1:43 Boyband

Popular Filipino Boy Band Tackles Transgender Politics with New Single

I honestly don’t know how to feel about 1:43’s new single, Hayop sa Ganda, and mostly because I grew up thinking that straight guys, in general, cannot talk about gay men and transgenders without mockery and derision. But, especially in recent years, this has stopped being true (in music, Macklemore’s Same Love and Gloc-9’s Sirena are particularly poignant counter-examples).

Hayop sa Ganda is being marketed as a tribute to the “incomparable pulchritude” of Filipino transgender women, with an official music video featuring Vice Ganda’s prominent sidekick Negi and Miss Tourism Queen International 2012 Kevin Balot expected to break online a few weeks from now. The lyrics are harmless enough, and coupled with a catchy melody and the star power of a popular boy band, the song has a lot of viral potential.

1:43’s new single, however, is nowhere near Same Love and Sirena, at least in terms of pushing discourse about identity and gay politics. (Really, the song is a novelty song, and the title is a pun). However, the fact that a popular pop group (which has everything to lose when tackling subjects such as this one) is willing to sing a song about transgenders says something about how far gay discourse has come up in our cultural zeitgeist, and that can only be a good thing.

In any case, listen to the song so you can judge for yourself, and leave us your thoughts in the comments section below:

Featured photo taken here.