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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2023

entry arrow11:41 PM | The Sissies in Dolphy's Wake

I’m finally able to watch [a very bad copy of] Mars S. Torres’ Jack and Jill [1954], the first significantly queer Filipino film, which catapulted Dolphy to stardom playing sissy roles, but when viewed through the contemporary lens unfortunately suffers by centering heterosexuality as the sneering norm, and by being the epitome of the retrograde sexual politics common at the time. I’m currently studying how this depiction of Gorio/Glory paved the way to the sissy superstardom of Herbert Bautista [briefly, in the 1980s remake of Jack and Jill], Joey de Leon [Barbi!], and Roderick Paulate [Petrang Kabayo!], all of them straight men who made their showbiz fortunes by tackling stereotypical sissy roles; and finally, Vice Ganda, who, whether you like her or not, actually reversed that trend of straight male comedians doing drag by being an actual gay actor doing gay roles.

It also strikes me that the OG Jack and Jill was the proto-Parasite: two poor siblings, a tomboy and a gay man, get into the employ and graces of a well-off family, the first by pretending to be a cis male chauffeur, and the second by pretending to be a cis female ripe for adoption. Crazy movie.

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