Nat'l Youth Commission hits Noli de Castro for 'mocking' Jake Zyrus
MANILA, Philippines – National Youth Commission (NYC) Commissioner Perci Cendaña slammed broadcaster and former vice president Noli de Castro for his remarks about transgender singer Jake Zyrus, formerly known as Charice, during the TV Patrol episode last Monday, July 10.
In that episode, Ted Failon mentioned the change in Zyrus' voice, to which De Castro said: "Ang tawag diyan ay climate change. Madaming talagang nagbabago ngayon." (That's called climate change. There are really many changes happening nowadays.)
In a statement, Cendaña, who chairs the social inclusion and equity committee of the NYC, said joking about transgender people contributes to the prejudice and stigma against them.
"When a popular broadcaster and former vice president mocks a transgender man, he is not only offending LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people, he is also setting a bad example to his audience, especially to the youth," Cendaña said.
He added that sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) should be treated seriously and with sensitivity.
"Such remarks reinforce discrimination against LGBT people. This is very alarming as young LGBTs are extremely vulnerable to stigma and discrimination. Bullying, ridicule, and abuse not only psychologically affect the youth, but also deter their development and growth."
For Cendaña, De Castro should apologize to the public.
"By rectifying the offensive and discriminatory remarks, the former vice president will set a good example to his audience, especially the youth. We urge him to be an ally for acceptance and equality."
Zyrus made his debut as a transgender man in June when all of his social media accounts reflected his new name.
In an interview with Rappler, Zyrus said that as a kid, he already knew he was different.
"It's just when I came out 4 years ago, ang hirap, kasi parang natatakot ako (it was hard, because I was afraid) to actually tell people... I didn't have enough strength to tell the world [that] 'Hey, I'm a man. And I'm a transgender person,'" he said, recalling the time he came out as a lesbian.
He also confirmed that he underwent some cosmetic changes and had his first testosterone shot in April.
Zyrus recently released a new song called "Hiling." – Rappler.com