Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tintin Bersola criticized for article on gays

Tintin Bersola-Babao with son Nio. PHOTO: Smart Step

"We are all children of God, and in the end, regardless of gender, it is God who will judge us."

Christine "Tintin" Bersola-Babao ended her Monday article titled "Being gay" and published in The Philippine Star with the above statement. Subsequently, hours after the article was published, it has been shared 18,000 times on social networking site Facebook as of this posting.

Tintin recounted with TV5's "Good Morning Club" co-hosts Edu Manzano, Amy Perez, and Chiqui Roa-Puno how they discussed about parenting gay children, saying they were unanimous that if one of their sons turns out to be gay, they shall accept and love them "just the same, just as much."

For her article, she sought the expertise of "Face to Face" counselor Dr. Camille Garcia, who answered questions about children showing early signs of being gay.

Although she pointed out gays, both male and female, are "contributing well to our society in different professional fields," the TV host still drew flak from netizens after what some social media users dubbed as a "bigoted" article.

"As a mom who has a three-year-old son named Nio, my personal take on the matter is this: Nio, when curious, plays with his big sister's toys. But we always point it out to him that those are toys for girls, and these are toys for boys. We compare toys so that he will understand," she said.

"Apart from toys, he chooses what clothes and shoes to wear, and his choices are very masculine." She said his husband, ABS-CBN's "Bandila" anchor Julius Babao, is a great factor why their son is "very much male."

"They play rough games such as boxing, kiddie baseball, sword fights, wrestling and the like. I think that activities such as these will help establish the child’s gender role," she added.

"Now, if you ask me what if my son grows up to be gay? I will not encourage it. But will I accept? A mother will always accept her child. A mom may not agree with all of her child’s choices or preferences, but in the end, being a kind human being is more important than what your gender is," she wrote.

"We do our best as parents. We guide our children based on societal norms while balancing what is personally and morally acceptable to our own families. But once they are adults and choose to live life a certain way, it is their choice, and along with it, the consequences.

A parent must be there to support and love their children all the way, no matter what. We all deserve to be happy and free."

Insensitive, disappointing

FIlipino social media users vent their ire on the host-writer, with one commenter saying her article is a "disappointing piece."

"Being gay is not something you can 'encourage' or 'discourage.' It is not a CHOICE, that is one of the biggest misconceptions people have. It is not as if you are just choosing what food to eat or wardrobe to buy. I didn't choose to be gay. If I had to, why would I choose to live a life that most Filipinos consider beyond norm. Id say I wouldn't choose to be one but I am not ashamed to be one," said commenter tresift.

"The premise is wrong. The understanding is discriminative. The take-away, is just stupid. For networks TV 5 & publications Philippine Star to encourage your bigotry is just irresponsible. You have no first hand account, and your freakin' expert has no credibility in the subject matter. And I love how you seemingly try to "praise" the accomplished class, and yet, have double standards and qualifiers. YOUR RIGHT TO SPEAK STOPS IF YOU INFRINGE ON OTHERS. Nobody gets a gay son - they just get a son," another commenter jcv000 said.

"Easy for @ChristineBBabao to say 'stay positive' yet she paves the way for gay kids 2 be mistreated & discriminated," Twitter user Jigs Mayuga (@jigsmayuga) said.

"Tthe article itself is harmful. Because she posted a 'professional's views', people will accept them as right," another Twitter user i am chiuman (@iamchiuman) said.

Tintin apologizes

On her Twitter account Tuesday, Tintin apologized to those whom she hurt with her article.

"To the People I've HURT with the article quoting DR.CAMILLE Garcia's pov, I APOLOGIZE from the bottom of my heart.," she tweeted.

"I may hv limited knowledge of d politically correct language of the LGBT community but in God's name, I hv PROFOUND LOVE & RESPECT for gays," her earlier tweet said.







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