Of heckles and social media

I woke up to a looming social media disaster where a doctor from Iloilo posted a fictitious survey off The Professional Heckler about the controversial series, My Husband's Lover. The show openly talks about homosexuality on primetime television and has been subject of scrutiny from the "moralist" society in the past.

The survey, that was of course meant to be nothing more than an imagined reaction of the church to the series, was reposted by a doctor from Iloilo on his Facebook wall. Tonight, I saw several reposts of a screenshot showing that the doctor and the people that left a comment on his wall may have thought that the post was real.

Now, I admit that I am not very friendly when it comes to issues connected to any form of bigotry so I searched for the doctor's profile and sent him a message.

As soon as I hit enter, I realized that I may have pre-judged the man unfairly so I offered to air his side. This was his reply (which he consented to be posted):

While we are often overcome by rage strong emotions when it comes to posts and opinions that oppose our concept of how people in a society that is free from bigotry should act, I think that it is important to at least try to reach out to people with opposing ideas. I will not go as far as saying that we should respect the opinion of others in this matter because I firmly believe that we cannot, as a society, afford to respect an act that leads to discrimination and in extreme cases - even death among the LGBT. But I do believe that people can change their minds and this will not happen if we exhibited the same behaviour that we abhor in them in the first place. 

In the case of Rogelio Engada Jr, despite everything that was said, I think his willingness to apologize goes a long way. He may still not want to watch shows that tackle the lives of the LGBT, but at least now we know that he could be open to an amenable discourse on the issue and that is the most important first step if we are ever going to hope to have a society that respects equality.

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