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Walterina Markova

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Walter Dempster, Jr., better known by his alias Walterina Markova (May 20, 1922–June 24, 2005) is a Filipino gay man who served as a "comfort gay" (sex slave) for Japanese soldiers during their occupation in the Philippines in World War II.

After Markova left home, he joined a group of six cross-dressing performers (drag queens). 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 used sexually by Japanese soldiers, as the "comfort women" were used.

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.

He spent the last years of his life at the Home for the Golden Gays in Pasay City. He died at the age of 83 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."

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