When we talked about people we should leave behind in 2019, we should’ve included transphobes like Filipino rapper Young Vito.
Young Vito is known for posting a short video last December in which he sings about transgender women who deceive people. He received backlash from netizens for disrespecting the trans community and perpetuating the stigma that trans women aren’t real women. The original video has since been taken down and the rapper also posted a public apology.
— erich (@YoungVitoPH) December 5, 2019
But if you think this stopped Vito from doing anything transphobic again, you’re wrong. His song, “Awit” is now being distributed by Viva Records. This means he’s getting paid for this problematic song and there’s a huge chance that it will become a mainstream hit.
The song’s lyric video was published on YouTube last night, Jan. 16, with the description: “[Young Vito] first released a short clip of the track on social media with the caption ‘awit may lawit,‘ which then drew backlash for its message. Despite the controversy surrounding the song, ‘Awit‘ has now been turned into a full-blown bop by hip-hop producer, nexxfriday.” (We will not be linking back to the song because we don’t want it to get more traction.)
miss gigi sobrang nakakalokaaaaa :((( grrrr pic.twitter.com/qC92iUcKeG
— cri𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕝𝕒𝕟𝕟𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕖𝕣 validity ⭐️ (@rannebrielle) January 17, 2020
We can’t believe that Viva Records, which has the likes of Sarah Geronimo and Nadine Lustre under its label, is capitalizing on a song’s problematic message and calling it a bop. Vito received backlash for a reason and the record label shouldn’t ignore that.
Remember that the transgender community in the Philippines has experienced hardships in the last few years. In 2019 alone, Gretchen Diez was harassed for trying to enter a female restroom, prompting discussions among government officials on whether a third restroom should be made for LGBTQ+ people. There have also been incidents in which a trans woman wasn’t allowed inside a bar because of an alleged dress code as well as bouncers not respecting trans women’s pronouns.
Vito may have apologized for his offensive song, but we’re holding off any forgiveness for making money out of it once he signed with Viva Records.
Photo courtesy of Young Vito’s Instagram account
Protecting trans rights isn’t just about restrooms
What we wish for women and LGBTQ+ this 2020
Our expectations for Marvel’s first transgender character
Ricky Gervais addresses his transphobia controversy in Golden Globes monologue