The gender-fluid history of the Philippines | France Villarta

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Translator: Noelia Collazo Boullosa Reviewer: Xosé María Moreno
00:13
I was an eight-year-old kid in the mid-1990s.
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Eu era un neno de 8 anos a mediados dos anos 90
00:15
I grew up in southern Philippines.
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que creceu no sur das Filipinas.
00:18
At that age, you're young enough to be oblivious
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A esa idade, non tes anos abondo como para saber
00:20
about what society expects from each of us
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que é o que a sociedade espera de ti,
00:22
but old enough to be aware of what's going on around you.
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pero si tes anos abondo para decatarte do que acontece ao teu redor.
00:26
We lived in a one-bedroom house,
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Viviamos nunha casa dun só cuarto,
00:28
all five of us.
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e eramos cinco persoas.
00:29
Our house was amongst clusters of houses
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A nosa casa estaba como moitas outras
00:32
made mostly of wood and corrugated metal sheets.
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feita principalmente de madeira e planchas de uralita.
00:36
These houses were built very close to each other
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Estaban construídas unhas moi preto das outras
00:39
along unpaved roads.
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ao longo de rúas sen pavimentar.
00:41
There was little to no expectation of privacy.
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A expectativa de ter privacidade era nula ou mínima.
00:44
Whenever an argument broke out next door,
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Se alguén discutía na casa do lado
00:47
you heard it all.
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escoitábase todo.
00:49
Or, if there was a little ... something something going on --
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Ou, se estaban a facer outras cousiñas...
00:53
(Laughter)
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(Risas)
00:55
you would probably hear that, too.
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probablemente se escoitase tamén.
00:58
(Laughter)
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(Risas)
00:59
Like any other kid, I learned what a family looked like.
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Como calquera outro neno, aprendín como funcionaban as familias.
01:03
It was a man, a woman, plus a child or children.
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Había un home, unha muller, un fillo ou varios fillos.
01:07
But I also learned it wasn't always that way.
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Pero tamén aprendín que non sempre era así.
01:09
There were other combinations that worked just as well.
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Había outras combinacións igual de boas.
01:12
There was this family of three who lived down the street.
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Había unha familia de tres que vivían ao final da rúa.
01:15
The lady of the house was called Lenie.
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A muller da casa chamábase Lenie.
01:18
Lenie had long black hair, often in a ponytail,
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Tiña o pelo longo e negro, normalmente atado nunha coleta,
01:21
and manicured nails.
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e levaba as uñas perfectas.
01:23
She always went out with a little makeup on
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Sempre saía cunha pouca de maquillaxe
01:25
and her signature red lipstick.
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e o seu típico pintalabios vermello.
01:28
Lenie's other half, I don't remember much about him
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Do que estaba con ela, non lembro demasiado,
01:30
except that he had a thing for white sleeveless shirts
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agás que sempre ía con camisas sen mangas
01:33
and gold chains around his neck.
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e cadeas de ouro arredor do pescozo.
01:36
Their daughter was a couple years younger than me.
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A súa filla tiña un par de anos menos ca min.
01:39
Now, everybody in the village knew Lenie.
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Todos na vila coñecían a Lenie.
01:42
She owned and ran what was the most popular beauty salon
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Era a dona e dirixía o salón de beleza máis famoso
01:45
in our side of town.
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do noso lado da vila.
01:46
Every time their family would walk down the roads,
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Cada vez que a súa familia camiñaba polas rúas,
01:49
they would always be greeted with smiles
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todo o mundo a saudaba sorrindo
01:51
and occasionally stopped for a little chitchat.
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e ás veces parábanse a parolar un anaco.
01:56
Now, the interesting thing about Lenie
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O máis interesante de Lenie
01:58
is that she also happened to be a transgender woman.
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é que resultaba ser unha muller transxénero.
02:03
She exemplified one of the Philippines' long-standing stories
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Ela representaba unha das antigas historias das Filipinas
02:07
about gender diversity.
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sobre a diversidade de xénero.
02:10
Lenie was proof that oftentimes we think of something as strange
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Lenie era a proba de que a miúdo consideramos que algo é estraño
02:16
only because we're not familiar with it,
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tan só porque non estamos familiarizados con el
02:18
or we haven't taken enough time to try and understand.
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ou porque nin sequera nos paramos a intentar entendelo.
02:23
In most cultures around the world,
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Na maioría das culturas arredor do mundo
02:26
gender is this man-woman dichotomy.
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o xénero é a típica dicotomía home-muller.
