'The Bakla Show' highlights struggles of LGBT Fil-Am youth

Posted at 06/17/2014 9:16 AM | Updated as of 06/17/2014 9:16 AM

SAN FRANCISCO – Dozens of people packed the Bindlestiff Studio in San Francisco this past Saturday to enjoy its latest production entitled “The Bakla Show 3”.

The show includes four skits and a short film that explore the struggles and joys of the LGBTQ Filipino youth.

Like the previous two installments, “The Bakla Show 1 and 2”, LGBTQ Filipino writers contributed their original works to the shows.

“We felt the responsibility to include Filipino LGBTQ youth voices,” said Asst. Producer and actor Antmen Mendoza.

“So throughout the show there are pieces written by actual LGBT Filipino youth. Not all of our writers are adults. Some of them are actually teenagers who contributed their voices to the show and that was always so important for me that we weren’t just a talking piece for youth. The youth had their soapbox as well.”

Riko Fluchel, 23, hopes his autobiographical short film can help those who are growing up as a queer Filipino.

“To me that’s what’s most important about the show, reaching out to those queer Filipino-American youth who maybe don’t have a community and don’t know where they come from and still have to find their home or community,” said Fluchel.

One of the actors, 30-year-old Jed Parasario, felt it was only right for the show to premiere during Pride month.

“To be honest I was not aware this show was not going to go up the same time as pride month,” said Parasario. “It wasn’t until we opened and I was like — Oh wow, it’s officially Pride Month here in San Francisco and we are doing ‘The Bakla Show’. So it’s serendipitous we are doing it at the same time at the epicenter of Filipino cultural arts here in the Bay Area.”

“The Bakla Show” was created in 2006 to begin a movement to reclaim the term “bakla” and to be inclusive of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Filipino identities.

Through the show, the cast hopes to educate and encourage dialogue within communities about such issues.

“The Bakla Show 3” has one more weekend of performances.