Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says he “cured” himself of being gay.
The murderous dictator is well-known for his outlandish claims, calling God “stupid,” and murdering his own people, but the recent speech was a strange shift in rhetoric. Duterte said he had been gay… until he met his ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman.
The comments were made in a speech mocking his political opponent Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
President Rodrigo Duterte implied during a speech on Thursday, May 30, in Japan, that being gay is a disease that needs curing.
It began with Duterte poking fun at his archcritic Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. He said someone gay had told him that based on the senator’s movements, Trillanes is gay. Earlier in his speech, Duterte had “confessed” that he too used to be gay…
(I said, “Are you sure?” They said, “You ask any gay person who sees Trillanes move, they’ll say he’s gay.” No wonder. Good thing Trillanes and I are similar. But I cured myself…)
Duterte continued: (When I began a relationship with Zimmerman, I said, this is it. I became a man again).”
With that statement in favor of at least a kind of conversion therapy, Duterte suggested that being gay can and should be “cured.” As if homosexuality is some kind of disease. Additionally, his comments suggest that gay men aren’t real men, which makes no sense whatsoever.
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time Duterte has made similarly ignorant comments.
Duterte has previously cracked jokes that he used to be gay and that Trillanes was gay too.
The President wrapped up his remarks on gays by saying he has no problem if he is a homosexual…
(Duterte is gay. So I am gay, I don’t care if I’m gay or not),” he said.
Was he trying to win over a community that he once pretended to support? I doubt it worked.
During his presidential campaign, Duterte had initially appeared to have liberal views on homosexuality, saying the Bible should have recognized gays, aside from the heterosexual genders.
But as president, Duterte has been inconsistent on his views on same-sex marriage, a key issue for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community in the Philippines.
Duterte has also often used terms like “bakla” and “bayot,” words that mean gay, as insults to his political enemies. He has used those words to imply weakness in critics like Trillanes and former presidential candidate Mar Roxas.
In that sense, he’s no different from Donald Trump, who just sent a tweet recognizing Pride month for the first time in his presidency, even though his administration has waged an all-out assault on the rights of LGBTQ people, booting trans people from the military, allowing federal funding to go to groups that discriminate against LGBTQ people, and amplifying the voices of right-wing conservative Christians who spread constant lies about the LGBTQ community.
Neither Trump nor Duterte actually support the LGBTQ community. The question is whether people are gullible enough to believe their lies.