02:29
It's this immovable, nonnegotiable, distinct classes of individuals.
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É unha distinción entre individuos inamovible e innegociable.
02:35
We assign characteristics and expectations
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Asignamos características e expectativas
02:38
the moment a person's biological sex is determined.
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no momento en que se determina o sexo biolóxico dunha persoa.
02:42
But not all cultures are like that.
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Pero non todas as culturas son así.
02:45
Not all cultures are as rigid.
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Non todas as culturas son tan ríxidas.
02:47
Many cultures don't look at genitalia primarily
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Moitas culturas non consideran os xenitais
02:50
as basis for gender construction,
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como unha base para a construción do xénero,
02:52
and some communities in North America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent
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e certas comunidades de América do Norte, África, o subcontinente indio
02:58
and the Pacific Islands, including the Philippines,
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e as illas do Pacífico, incluídas as Filipinas,
03:01
have a long history of cultural permissiveness
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posúen unha longa historia de tolerancia cultural
03:05
and accommodation of gender variances.
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e aceptación das diferentes identidades de xénero.
03:08
As you may know,
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Como xa saberedes,
03:09
the people of the Philippines were under Spanish rule for over 300 years.
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a xente das Filipinas estivo gobernada por España durante máis de 300 anos.
03:14
That's from 1565 to 1898.
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Dende 1565 ata 1898.
03:17
This explains why everyday Filipino conversations
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Isto explica o porqué de que as conversas filipinas
03:20
are peppered with Spanish words
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estean cheas de palabras españolas
03:22
and why so many of our last names, including mine, sound very Spanish.
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e tamén que moitos dos nosos apelidos, coma o meu, soen moi españois.
03:28
This also explains the firmly entrenched influence of Catholicism.
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Isto tamén explica a firmemente arraigada influencia do catolicismo.
03:34
But precolonial Philippine societies,
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Pero as sociedades filipinas precoloniais
03:36
they were mostly animists.
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eran principalmente animistas.
03:39
They believed all things had a distinct spiritual essence:
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Crían que todas as cousas tiñan unha esencia espiritual distintiva:
03:45
plants, animals, rocks, rivers, places.
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as plantas, os animais, as pedras, os ríos e os lugares.
03:50
Power resided in the spirit.
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O poder residía no espírito.
03:53
Whoever was able to harness that spiritual power was highly revered.
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Calquera que puidese empregar ese poder espiritual era altamente venerado.
03:59
Now, scholars who have studied the Spanish colonial archives
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Os académicos que estudaron os arquivos das colonias españolas
04:02
also tell us that these early societies were largely egalitarian.
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tamén nos din que esas sociedades antigas eran, en gran parte, igualitarias.
04:08
Men did not necessarily have an advantage over women.
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Os homes non sempre tiñan máis privilexios ca as mulleres.
04:12
Wives were treated as companions, not slaves.
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Trataban ás esposas como compañeiras, non como escravas.
04:15
And family contracts were not done without their presence and approval.
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E os contratos familiares non se asinaban sen a súa presenza e aprobación.
04:20
In some ways, women had the upper hand.
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Dalgún xeito, as mulleres tiñan o control.
04:23
A woman could divorce her husband and own property under her own name,
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Unha muller podía divorciarse do seu marido ou ter propiedades ao seu nome,
04:28
which she kept even after marriage.
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que podía manter despois de casar.
04:30
She had the prerogative to have a baby or not
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Tiña dereito a decidir se quería ser nai ou non
04:33
and then decide the baby's name.
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e decidir o nome do seu fillo ou filla.
04:36
But the real key to the power of the precolonial Filipino woman
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Pero o verdadeiro segredo do poder da muller precolonial filipina
04:41
was in her role as "babaylan,"
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residía no seu papel como "babaylán",
04:45
a collective term for shamans of various ethnic groups.
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un termo colectivo para as xamás de varios grupos étnicos.
04:49
They were the community healers,
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Eran as curandeiras comunitarias,
04:52
specialists in herbal and divine lore.
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especialistas en herbas e tradicións divinas.
04:56
They delivered babies
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Asistían partos
04:57
and communicated with the spirit world.
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e comunicábanse co mundo espiritual.
05:00
They performed exorcisms
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Levaban a cabo exorcismos
05:03
and occasionally, and in defense of their community,
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e, ás veces, para defender a súa comunidade,
05:07
they kicked some ass.
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daban algunhas malleiras.
