Tuesday, September 10, 2019

How to Guide Our Children Regarding SOGIE: 7 Personal Tips

In light of the recent senate committee hearings about the SOGIE bill,  how do we guide our children regarding this very important aspect of life? In this modern era when the LGBTQ+  has become a very vocal and active community, we, the parents, must include gender awareness in our casual discussions with our children as early as they are able to grasp such concept.

I confess. I have not completely studied the proposed Senate Bill No. 1271 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (SOGIE) and provides penalties for such discrimination. I know bits and pieces of it but I admit that I am far from being an authority who can discuss this matter proficiently.

How to Guide Our Children Regarding SOGIE TIPS

Gretchen Diez's Viral Incident

From what I understand, the renewed interest in passing the bill was triggered by a viral incident involving the arrest of transgender Gretchen Custodio Diez. I assume most of you know what happened to her. But if you also happen to be a very busy mom like me whose time spent  taking care of her family and coping up with financial worries is always not enough, I understand perfectly if you missed this viral news. So, for everyone's benefit, here's an article of what transpired last August.

Throughout this blog post, I will be putting links to articles, whenever needed, that will help us understand more about this bill.

What is SOGIE?

As with some of the male senators who were confused with the terms used in the SOGIE bill, I am also not very sure with a lot of these terms.

Rappler made a video to explain what SOGIE is all about. For our reference, we may watch these videos.

Explainer: What You Need to Know About SOGIE Part 1


Explainer: What You Need to Know About SOGIE Part 2


Senator Risa Hontiveros, chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality clarified some misconceptions and straightened out fake news via this tweet.

My Personal Experience as a Child

Ever since I can remember, I have always been aware, even as a child, that there are lesbians and gays. One of my aunts was a lesbian. She was one of the kindest and most caring persons that I know. She dressed up like a man, acted like a man and had a man's hairstyle. She lived with her girlfriend and they had an adopted son. They lived happily like a real family and stayed together until one of them breathed her last.  Because of her, I have always treated members of the LGBTQ+ with respect and I have always looked at them as ordinary people, just like me.

I, myself, was kind of boyish during my childhood days. I remember dressing up like a boy and playing with toy guns and other games that were identified with boys like sipa, marbles and kites.

When I entered high school, I enrolled at an exclusive Catholic school for girls. I was a new student because I came from a different elementary school while most of my batchmates came from the elementary department of that same school.

After some adjustments, I was able to adapt to my school's culture and gained friends. Soon I found out that the fad then was "crushing" other girls at the school. Since we were all girls, the only ones we could get attracted to were also girls. Those were my teen years when having a crush was almost inevitable.

It seemed to me that no one was exempted, not even the most outstanding students. The valedictorian, salutatorian and other achievers were all into this girl-to-girl thing.

Few Minutes of Fame

My first personal encounter happened when I joined the freshmen's basketball team. After the first game at the intramurals, some girls from the higher years approached me, introduced themselves to me and openly voiced their admiration. I felt like a celebrity! As I've said earlier, I was kind of boyish, so those girls might have thought that I was a lesbian. (Unofficially, the high school population was grouped into two categories - the more feminine ones and the more masculine ones. Girls belonging to the first group would be attracted to the second group and vice versa.) I guess I belonged to the second group and those girls belonged to the first. 

Anyways, I can't remember now why I quit the team. The only possible reason I can think of now is perhaps my mom advised me to. That basketball game was, officially, my first and last and so were my few minutes of fame. Yet, because of that experience, I suddenly became open to the idea that I was  "crushable" because of the boyish impression that I projected. This encouraged me to continue the "act" and it contributed essentially to my self-confidence.

Nothing Physical

I found myself having crushes of my own and getting into "friendships" that involved giving and receiving roses, chocolates, letters and simple cute things. But there was nothing physical at all. As far as I'm concerned, they were just innocent teen fancies. I simply enjoyed the attention and the friendship (literally)—in the real sense of the word. Being an only child, having a "close" friend was very beneficial.

Mother's Guidance

All throughout my high school, changes in my gestures did not escape my loving mom's observant eyes. Whenever she had the chance, she would talk to me and tell me what's proper and right or what's not good for me. I knew fully well that her "sermons" were done out of her genuine love and concern for me.

If ever I was already leaning towards lesbianism at that time, I never felt that my mom was an antagonist or that she was not being open to my "new identity" or that she was curtailing my freedom to express myself. NOT AT ALL. On the contrary, I am so thankful that I had a mom who patiently gave me proper guidance. I am so thankful that I listened to her and absorbed what she said.

Outgrowing THAT Phase

After graduation, I transferred to one of the country's biggest universities and it was co-ed (both male and female students were admitted)!

It was not an overnight change for  me, but little by little I was able to get rid of the tomboyish gestures that my mom had been trying to point out. Catching up with former schoolmates, I was shocked to learn that one of the most popular tomboys at school won a televised beauty pageant! She was now totally female, a far cry from the varsity basketball player that we knew. 

