He or She?

The exercise of our rights requires maturity. A mature person respects other people’s rights in as much as he insists on respect for his rights. The problem is when that person fights for a one-way respect, that is, when that person demands that his rights would be respected but he would not respect others’ rights in return.
Screenshot from GMA News

Such I believe is the case between Hender Gercio, “a self-described ‘transsexual woman’ who had ‘undergone a gender transition,’” and Dominique Del Corro, a French language professor at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. (Source: www.gmanews.tv) Gercio, “a former President of Babaylan, an officially-recognized organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students of UP,” (ibid) insists that the professor address him as a female. Del Corro, an evangelical Christian, refused to do so because of her personal religious beliefs against homosexuality. But Gercio insists, “My pronouns are MY pronouns. I don’t care who your God is, but I will not let you take my gender identity away from me… I am therefore demanding, in behalf of all present and future transgender students of this public and non-sectarian university, for my chosen gender identity to be affirmed and respected.” (Ibid) It is important to emphasize though that, as far as his legal identity is concerned, Gercio is still considered a male person despite his so-called “gender transition.”
Hender Gercio (L) with the late President Cory Quino. Image credit

Also, a group of UP students defended their professor, clarifying that, while Del Corro is “the authority figure in the classroom, she has never used her authority to influence the class or Hender [himself].” (Ibid) That shows that Del Corro expressed her faith with respect though disagreeing with Gercio. The students also made a Solomonic appeal: “If we don’t understand either of these beliefs, if we think one or the other is ultimately wrong, we attempt to inform each other. Failing conversion on either side, we agree to disagree… All of this began with a stalemate between the insistence and resistance of two people who represent a multitude of beliefs and ideas. Let it end at an impasse. Let it remain so.” (Ibid) That’s a mature way of looking at it.
University of the Philippines Diliman campus. Image credit

I believe this is an open door for us to keep on sharing our faith. Of course, we must make our stance known while at the same time “speaking the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15a, ESV) Lies triumph when we say nothing about the truth. So, let us speak up. This is still a free country, right?

Brethren, pray that this issue would create more light than heat.

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