i dream of being possible

how anti-Blackness is encoded in Swardspeak

So. As part of the stuff I’m doing for my book, I’m reading and writing a sustained commentary on Global Divas, but Martin Manalansan. (mainly because it really is the book that changed everything for me and got me to really start working on my decolonization).

Now. The book has several problems. Many of which I’m discussing as I go along.

But… I just came across this line talking about biyuti (and what it means). Biyuti is a Swardspeak word (as FYI for those who don’t know).

Want to know the word for ugly?

A word used for ugly is chaka, from the black singer Chaka Khan.

Yeah. Really. Now, with something like this, it really doesn’t matter whether or not you actually think Chaka Khan is aesthetically appealing or not. I don’t even know what she looks like (I know I’ve seen a picture, but I don’t have a visual memory and I’m not posting a pic because it is besides the point).

What is the point?

That if you ever think that using a word symbolic of a Black woman as the word for ugly is okay, you are an anti-Black shitstain. And, yeah, this means (and the dialect moves fast enough that I’m really hoping that chaka is no longer the word for ugly) that the majority of bakla who speak swardspeak are anti-Black shitstains. All of them (and, while I don’t speak swardspeak, I’m not considering myself distinct or better, ‘cause if I did speak swardspeak? I’d probably have used this word in the past without thinking much of it).

Consider this example 30984039 of why I consider anti-Blackness an important (if not key) problem in the Filipin@ community.

It is because we can encode something this disgustingly dehumanizing into our language, have a scholar publish about this without comment, and not much (if any) is said about it. Or challenged.

I’m not sure if I have any bakla who do speak swardspeak reading this blog… if there are any and this word is still a word with this meaning: