Are Filipino Children Desensitized to Homosexuality?
When my family visited the Philippines last December, my eldest and 7 year old daughter got a glimpse of TV comedienne Vice Ganda on ABS-CBN’s Showtime. She asked me if he’s a boy or a girl? I answered “he’s a boy.” Her second question, why does he look that way? I told her that he’s gay and explained that there are men and women who dress and act the opposite sex because they think they are made that way. I said Christians believe that God created only a man and a woman but not everyone live their lives according to how God made them to be. I emphasized that all we can do is to be polite, don’t’ poke fun at them and don’t spread gossip about gay people.
A friend told me that Filipino children are almost desensitized to homosexuality. It’s now normal and ordinary to see gay images everywhere specially in broadcast media. I was surprised when I browsed the Filipino DVD section at an SM City Mall to find provocative images of gay sex-themed indie movies bluntly displayed on shelves, eye-level to children. Because gay images are so prevalent and normal in the media, I wonder if parents, churches and other community leaders are missing out on opportunities to teach Filipino children the truth about homosexuality.
Broadcast media in the Philippines, mostly show a single perspective on homosexuality. It presents homosexuality as a fun, creative and healthy lifestyle. Though many Filipinos accepts these as truths, not everyone shares that perspective.
From my worldview, homosexuality is not part of the original and divine design for human sexuality. Choosing to live a homosexual lifestyle is also not the best choice anyone who struggles with same-sex attraction can make. However, it’s also imperative to remember that homosexuals are no different from anyone else. Each of us, including myself grapple with poor life choices and behaviors. Anyone who judges or think is better than homosexuals need a harsh look at him or herself in the mirror.
I’m glad that my daughter got curious of Vice Ganda and I had a moment to explain to her what homosexuality is. I prefer that it’s me or my wife who teaches our children about sexual identity and not popular media. I would love to have another opportunity to discuss homosexuality with my children. However, next time this conversation comes up I’ll make sure my children hear some real-life stories of those who changed and embraced a heterosexual or celibate lifestyle when they realized homosexuality is not the best choice. Because that’s a side of the story my children and many Filipinos need to find out.