Bigot #3: Christine Bersola
The incident where a supposedly reputable member of the media goes on air or print with a bigoted view is hardly new.
On November 19, 2009, TV5 and then PDI writer Ramon Tulfo said:
"Gays should not abuse society's tolerance.
... If there are many gays and lesbians in our midst, fine! We should respect their rights. But they should not also go around town proclaiming their preference as if it was a badge of honor. There is nothing honorable about same-sex marriage or union, which Ang Ladlad is trying to promote.
Gays and lesbians should be happy society tolerates them. They should not abuse society's doting attitude towards them."
On September 22, 2011, Abs-Cbn reporter Anthony Taberna had this to say about a shooting incident involving two gay minors in SM Pampanga:
"I have been told that the reason that (male) children this young are already exposed to making friends with or being in love with other (male) children is...it is also the fault of TV. They say it is also the fault of media because the moment you turn on the TV, -sorry for the term- all you see are gay things. When you turn on the TV, when you log on to online - social networking, it (homosexuality) is allowed and accepted by the public. So perhaps this is a wake up call. I don't mean to take away the rights of the third sex, who are also good when it comes to performances and other things. But it seems a lot are encouraged to flaunt their gayness at a very early age."
On March 11, 2013 morning show sweetheart, Christine Bersola joins the shameful ranks of Anthony Taberna and Ramon Tulfo when she published a "helpful" guide on what parents should do when their child shows early signs of being gay.
The article innocently tried to be helpful and even mentioned about how such a topic warrants a careful discussion. Seeking the help of a psychologist, I am sure that in her mind, Bersola was being careful. The problem here is, she was bigoted without her even knowing about it. This is the most dangerous kind of bigot in my opinion as people like these would do harm with the intent of doing good.
The Q and A with the psychologist was disturbing but considering that the doctor's claim to fame is being on a Jerry Springer local knock-off called Face to Face, that is not surprising. The focus then goes to the more influential person in the post and that is Christine Bersola.
She started by using her son as an example - how he was nurtured to know the difference between toys and clothes that are meant for boys and girls. Then with a hint of being proud, she claims that her kid is very masculine because he likes to play "rough" games.
I would like to point out to Ms. Bersola/Mrs.Babao that when I was a kid I didn't even read Nancy Drew books as I always thought that they were for girls. I only read Hardy Boys and played sword fights and the like, was clothed appropriately like any straight kid and would occasionally get in a real-life boxing match with my older brother. Of course by her qualifications I should have turned out straight. Add up the fact that I also had my way with more than a few ladies, I guess this makes it definitive that I am straight.
Imagine the surprise of Ms. Bersola then if her kid and other boys that were reared the same way, turn out to be gay. Would she then think that maybe she gave him the wrong toy or had him playing the wrong sport? On the flipside, kids whose parents schooled at an early that being girly is wrong could turn out to be bullies when faced with an effeminate schoolmate later in life.
At the height of the online frenzy, I am sure that Ms. Bersola was already taught that these things do not define who you turn out to be when you get older. Being gay is not something that a presumptive parent can discourage or train you out of. It is not something that you can box inside your narrow definition of what is normal and what is moral.
Of course the key to eliminating all this is acceptance. Knowing that gay people are born the way they are no matter if that manifests while they are still toddlers or later in life as an adult, and accepting that being gay is not something that you can avoid if taught properly like an unwanted consequence for failing to do your job right as a parent.
In her apology, Christine Bersola said that she is sorry for "having limited knowledge of the politically correct language of the LGBT community." The problem here is, it wasn't her language that was offensive but the entire thinking behind everything that she wrote for which she remains oblivious to.
Sadly, Filipinos will almost surely forget about this as soon as another online scandal worthy of a meme surfaces on the web. In the meantime, gay kids will remain bullied in schools and nice, Christian folks that believe the words of the likes of the always amiable Christine Bersola will continue to fuck up their gay kids and make them feel like they have something that can be cured if only they tried hard enough.