Eventually, most of us have outgrown that phase in our teen life. We started to have male crushes and some started having boyfriends. Out of more than a thousand students, only very few—we can probably count them with our fingers—continued to live the same lifestyle until now.


I know that I cannot generalize, but if my high school alma mater was a social experiment, we could have probably concluded that the trending same-sex attraction existed simply because of the influence of the bandwagon effect and the environment itself. Once we were out of that environment, we were able to get rid of that attraction. I do not speak only for myself but for my many schoolmates who had the same experience and were able to outgrow our short-lived homosexual tendencies.

As for my personal opinion, let me enumerate some points:
  • I do not believe that when a child exhibits some signs that he or she has the tendency to become gay (playing with dolls, dressing up like a girl, etc.) or lesbian (playing boys' games), it is most likely that he or she will really end up that way. The people close to the child, most possibly the immediate family, should play a big role in guiding the child to be aware of the gender that God has given him or her. The earlier, the better. Once the child reaches a certain age when she or he has fully established his or her identity, then it will already be very difficult or almost impossible to instill guidance. The mother is the most qualified person to openly and lovingly talk about this with the child. She should teach and converse with the child at every possible opportunity as often as she can. I emphasize the word "lovingly" because that is the key to this very important parent-child conversation.
  • I believe that being an L/G/B/T/Q/+ is not permanent. I believe it is a choice and any person has the power to change or embrace whatever lifestyle he or she wants to live.
  • I still believe that God created us either male or female and we should do our best to honor and respect that.
  • If environment, temptations, influence or other factors force us to deviate from what God has given us, we should seek His grace for the strength to overcome them.
  • Although these are my beliefs, I will continue to respect any L/G/B/T/Q/+ and will never judge or condemn them. I believe that God loves everyone, whatever our preferences are.

In addition to these points, I also agree with everything that Ansel Beluso, a former gay and TV personality, said in his speech at the senate committee hearing for the proposed SOGIE bill.

Here's the full text transcript of Ansel Beluso's speech.

My Personal Experience as a Mother

The lessons I learned from my high school experience and the teachings imparted to me by my mom are forever etched in my mind and heart. Now that I am a mother, myself, I am doing my best to apply them as I raise my son. So far, so good.

My son is now fourteen. He had his first love a few months before his fourteenth birthday with a pretty girl he met at our Feast Light. Many people raised their eyebrows when they learned that the two very young teens were already in a relationship. I would even get comments that if only I had been more watchful, my son would have been more properly guided.

But I knew my son better. I WAS watchful and I WAS properly guiding him. I trusted him and I knew he had to go through such an experience that includes not only happy moments but painful ones as well. It only lasted for a month because he himself realized that he was too young.

Looking back, I think he handled himself very well all throughout the relationship. I do not regret allowing him this freedom despite others' objections, saying I should have been  more strict. For me, it is better that he went through the process while I could still guide him and he would still listen, rather than restrict him now and allow him only when he's too old to listen and be guided. Because of this, he learned many lessons and realized a lot of things that he can apply in the future.

My point? Let me sum it up in these 7 personal tips:

  1. Start early! Start guiding your children the moment they are able to understand.
  2. This is a given, but still, it's the most important tip—shower your children with love and affection every single day starting from the time you learn you're pregnant.
  3. Show your appreciation at every opportunity.
  4. Establish very close friendship with your children. Make them feel that you are always open and available to talk with them. Encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings and be careful with your reactions. Make sure that you do not react too strongly or negatively even if you do not quite agree with what they are saying so as not to discourage them from always telling the truth.
  5. Read the bible with them. There are many "Bible Stories For Children" books available at the bookstores. Try to have a copy because for the younger children, they will appreciate it more if you read the bible stories to them the way you tell them fairy tales. Tell them the story of creation and how God created man and woman. Introduce to them the basic differences of the two genders and help them identify if God made them a man (boy) or a woman (girl).
  6. As early as you think is appropriate, make them aware that there are LGBTQ+'s in our society. If you know someone who is an L/G/B/T/Q/+, explain to your children why they might be acting the way they do. Emphasize that these people should not be judged nor condemned and that we should respect them for who they are. However, let them also be aware that influence can be a big factor for anyone choosing the lifestyle they want to live. So, it is important that we help our children establish their identity as early as possible so that any kind of influence can no longer affect them.
  7. Be generous with your time for your children. Bonding moments with them are always precious and they will always treasure your presence more than the material things that you give them. Let these moments be opportunities to talk about anything, including God, friendships, love life and SOGIE.

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About the Author

Our Family | mamagoals.comJust call me MamaFel. I'm from the Philippines and I'm a work-at-home mom, homeschooling my 15-year-old son. I've been married to a faithful husband for 26 years now. This is my story.