“Discussions of theory should never replace care for persons and recognition of the dignity of every single individual.”
Shedding light on the importance of considering personal and lived experiences of the LGBTQ+ community, the second Tindig Tinyo, led by Fr. Patrick Riordan, SJ was held yesterday, at the 3/F Ricci Hall, CCFC.
The student-led Pakighinabi centered on the discussion of the newly-published Vatican document: “Male and Female, He created them: Towards a path of dialogue on the question of gender theory in education.”
Riordan shared that he had negative apprehensions when this document was released, but he realized the importance of going beyond the theoretical perspective of such issues.
“We are together in this path of discovery, of learning together, of learning from our different experiences, and how we can be human with one another—recognizing how in the past, we have excluded and discriminated against these people.”
The panel of discussants comprised mostly of faculty from the Theology department and the School of Arts and Sciences. Student leaders from the SAMAHAN and other clubs participated in the said forum. Representatives from the administration, led by the University President Joel Tabora, SJ were also present.
One of the panel members, Dr. Efren Sabado of the Sociology department shared her personal sentiments to clarify one of the long standing debates about gender identity being a choice.
“Personally, I did not choose to be a transwoman. This is really who I am. I think the only thing that I have decided is how to express is my personhood. If you talk about sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, personally these are not choices for me. They were part of me growing up. But expressing these, given the pressure of a hetero-normative society, it was really very difficult,” Sabado expressed.
Amiel Lopez, head of the SAMAHAN Campaigns and Advocacies Committee, conveyed that the challenge relies on educational institutions in molding students to be better listeners.
According to him, there should be emphasis on giving safe spaces for students to be whoever they are.
“Let us go for love and inclusion as we a human person with dignity and equality by seeing every person as someone gifted, accepted and empowered to contribute,” he shared.
To conclude the Pakighinabi session, Noriel R. Rogon of the School of Arts and Sciences cited Fr. James Martin, agreeing with him that anyone who thinks that being a transgender is a response to an ideology has not spoken to many transgender people themselves.
“In the end, I hope our trajectory will begin with a serious rethinking and reflection on the part of the church concerning the lived experiences of the LGBTQ+ community,” he said