Walterina Markova

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Walter Dempster, Jr.
Born May 20, 1924
Died June 24, 2005(2005-06-24) (aged 81)
Other names Walterina Markova

Walter Dempster, Jr. (May 20, 1924 – June 24, 2005), better known by his alias Walterina Markova, was a Filipino gay man who was forced as a "comfort gay" (sex slave) for Japanese soldiers during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II.[1]


After Markova left home, he joined a group of six cross-dressing performers. It was as part of this group that he was arrested by Japanese soldiers, and taken to a camp which is now the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. For several years he and his companions, and other "comfort gays", were put to forced labor and abused sexually by Japanese soldiers, as the "comfort women" were abused.[2]

His story was made into a movie called Markova: Comfort Gay in 2000, directed by Gil Portes. It was included in the 2002 Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.[3]

Historical Marker, Plaza Lawton, Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila


He spent the last years of his life at the Home for the Golden Gays in Pasay. He died at the age of 81 when he was accidentally hit by a racing cyclist.

He was quoted as saying: "As humans, we won’t live long. Revealing my own story is my way of inspiring other gays who continue to be oppressed today. By my act, I may have probably given freedom to many other gay people."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ AUBREY SC MAKILAN (2004). "Walterina Markova: The 'Comfort Gay'". Retrieved 3 August 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ Ronald D. Klein (13 August 2006). "Markova: Wartime Comfort Gay in the Philippines". Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "MARKOVA: COMFORT GAY". October 19, 2002. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 

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