Tag Archives: transgender

On Manny Pacquiao’s comments about homosexuality and the case for examining our thoughts

Manny Pacquiao was recently dropped by Nike over his remarks about homosexuals (click here for more). Manny reportedly said, amongst other things, that homosexuals are worse than animals..

Any form of discrimination should not be acceptable

Understandably, many people are upset about what the famous boxer has said. I myself am deeply disappointed as he is someone that many people look up to. Although nobody has ever suggested that Manny Pacquiao is an intellectual whose words should be treated as the truth, I fear that because of his status, success and undeniable popularity, his opinions may strengthen the backward beliefs of some and may influence the thinking of some.

I agree that people have the right to have their own opinions. However, I am frustrated when this right is abused. Sure, we are entitled to disagree and think differently from everyone else, but we must never think that another person is a lesser human being just because they are romantically involved with a person of the same sex. This is no different from any other forms of discrimination such as those based on religious and/ or racial grounds. How would Manny feel if he is publicly degraded by someone based on his nationality or religion? Would he be pleased? I think not.

The case for examining our own thoughts and beliefs

I can only ascertain that Manny’s comments are based on his religious beliefs which are passed on to him, perhaps by elders in his community as well as by pastors/priests/preachers. If this is true, this highlights the importance of examining our own thoughts and beliefs. We must ask ourselves the following questions from time to time:

  • ‘Why am I thinking this way?’
  • ‘Why do I believe what I believe?’
  • ‘Are my beliefs detrimental to other people’s lives?’
  • ‘Is what I believe supported by evidence?’
  • ‘Are there any alternative ways of thinking that are supported by better evidence?’
  • ‘How are those evidence collected?’

It is not a bad thing nor is it ever too late,to change our minds based on better quality of evidence. The reason why I am writing this is to explain that although Manny Pacquiao is an influential figure, not only in his country but worldwide, his opinions must be questionned, challenged and opposed. The same goes with the opinions of others who are more ‘powerful’ and have more authority than us.

Please, let us all use our brains.

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LGBT Women’s amazing work

To celebrate the International Women’s Day, the Huffington Post published an article profiling the work done by LGBT women around the world.

Click HERE to learn more about the following women:

  • Hannah Winterbourne
  • Claire Balding
  • Vicky Beeching
  • Ellen Page
  • Alison Bechdel
  • Cara Delevigne
  • Alice Walker
  • Andreja Pejic
  • Kellie Maloney
  • Jack Monroe
  • Paris Lees
  • Mary Portas
  • Sandi Toksvig
  • Tracy Chapman

“That’s gay”: evidence for the continued existence of homophobia

Having worked in primary and secondary schools in England and Wales, I’ve had my fair share of lunchtime and breaktime duties. These times are spent supervising pupils on canteens and playgrounds, listening to their conversations and observing the way they interact with one another. One of the most striking things that I have noticed is their use of the expression “that’s gay” when pertaining to something negative. For instance, a child might say “I’ve got English next”, to which another child would reply “oh that’s gay! I have PE next”. Not only do I hear this in school playgrounds, but in adult conversations as well. People use the word ‘gay’ interchangeably with negatively charged words such as “bad”, “terrible”, etc. I couldn’t help but ask why. Is this a reflection of how we as a society see homosexuals?

According to Cox et al. (2010), society still assumes that everyone is heterosexual unless proven otherwise and that sexual minorities are seen as deviant. With gay rights activists and legalization of gay marriages in certain countries, one would hope that homosexuality is lessened substantially nowadays, but expressions such as the one mentioned still shows that people openly display homophobia and/or a negative attitude towards sexual minorities.

I know from researching this very area that we have moved on from total negativity towards sexual minority to accepting and acknowledging their existence. However, whether you are aware of it or not, using the expression in question does not help the move away from the horrible past. So please, stop using it.