Tintin Babao draws flak for article on gays
|Television host Christine Bersola-Babao|
MANILA, Philippines - Television host Christine Bersola-Babao is drawing flak from Filipino social media users after writing a newspaper article that addresses children who "show early signs of being gay."
Bersola-Babao's article titled "Being Gay," which was published in The Philippine Star on Monday, cited psychologist Dr. Camille Garcia as the TV host discussed how parents can respond to their possibly gay child.
This after the topic was discussed by Bersola-Babao and her co-hosts in her daily morning show in another network.
While she stressed that gays "are contributing well to our society, in different professional fields," Bersola-Babao still drew flak from Filipino Internet users for the article, which claimed that gayness can be "corrected."
"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 boys so that he will understand," she added.
Bersola-Babao also cited her husband, "Bandila" anchor Julius Babao, for being a "dominant male figure in their home."
"I think the presence of a dominant male figure in our home, that is Julius my husband, is a great factor why Nio is very much male. They play rough games such as boxing, kiddie basketball, sword fights, wrestling and the like. I think that activities such as these will help establish the child's gender role," she wrote.
Bersola-Babao stressed, however that she will still accept her son should he grow 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. We are children of God, and in the end, regardless of gender, it is God who will judge us."
Several Internet users took to Twitter to vent their ire on Bersola-Babao, with one saying that her article "has wrong written all over it."
"So I was having a pretty good day 'till I came across that Tintin Babao article. I was literally cringing while reading it," said Twitter user Ronan Secondez.
"Tintin Babao, human decency please, your readers ain't idiots," said user Tinfinities.
"Very disappointing," user Jojo added.
Others, meanwhile, wrote blog posts about the TV host's column.
"She has just opened a terrible Pandora's Box of homophobia and ignorant notions of parenting a gay child," wrote Jan Lorenz in his blog.
"But to be completely fair, she was just influenced by so-called 'psychologist' Dr. Camille Garcia, the same 'psychologist' who is part of the Triong Tagapayo in TV5's Face to Face. Let's just say they deserve what's coming to them," the blogger added.
The TV host reacts
Also on Twitter, Bersola-Babao reacted to the negative posts about her and her column.
She maintained that she only shared what she thinks is the best way to raise her child, and that the "radical" thoughts did not come from her, but from Garcia.
"In my column I stressed na as a mom ito and ginagawa ko, this is how I'm raising my child. 'Yan and pinaniniwalaan kong paraan and I stand by it," she wrote.
In a series of "tweets," the TV host replied to her followers on the microblogging site.
"People don't have to believe or follow naman. Child psychologist Dr. Garcia gave her advice. Wag sundin kung hindi swap sa 'yo."
"Too bad a few people formed an extreme negative view of it. Controversial."
"My resource person's radical Christian views didn't sit well with some readers. And they are taking it on a personal level."
"They failed to read it within the context of me writing it. Read the first paragraph and end part. That is my stand."
"Take note of the format in Q&A. Question and answer. All the answers are Dr. Camille's. My personal take is the last part. But that's the point, her radical views will make the reader think, react and question. She knows that not everyone will agree with her. But her answers are based on clinical experience."
Bersola-Babao added that Garcia has apologized to those who have been hurt by her views.
"I just told Dr. Camille na madam nagre-react sa radical Christian views niya. She says sorry if she hurt anyone with her views," she wrote.
Meanwhile, Bersola-Babao thanked those who supported her amid the controversy.
"Thank you for all your supportive tweets. Good vibes lang," she wrote.
"Weed out the negative. Focus on the positive. My mantra for today. #happiness," she ended.