The Pinoy Big Brother Otso house got a little heated in the episode aired last night, April 14. This was because housemate Mae Alfante influenced her peers to question the gender of Sky Quizon, a male housemate whom she suspected was gay.
Mae’s questioning started even during their first week in the house. She noticed early on that 21-year-old male model moved softly and that he follows a comprehensive skin regimen.
The 22-year-old female dancer from Davao was not apprehensive to call Sky out. She teased him constantly by calling him “bakla,” even if Sky already appeared annoyed because of this.
During the previous week’s jump rope task, for example, Mae made fun of Sky because he looked like he was having a hard time keeping up with his jumps.
Mae, who was the task leader, praised Sky for surviving the ropes but she mockingly added, “Mukhang bakla lang. Medyo nag-dalawang isip na ko sa yo. Parang nag-iiba ka na ha? Pero lalaki ka ba?”
Sky was catching his breath when he retorted. “Sige, hindi na for you. Okay tayo?”
Mae also led the charge in talking to the rest of the girls about Sky.
One night, before they went to sleep, she complained to Hasna Cabral, Diana Mackie, Franki Russell, and Kiara Takahashi that Sky was getting too physical with his actions. She mentioned one incident when he hurt her when he threw a water-filled balloon at her.
“Over naman. Lalaki ka Sky, e, ako babae ako, parang ganun. Wag mo naman kalimutan na babae ako,” she said, alluding that this fuels her doubts about Sky’s gender.
But Mae mentioned that she’s not fully sure that Sky is gay because he confessed that he has feelings for Diana a few days ago.
“Straight naman siya ano? Gusto ka niya, e, so yun yung nakikita ko,” Mae asked Diana, who was sitting in another bed.
Diana agreed with Mae and mentioned that Sky might not be serious. “Pero alam mo, honestly, hindi ko napi-feel na gusto niya talaga ako,” said the young model from Cabanatuan.
This made Mae remark that Sky might just be using Diana to hide his identity. “Napapaisip tuloy ako. Na para takpan lang,” she said.
The situation escalated one day in the living room when the rest of the housemates noticed Sky putting lotion on his feet. Hasna Cabral and Akie Poblete commented that he brought a lot of cosmetics in the house, because they have also witnessed him applying a lip balm and moisturizer.
Mae, who was sitting in the far end of the room, was quick to chime in with his usual comment. “Parang bakla talaga,” she said to the rest of the housemates.
Sky did not take this one lightly. “Stereotype si Mae, e,” he answered. “Stereotyping. So pag hindi pasok sa masculine na pananaw niya, bakla na. Iyan, e, sakit yan sa lipunan.”
Hasna heard this and decided to press on and ask Sky, who was sitting beside her, if he gets attracted to men.
Sky gave a more comprehensive answer than a simple yes or no. The summa cum laude from the University of the Philippines in Diliman explained the concept of gender as a spectrum.
“Hindi siya nagso-solidify na nandito ka lang. The possibilities sa gender are infinite. Just because hindi ka akma dun sa pananaw natin kung ano yung lalaki o babae nga, parang yung ginagawa ni Mae, frowned upon ka. Let’s just respect choices,” he said pointedly.
He then pointed out that Mae should be more respectful because she has a gay brother. “Hindi dapat maging insult ang pagiging tomboy, and pagiging bakla,” he told Mae.
Mae meekly agreed. “Respect na lang din talaga. Sana lahat ng tao open sa ganung bagay.”
Sky talked to Kuya about this situation in the confession room. He confirmed that being called gay is not new to him, and he’s been called that even when he was a young school boy.
“Kasi ang puti ko, ang linis ko lagi, I always go to school neat, clean, nakaayos ang buhok, malinis ang uniporme, so hindi po siya bago sa akin, e,” he narrated.
Was this hurtful? Sky said yes, but he eventually learned to brush it off.
Sky answered, “Of course, nung una, siyempre bata, siyempre nakakasakit po yun ng loob bilang ang pagtingin sa akin ay masama. Ang pagtingin sa akin ay iba. I took offense for those things. But as time went by, nung nag-college, natutunan ko po yung ganitong pananaw. Kung paano natin tingnan ang tao, e, hindi dapat base sa kanyang gender. Hindi dahil lalaki siya o babae. Simple lang kuya. Tingnan natin kung paano siya pag sa pagiging tao.”
Sky also continued to explain what he knows about gender identity. He knows he is a boy, but he’s open to experiencing love across all genders.
“Now I see myself as a heterosexual male, but if you would ask me Kuya, if I am open to maybe falling in love to another man, to a gay person, to a lesbian? I don’t see anything wrong about that, Kuya. Ayoko pong maging mabiktima ng mga labels. Ayoko pong maging parte nung pagvi-victimize ng ibang tao. So if you ask me Kuya I’ll be open. Ang mas pinaniniwalaan ko po not the gender but I’m serious about love, I’m serious about falling in love. Seryoso po ako sa pag-ibig. At sa tingin ko po yun ang mas makapangyarihan, pag-ibig over any gender,” he said.
Mae also talked to Kuya in the confession room. She explained that she kept bringing up Sky’s gender because she wants to help him. She talked about her gay brother, who formerly struggled because of his identity.
“Gusto ko nga pong tulungan si Sky kasi open naman kami halos lahat ng girls. Kung ano man po yung totoo talaga, pwede niya po kaming sabihan.
"Kasi alam ko, Kuya, mahirap yun, Kuya. Sa mga napgadaanan po ng kuya ko, natulungan po namin siya na ilabas po kung ano ang totoong siya. Sa ibang tao, kuya, kami na po halos ang nagtatanggol dun kasi mahirap po kuya na magtago,” Mae told Big Brother.
She added that she does not mean to prod Sky; she just wants him to be happy. “Ayoko naman po talagang i-push na gay po siya pero sana po maging totoo po talaga siya sa sarili niya kung saan po siya masaya.”
Kuya, however, advised her that she might be hurting Sky with her actions. The house’s mentor said the experiences of Mae’s brother should not be equated with what Sky is experiencing. This made Mae realize that she might be at fault.
“Maling-mali po talaga kuya, nanghusga po ako agad kuya kahit alam ko po na tutulong ako pero maling-mali po agad na yun po yung nasabi ko po din talaga sa kanya. Naliwanagan po ako ngayon kuya,” she said.
Mae decided to apologize to Sky after she left the confession room. Sky accepted her apology, and he assured her that their friendship remains.
“Never akong na-offend sa mga hirit na yun even how many times. You don’t have to feel bad,” he said.
Sky also apologized for the times he hurt Mae. “If ever I have gone overboard sa pagti-tease sa yo. Ako feel ko, you’re one of my closest. Pag sobrang nagiging close ko na medyo papunta na dun sa pagtutukso, asar-asaran. It also hurts me to know na nasaktan na pala kita, so sorry,” he told Mae.
Sky and Mae then hugged to mark their reconciliation.