Babaylanic Voice: Embracing the Power of Queerness and Decolonization | John Ray Hontanar | TEDxUPV – Video

Babaylanic Voice: Embracing the Power of Queerness and Decolonization | John Ray Hontanar | TEDxUPV – Video

The video titled Decolonizing queerness: Celebrating the power of my Babaylanic Voice by John Ray Hontanar on TEDxUPV explores the intersectionality of queerness, masculinity, and femininity within the context of Filipino culture. Hontanar unpacks the deep-seated patriarchy and misogyny that has led to the oppression and othering of queer individuals, particularly those who are feminine-presenting. He shares his own experiences of growing up as a queer individual in the Philippines, discussing the impact of derogatory phrases and societal norms on his self-identity. Despite facing prejudice and discrimination, Hontanar credits his loving and accepting family for instilling a sense of resilience within him. As a professor and queer rights advocate, he emphasizes the importance of using his voice to empower and enlighten young queer individuals, ensuring that they know they are not alone in their journey. Hontanar also sheds light on the indigenous concept of the “Babaylanic Voice,” tracing it back to the precolonial history of the Philippines and celebrating the bravery and defiance of effeminate men within the community. The video ultimately serves as a call to action for embracing and celebrating queerness within the context of Filipino culture, challenging harmful stereotypes and narratives.

Watch the video by TEDxTalks

Author Video Description

In the face of Patriarchy, anything that is feminine is shamed or othered. Misogyny is normalized and toxic machismo is celebrated. The babaylan symbol is an ideal metaphor for QUEER liberation because it challenges patriarchal core values and uses a definition of power free from the dynamics of domination. Living in a time of disinformation, strongman politics, and oppressive dictatorships, the awakening of interest in Babaylan studies is a battlecry for future agi writers, artists, and academics to always take up space. John Ray A. Hontanar is a literary scholar, visual artist, and LGBTQIA+ advocate. Born and raised on the magical island of Panay, he holds a Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature and specializes in babaylanic studies, indigenous Panayanon culture, and queer writing. He teaches Literary Theory and Art Criticism as an Assistant Professor at the Division of Humanities in UP Visayas. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

In English gay gay you have a vagina on your forehead this expression has been passed down across Generations crystallizing the dominance of patriarchy in our society and if we unpack this phrase we can see how Kagan or the nature of being gay in the west ban context is deep

Interconnected with femininity thus the A’s oppression can be explained by patriarchy fear or othering towards this very femininity in the face of patriarchy anything that is feminine is shamed are othered misogyny is normalized and toxic machismo is celebrated we see young boys being reprimanded for liking Barbies swaying

Their hips when walking or even just liking the color pink we see fathers punish their sons or older brothers punish their younger brothers for displaying any form of femininity this oppression is not just exclusive to the AE but is also experienced by the bakla the bot and our

Trans sisters they are being denied of comfort rooms safe spaces and even just living their full lives we see the normalization of such othering turn into the normalization of hate this archaic narrative creates a picture of misogyny and homophobia so growing up loud flamboyant and extremely fem I was called by this

Name numerous times hundreds thousands millions of times a and the more I heard the word the more more powerful my metaphorical vagina grew a a the more powerful I have become hi my name is Ray hontanar I’m a professor of literary studies here in up visayas um

And I am a proud AE it is a privileged statement to say that I was born in a very loving and um very accepting family while the outside world was full of hate and Prejudice my parents showered me with so much love that the sexism and homophobia from bullies failed to scar

My soul but then growing up with such privilege galvanized me to use my voice and not settle for personal emancipation alone as an academic I use my voice to mold a new generation of artists Scholars activists educators and cultural workers as a queer rights Advocate I use my voice to Enlighten

Young queer kids of their rights and the importance of having a community I use my voice to comfort and Empower them that they are not alone in this world and in their Journey towards celebrating their queerness they have mentors allies and mothers who will always be there to

Support them so born and raised here in magical Panay I grew up witnessing how the AI exemplifies bravery and Defiance amidst the forces of the patriarchy I am surrounded by a pleora of age friends from artists to beauty queens to politicians to beauticians and each face

Is a face of Bravery the more they are judged the louder they exist the more they are subjugated the fiercer they subvert so commonly described as an effeminate man the AE is an indigenous homosexual identity exclusive to the milu of panai and particular to this milu he has a different cultural

Distinction from the dominant image of queerness in our country which is the bakla for the AI strong feminine identity can be traced back to our strong precolonial history or as I love to call it herstory growing up as a queer kid in the 90s I did not have an easy time

Looking for queer icons looking for queer figures queer kids nowadays are lucky to have the great mamaru Paul to have queer artists queer activists as their icons during my time I had Disney princesses Disney villains and strong female pop stars who quenched my yearning

About TEDxTalks

TEDx is an international community that organizes TED-style events anywhere and everywhere — celebrating locally-driven ideas and elevating them to a global stage. TEDx events are produced independently of TED conferences, each event curates speakers on their own, but based on TED’s format and rules.

Video “Decolonizing queerness: Celebrating the power of my Babaylanic Voice | John Ray Hontanar | TEDxUPV” was uploaded on 01/12/2024 to Youtube Channel TEDx Talks