Go get some moral, girl.
Since most of us are spending too much time on the internet during this quarantine, I’m pretty sure that you’re all aware of the recent issue of a multimedia artist and filmmaker Sam Morales who catfished Jzan Tero, a trans woman and interior design student from Cebu. On March 30, a long thread posted by Tero detailing her catfishing story and experience that went on for eight months blew up on Twitter and has reached other social media platforms. Upon reading the thread, netizens including some well-known personalities expressed their concern to Tero, denounced Morales, and appealed to the local fashion industry to avoid hiring the artist who is affiliated with big brands such as H&M, Teviant, and Jag.
What is catfishing? For those who are unfamiliar with the term, catfishing is an act of creating a fake online persona or identity to lure someone into a relationship. It usually happens on dating apps.
The harrowing tale of catfishing began when Tero matched with a guy named “Bill Iver Reyes” on Tinder who introduced himself as a 24-year-old art director and part-time model from Manila. Morales came on the scene and messaged Tero, pretending to be Reyes’ cousin. It was revealed later by Reyes that his real name was Bilko Argana and it was Morales who was texting Tero the whole time. Argana’s appearance was only used by Morales to play her stupid games and manipulate Tero. She even faked a series of stories, dates, meet-ups, and so much more just to make everything seem real. Imagine how disgusting and damaging is it to a person who wants nothing but assurance and pure love?
Tero narrated that Morales called her to explain what happened, Morales had been bullied by gay people when she was younger. When her homophobic uncle found out about the bullying, he manipulated one of them to fall in love with him and asked Morales to continue doing it as revenge which became her “addiction.” More people who were allegedly victimized by Morales have come forward and shared their catfishing stories on Twitter, most of them were trans women and other members of the LBGT+ community.
The catfishing scheme committed by Morales enraged the trans community as they are still facing stigma and discrimination from society. This serves as a reminder for everyone to continue fighting for equality, gender freedom, and most importantly, LGBT rights. I hope Sam Morales understands that her trauma and personal issues won’t justify the dirty games she played. Let’s not forget that Bilko Argana was also part of this, he took advantage of Tero and sexually molested her. How do they sleep peacefully at night knowing that someone is suffering from mental and emotional trauma? And please, don’t blame Tero, it’s difficult to escape when you are trapped in a manipulative relationship. Let’s not tolerate this kind of behavior. To the LGBT+ community, you are worthy of love.
Are you one of those who voiced out regarding this issue? Share your thoughts with us!
Featured image courtesy: Kathleen Sheedy / Glue Magazine