Monday, October 26, 2009

Concerns about TGs and SH

Our unit conducted a gender orientation at CMC. I lectured on "sexuality and sexual identities". The room was replete with laughter especially from the men's group. Later on, I learned that most of the women audience were single and they smirked off when I uttered the Tagalog equivalent of our genitalia. But after the lecture, questions revolved around the transgendered people in the campus. The audience has this fear that the image of their campus is that of 'haven for LGBT' and sexual harassment cases.

One of the questions was the staff knew of TGs who frequent the ladies room, will they allow them? I told them to conduct a dialogue with a gay and TG group because as far as I know, the groups demand a separate comfort room for TGs and gays. But I am personally worried because we encountered a case of out gay who attended one of our trainings and yet after two months, he was convicted of child sexual abuse.

Another question was a certain TG who does not want to be addressed as "mister". I told them the change from "mister" to "miss" as a referent would require a legal process. So, it is better to drop off all the referents. A related question was how to approach such demand from TGs. I answered, just simply ask them how they want to be addressed.

It was very interesting that when a lecture on sexual harassment ensued, a letter was handed to me asking " if it is SH case when a certain male co-worker uttered directly to her 'I dreamt about you last night' while simultaneously wearing a malicious smile". I consulted our speaker on SH, she said the "smile" factor has bearing on SH and I encouraged the letterwriter to go to the office and elaborate more about the other factors and context of the SH she cited in her letter.

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