This article was originally published by The Nib, August, 2019. Edited by Sarah Mirk.
The word “bakla” is used differently given the context and circumstance. Usually, it is used to describe people with femme presenting characteristics. It is not used as often to describe masculine women or trans men, however “bakla” is still an umbrella identity because it does not simply mean gay or trans. At the same time, many Filipino Americans identify with the term because of its non-Western connotations.
As mentioned, baybayin is only one script among hundreds found in the Philippines.