Tuesday, 15 December 2015


We may have forgotten them and maybe you don’t even have a knowledge that they still exist...

The first time I heard about them was back at the University when I was reading a newspaper with my closest friends in the library. If I am not mistaken, it was an article; a synopsis and critique of a filmed biographical-drama of the World War II Japanese Occupation of the Philippines. The funny side of that moment was, we were dissecting the content of the article as we shared the newspaper and it was read by our eyes only.

Years have passed and nowadays, most stories about transwomen or third sex individuals are mostly told about their successes, adventures and their anecdotes. Of course, we can't blame people for being mainly interested in what's 'hot' and 'in' at the moment. However, there is always a room to open or talk about less illustrious issues, like the Home for the Golden Gays.

In 1969, an institution located in Pasay City, Philippines was brought into existence and named as Home for the Golden Gays. It serves as a special place for elderly gays and lesbians who have nowhere else to go or have been rejected by their families. Historically, this supportive and loving home was founded by a local official, Justo Cagoso Justo, who has a distinguished public record for his dedication to duty and various human rights campaigns.

The Home for the Golden Gays is a non-profit organization and has built a multi-residence housing facility intended for those who seek the cordial yet familiar company of other elderly gay people. In particular, each golden gay in the home is provided with nutritious meals, health care (even hospice care) and is also provided with a homely commodious room. Aside from those benefits, the Home also organizes gatherings and recreation, every now and then, to brighten and cheer-up the days of the golden residents.

I have to admit that if I had not seen the pictures published on facebook by generous individuals, I would not have remembered that the Home for the Golden Gays is still active and functioning. Looking back at it, it was a nice feeling and even uplifting to the soul watching the pictures of the residents. I only chanced upon their pictures and called it a serendipitous moment which got me remembering them and then to write about them too. Moreover, each picture also showed the innate creativity and colourful disposition of all the senior golden gays and the younger ones too. In my opinion, they doubtlessly enjoyed the social gathering organized by fellow third sex individuals.

In fact, the kind-hearted people behind the charitable event surprised all residents of the Home for the Golden Gays before Christmas day. There were useful presents and the organizers had prepared, with lots of love and affection, a yummy banquet. The giving of gifts wasn't the highlight of the event- there was a pageant too! Participants flaunted their sparkling and colourful gowns and interested everyone with their scintillating stories about their lives.

The discovery of the pictures was accidental, but the establishment of Home for the Golden Gays wasn't! It was indeed created with one big special purpose and that is, to welcome those who seek genuine kindness and longing for a loving family who will be there for them unconditionally.

*Video courtesy of Dennis Lehmann
*Photos courtesy of Maria Barbie Anne Arcache

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