05:09
(Laughter)
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(Risas)
05:11
And while the babaylan was a female role,
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E a pesar de que as babayláns eran maiormente mulleres,
05:14
there were also, in fact, male practitioners in the spiritual realm.
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había tamén homes practicantes no reino espiritual.
05:18
Reports from early Spanish chroniclers contain several references
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Os informes dos antigos historiadores españois conteñen varias referencias
05:23
to male shamans who did not conform to normative Western masculine standards.
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a homes xamáns que non se axustaban aos estándares masculinos occidentais.
05:29
They cross-dressed
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Travestíanse
05:30
and appeared effeminate
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e parecían efeminados
05:33
or sexually ambiguous.
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ou sexualmente ambiguos.
05:35
A Jesuit missionary named Francisco Alcina
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Un misioneiro xesuíta chamado Francisco Alcina
05:37
said that one man he believed to be a shaman
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dixo que "un home que se considerara xamán
05:40
was "so effeminate
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era tan efeminado
05:42
that in every way he was more a woman than a man.
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que en tódolos sentidos era máis muller ca home.
05:47
All the things the women did
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Todo o que facían as mulleres
05:49
he performed,
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el tamén o levaba a cabo,
05:51
such as weaving blankets,
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como tecer sabas,
05:53
sewing clothes and making pots.
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coser roupa ou facer potas.
05:57
He danced also like they did,
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Tamén bailaba coma elas,
06:00
never like a man,
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nunca coma os homes,
06:02
whose dance is different.
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cuxo baile é diferente.
06:04
In all, he appeared more a woman than a man."
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En definitiva, parecía máis unha muller ca un home."
06:10
Well, any other juicy details in the colonial archives?
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Algún outro detalle suculento nos arquivos coloniais?
06:16
Thought you'd never ask.
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Esperaba esa pregunta.
06:17
(Laughter)
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(Risas)
06:19
As you may have deduced by now,
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Como xa deduciriades a estas alturas,
06:21
the manner in which these precolonial societies conducted themselves
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a maneira da que estas sociedades precoloniais eran xestionadas
06:25
didn't go over so well.
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non foi moi ben recibida.
06:27
All the free-loving, gender-variant-permitting,
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Todo este amor libre, a permisividade das variables de xénero
06:30
gender equality wokeness
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e a conciencia da igualdade de xénero
06:32
clashed viciously with the European sensibilities at the time,
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chocou agresivamente coas sensibilidades europeas da época,
06:36
so much so that the Spanish missionaries spent the next 300 years
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tanto que os misioneiros españois pasaron os seguintes 300 anos
06:41
trying to enforce their two-sex, two-gender model.
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intentando impoñer o seu modelo de dous sexos e dous xéneros.
06:44
Many Spanish friars also thought that the cross-dressing babaylan
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Incluso moitos freires españois crían que os babayláns travestidos
06:49
were either celibates like themselves
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eran ou célibes, coma eles,
06:53
or had deficient or malformed genitals.
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ou tiñan unha deficiencia ou malformación xenital.
06:56
But this was pure speculation.
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Pero isto era pura especulación.
06:58
Documents compiled between 1679 and 1685, called "The Bolinao Manuscript,"
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Documentos recompilados entre 1679 e 1685
chamados "O manuscrito de Bolinao",
07:04
mentions male shamans marrying women.
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fala de homes xamáns que casaban con mulleres.
07:08
The Boxer Codex, circa 1590,
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O Códice Boxer, cara o 1590,
07:11
provide clues on the nature of the male babaylan sexuality.
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proporciona pistas sobre a natureza da sexualidade dos homes babayláns.
07:16
It says, "Ordinarily they dress as women,
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Di que "habitualmente vístense como mulleres,
07:21
act like prudes
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actúan como puritanos
07:23
and are so effeminate
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e son tan efeminados
07:25
that one who does not know them would believe they are women.
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que calquera que os coñeza podería crer que son mulleres.
07:29
Almost all are impotent for the reproductive act,
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Case todos son impotentes no que se refere á reprodución,
07:33
and thus they marry other males and sleep with them as man and wife
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así que casan con outros homes e déitanse con eles como marido e muller
07:39
and have carnal knowledge."
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e teñen un coñecemento carnal."
07:42
Carnal knowledge, of course, meaning sex.
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Por suposto, con coñecemento carnal queren dicir sexo.
07:47
Now, there's an ongoing debate in contemporary society
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Agora hai un debate en curso na sociedade contemporánea
07:50
about what constitutes gender and how it should be defined.
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sobre que constitúe o xénero e como debe definirse este.
07:53
My country is no exception.
