Hontiveros on Pride Month: Genders are part of how we are ‘born this way’ 

/ 03:01 PM June 26, 2019
Hontiveros on Pride Month: Genders are part of how we are ‘born this way’ 

Sen. Risa Hontiveros. file photo / CATHY MIRANDA

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros referenced a famous Lady Gaga song to show her support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community in celebration of Pride Month.

“Genders are part of how we are ‘born this way,’ with every basis in nature,” Hontiveros said in a statement following the Ateneo de Manila University’s celebration of Pride Month.


Hontiveros, a graduate of Ateneo and an LGBTQIA+ advocate, said gender is not binary, adding that the concept of gender is a social construct.

“As an Atenean and a mother, I join my spirit and voice with the hope, strength and common good advocated by One Big Pride, an expression of charity and acceptance for the LGBTQIA+ community,” Hontiveros said.


“Genders are social constructs.  It is both a lived and socio-cultural experience, a personal definition of oneself.  Gender is not binary but comes in a spectrum.  It is a lived and every day reality,” she added.

Hontiveros also underscored that homosexuality is no longer considered as a “disorder” in the medical community.

“The wide range of human sexuality is part of a spectrum of emotions and acts of attraction, love and pleasure through which we human beings appreciate, reciprocate and participate in the beauty of creation,” Hontiveros said.

Despite this, Hontiveros said the community continues to face discrimination in the country as she reiterated the need to pass the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill.

“Denying a person’s God-given identity and demonizing expressions of love are harmful to us faithful, especially to our children,” Hontiveros said.

“To deny the stigma and discrimination that LGBTQIA+ persons continue to suffer in the Philippines, and which have made the passage of the SOGIE Equality bill all the more needed, is to turn a blind eye to human suffering,” the senator added.

Hontiveros earlier said that she is confident that the bill will be passed in the 18th Congress.


“The concept has also become more mainstream. The tide is definitely turning. I am confident that when we refile the measure in the 18th Congress, it will finally pass,” Hontiveros said, adding that the issue “has gained new allies and champions.”

The bill, she said, has been approved in the House of Representatives since 2017 but it experienced delays in the Senate during the period of interpellation.

The interpellation, however, helped in popularizing the SOGIE concept, Hontiveros said. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)

READ: Hontiveros confident 18th Congress will pass SOGIE bill

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