Psychologist in Tintin Babao's article reacts
MANILA, Philippines – Psychologist Dr. Camille Garcia turned emotional on Monday as she responded to criticisms over her alleged anti-gay statements in a newspaper column published last week.
During her tabloid talk show “Face to Face” on TV5, Garcia tearfully explained to the studio audience and the rest of the TV viewers that she does not consider homosexuality a disease because she has always supported gays and lesbians.
She stressed that her answers to TV host Christine Bersola-Babao’s questions in The Philippine Star article were her opinions as a parent, and not as a psychologist.
“Kung saka-sakali mang ako ay nagkaroon ng isang anak na beki o kahit na tomboy, alam niyo ba, hindi ko pa rin siya kino-consider na gender issue because this is an issue of acceptance. Ang pagtanggap na ang iyong anak ay isang beki o tomboy ay issue na ikaw ay isang mabuti at responsableng magulang. Dahil tinanggap mo nang buong-buo ang iyong anak,” Garcia said.
“Alam niyo ba, lagi kong pinagtatanggol at sinasabi na ang pagiging gay ay never a disease, palagi kong sinasabi. Ako, palagi, sinusuportahan ko ang pagiging mabuti mong tao. Dahil hindi ko tinitignan kung anuman ang gender mo. In fact, mas natutuwa pa nga ako kapag nakakakita ako ng isang beki na mas responsable pa kaysa sa tunay na lalaki. Dahil mas binibigay nila ‘yung nakikita mong kakayahan nila bilang isang mabuting magulang,” she added.
A video of Garcia’s statement was uploaded on the Facebook page of “Face to Face” on Monday. Users of the social networking site had mixed reactions to what they just watched.
Most of them expressed their support for Garcia, while others scored her for making contradictory statements.
“What she’s saying here is not what she said in the article. This is damage control, which wasn’t even necessary since all the attention went to Tintin Bersola,” said user Paulo Castro.
“Okay, so bakit siya umiiyak? She’s playing with the emotions of the audience to side with her! Typical. What she said did not even make sense,” added user Sky Lising.
“The problem with Dr. Camille is not offering her view as a ‘parent.’ She was offering her view as a ‘psychologist.’ Those two points of view are very different. A psychologist’s point of view shouldn’t be based on what is the current practice of parents regarding their child but on what is supported by scientific evidence. Can’t you get this very significant point?” said user Sass Rogando Sasot.
“She was not being asked ‘What parents are doing’ she was asked ‘What parents should do.’ And the article is very clear that she is giving her ‘expert’ advice on what parents should do,” Sasot added.
‘Gayness can be corrected’
Garcia’s statements on the show are in contrast with her interview for Bersola-Babao’s column, where she said that it is wrong for parents to “encourage the behavior” associated with gayness.
She was quoted as saying: “Remember ang binigay ng Diyos is a girl or boy. A six-year-old can already identify his/her gender. Good parenting structures the right role of a person.
“What creates the reinforcement of the said behavior is when parents allow the thinking (e.g., ‘Sige anak, ok naman na maging bakla ka, tatanggapin ka namin.’)”
Asked by Bersola-Babao what parents should do if they see that their child is growing up to be gay, 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.’”
She added: “The genetic predisposition is there but if from the start it is corrected, maiiayos. Remember, genetic predisposition. Hindi minana, na at the start bakla siya. Ipinanganak siyang lalaki o babae. Ikaw na magulang ang mag-aayos at magtuturo. Thus, the lifestyle and preference become prevalent rather than the genetic factors. This is the most Christian and appropriate explanation I can give.”
After reading the article last week, several Filipinos took to Twitter to vent their ire on Bersola-Babao and Garcia, with one saying that the newspaper article “has wrong written all over it.”
Hours later, Bersola-Babao reacted to the negative posts about her and her column, maintaining that she only shared what she thinks is the best way to raise her child.
She added that the “radical” thoughts did not come from her, but from Garcia, who already apologized to those who have been hurt by her views.