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O meu país non é unha excepción.
07:55
Some countries like Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Nepal and Canada
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Algúns países como Australia, Nova Zelandia, Pakistán, Nepal ou Canadá
08:00
have begun introducing nonbinary options in their legal documents,
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comenzaron a introducir a opción "xénero non binario" nalgúns documentos legais,
08:04
such as their passports and their permanent resident cards.
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como os pasaportes e as tarxetas de residentes permanentes.
08:08
In all these discussions about gender,
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En todos estes debates sobre o xénero,
08:10
I think it's important to keep in mind
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creo que é importante ter presente
08:12
that the prevailing notions of man and woman as static genders
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que as nocións actuais de homes e mulleres entendidos como xéneros estáticos,
08:16
anchored strictly on biological sex
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ancorados estritamente ao sexo biolóxico
08:19
are social constructs.
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son construcións sociais.
08:22
In my people's case, this social construct is an imposition.
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No caso do meu pobo, esta construción social é una imposición.
08:28
It was hammered into their heads over hundreds of years
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Foilles inculcado durante centos e centos de anos
08:33
until they were convinced that their way of thinking was erroneous.
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ata que os convenceron de que a súa forma de pensar era errónea.
08:38
But the good thing about social constructs
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Pero o bo das construcións sociais
08:42
is they can be reconstructed
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é que se poden reconstruír
08:44
to fit a time and age.
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para que encaixen nun momento ou época.
08:47
They can be reconstructed
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Poden reconstruírse
08:49
to respond to communities that are becoming more diverse.
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para responder ante comunidades que se están volvendo máis diversas.
08:53
And they can be reconstructed
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E poden reconstruírse
08:55
for a world that's starting to realize
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para un mundo que empeza a decatarse
08:58
we have so much to gain from learning and working through our differences.
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de que temos moito que gañar aprendendo das nosas diferenzas e resolvéndoas.
09:04
When I think about this subject,
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Cando penso neste tema,
09:06
I think about the Filipino people
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penso na xente filipina
09:08
and an almost forgotten but important legacy
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e no case esquecido, pero importante legado
09:12
of gender equality and inclusivity.
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da igualdade e inclusividade de xénero.
09:15
I think about lovers who were some of the gentlest souls I had known
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Penso nalgúns amantes,
que eran das mellores persoas que nunca coñecín,
09:21
but could not be fully open.
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pero que non se podían abrir libremente.
09:23
I think about people who have made an impact in my life,
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Penso nas persoas que causaron un impacto na miña vida
09:28
who showed me that integrity, kindness and strength of character
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e me ensinaron que a integridade, a bondade e a fortaleza do carácter
09:32
are far better measures of judgment,
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son aspectos que xulgar moito mellores
09:35
far better than things that are beyond a person's control
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que calquera cousa que estea fóra do control dunha persoa
09:38
such as their skin color, their age
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como a cor da súa pel, a súa idade
09:42
or their gender.
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ou o seu xénero.
09:44
As I stand here today, on the shoulders of people like Lenie,
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Estar hoxe aquí presente, mirando a través de persoas coma Lenie,
09:49
I feel incredibly grateful for all who have come before me,
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faime sentir incriblemente agradecido por aqueles que viñeron antes ca min,
09:54
the ones courageous enough to put themselves out there,
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aqueles valentes abondo para lanzarse
09:59
who lived a life that was theirs
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a vivir a vida que lles pertencía
10:02
and in the process, made it a little easier for us to live our lives now.
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e no proceso, fixeron que as nosas vidas fosen máis sinxelas hoxe en día.
10:07
Because being yourself is revolutionary.
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Porque ser ti mesmo é revolucionario.
10:12
And to anyone reeling from forces trying to knock you down
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E para todos aqueles que cambaleades ante as forzas que intentan abatervos
10:16
and cram you into these neat little boxes people have decided for you:
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e embutirvos nesas pequenas e pulcras caixas que a xente deseñou para vós:
10:22
don't break.
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Non vos derrubedes.
10:24
I see you.
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Eu compréndovos.
10:26
My ancestors see you.
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Os meus antepasados tamén.
10:28
Their blood runs through me as they run through so many of us.
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O seu sangue corre polas miñas veas e polas de moitos de nós.
10:33
You are valid, and you deserve rights and recognition
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Sodes válidos e merecedes dereitos e recoñecemento
10:40
just like everyone else.
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tanto como calquera outra persoa.
10:44
Thank you.
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Grazas.
10:45
(Applause)
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(Aplausos)
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