts across is the one that makes the most sense and really matters.
With many a conversation that takes place at any given minute, nothing hits quite as hard as one enveloped in the realm of socio-political and economic issues that plague the nation and the rest of the world in this global crisis. And in the month of June, it is only exacerbated by the plight of the queer community as it is of course, pride month. As discourses run the risk of becoming heated arguments that veer off course, consequently causing friction that breaks into disengagement and disconnection, it becomes all the more imperative to compel dialogue and discourse that will not only demand attention but also develop understanding for all involved.
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“What’s important, especially in this time, is to create personal conversations right now,” says creative conspirator, Vince Uy. “I think what the community needs is also a support system, and Blued is championing that, creating a support system where people can really freely converse, and not just converse but learn from each other.” He is of course talking about the recently launched series of community discussion on the social-anchored queer app, Blued. Aimed primarily at self-improvement as members of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as of being a human being, these succession of exchanges by key opinion leaders will help us navigate everything from fighting social injustice, working efficiently from home, prioritizing mental health, keeping physically fit, improving home cooking, to elevating style and grooming. More than just a campaign, #LetsTalkOnBluedPH is meant to uplift spirits, ignite hope, and empower members of the community in this unique circumstance we are slowly working to a new type of reality.
Kicking off with BJ Pascual, who talked about fighting social injustices live on the Blued app, these real-time discussions are core-shaking, brain-stirring sessions that is very much signature to the gay chikahan sessions that are in itself a rabid realm of imagination, information, and inspiration. “I’ve always been very vocal about what I think,” says BJ Pascual. “So, it’s also important to hear what other people think. Mahirap ma-stuck sa echo chamber ng sarili nating mga groups.” Attesting that he is willing to talk about anything, Vince Uy is following suit in the series that will run until November, this time focusing on standing up for the LGBTQIA+ community.
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“You know, I think it’s important you hear also the opinion of other people. It’s very enriching to be able to share ideas. And ultimately, when you voice your opinions and you get one person that’s convinced, that in itself is a win,” says Vince Uy. “So, I guess the more people that supports this cause and would possibly change their mind, that’s a win already. That’s the beauty of it.” In a virtual tête-à-tête that was a veritable foreplay to the main event, the formidable figures in the queer space bantered about important touch points such as femme shaming, using platforms for the community, debunking gay stereotypes, coming out, and acceptance.
While it was a tease for what is to come up on Blued, they certainly weren’t afraid to go deep, especially when it came to issues that beleaguer the country today, proving that their talk is not lip service. “With everything that’s happening right now, parang maraming basic human rights ‘yung natatapakan na. I think it’s even more important now to share your voice about what you care about. It’s all about us; it’s about basic human rights,” ascertains BJ Pascual. On his end, Vince Uy parlays this train of thought into the encompassing discussion on being able to celebrate pride and even so much as talk about the things like these. “For me, it’s a reflection of how much has changed and how much has evolved for the community…and at the same time, it’s also validating our existence,” says Vince Uy. “It’s important to celebrate it, to remind ourselves, and not just ourselves, but our allies and everyone around us that we exist. At the same time, that there are so many things that need to be addressed still to get to where we want to be.”
In this consolidated effort to empower primarily gay men, as well as of the greater and grander LGBTQIA+ community, it is further proof that while there are miles and miles still to go, the steps taken to acceptance and equality is truly worthwhile. Ruminating on the collective journey of the community, Vince Uy offers a more distilled outlook on the matter as a creative, a force of influence, and most importantly, a human being. “I’ve seen it all, and yet you feel like there are still things you want to see. As creatives, I always look at it two ways: you’re there to inspire, but you’re also there to inform. It’s a good balance of both. Iba ka pa rin naman as a creative, but being a part of the community gives so much meaning to it. There’s that part of information that you also have to constantly remind yourself to share with people,” he articulates. “We’re all just helping each other take a step for a better future for all of us.”
Well, if this is any indication of how decisively dazzling and deep the discussions are going to be then sign us up, stat. Besides, not only do we need someone to talk to at any given point of our day, we also need a shift in perspective, even if just to expand our horizons, especially at a time when a lot more consideration and compassion is needed in all the conversations for our most beloved community. So, let’s talk, yes?