Tintin Babao gets flak for ‘Being Gay’ article

Pia Ranada

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Tintin Bersola-Babao gets flak for an article about parenting kids showing signs of 'gayness'

BIGOT? Some netizens criticize her for her parenting style. Photo from the "Good Morning Club" Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Television host Tintin Bersola-Babao is at the receiving end of online flak because of her “Being Gay” article on PhilStar.com.

In the article published on Monday, March 11, Bersola-Babao wrote about what parents should do if their child is showing signs of being gay. Her resource person for the piece was Dr Camille Garcia, a TV psychologist for the TV5 talk show “Face to Face.”

She included Garcia’s verbatim answers in the article’s Q & A portion.

Answering Bersola-Babao’s question of whether or not parents should encourage their child’s blossoming “gayness,” Garcia said:

“Arrest the situation, ’yun ang tama. But most parents encourage the situation. Tatanggapin agad.

Let’s be moral in making the child understand the situation, ‘di ba ‘yun ang dapat. We tell our child, ‘Anak, mali ito.’”

(Arrest the situation, that is what’s right. But most parents encourage the situation, accepting it right away. Let’s be moral in making the child understand the situation, isn’t that what is right? We tell our child, ‘This is wrong.’)

Later in the article, Garcia says that parents should explain to their sons that “they grow up as men and their partners are women.”

She advised parents to tell their sons “Hindi kasi tama ang makasama sa buhay at magpapamilya ay parehas na lalaki. Kung ayaw mo itama ang ginugusto mo, hindi namin matatanggap ‘yun (It’s not right that two men live together and have a family. If you don’t want to correct what you want, we can’t accept that).”

Tintin’s opinion

Bersola-Babao shares her views on the matter, too.

A mother of a 3-year-old son named Nio, Bersola-Babao says that when Nio wants to play with his sister’s toys, “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 also assures the reader that “he chooses what clothes and shoes to wear, and his choices are very masculine.”

The TV host attributes husband news anchor Julius Babao’s dominant male presence in their family to Nio being “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.”

But Bersola-Babao concludes her article by saying:

“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.”

Online flak

Despite the placating tone of her conclusion and several parts of her article, Bersola-Babao drew flak from netizens.

She has been accused of bigotry and for thinking that role-playing and gender-based games during childhood can change sexual preference.

On her official Twitter account, Bersola-Babao defends herself by saying she was merely sharing her own way of raising her child.

She also emphasized that Garcia’s opinions were not her own and that the psychologist is sorry for hurting anyone with her views.

On Tuesday, March 12, she tweeted that she has “profound love and respect for gays.”

– Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.