Esquire has officially made an apology to Jake Zyrus for “making fun” of his choice name.
This comes after the pvblic uproar on Esquire’s article questioning his name choice that has since been deleted.
Two-time Palanca-winning essayist Shakira Sison has expressed her disdain for the article through a lenghty Facebook post.
A classic exhibit of “I support you BUT- (insert bigoted rant here)”
A ‘progressive’ publication such as Esquire Philippines should know that a trans person’s revelation of their correct-gender name is a crucial moment. While Jake Zyrus is a celebrity and you might consider his choices a free-for-all, this is the reason trans kids are bullied, stay in the closet, or contemplate suicide.
“When someone who claims to support you humiliates you at the first moment you decide to expose yourself, it makes total sense that the rest of the world remains suspect,” Sison added. “So disappointed, Esquire. This is not up to your editorial standards – even if this is the chismis section – it is at the expense of one of the country’s first out trans men.”
The publication has taken action and wrote:
“We thought we were being a crass-but-supportive friend in the way we wanted to show our support while poking a little fun at Jake, but we totally drunk-uncled our way through it.”
Most other media outlets pointed out the name change, without unpacking what it meant. We ourselves went by Jake’s old statement about coming out as a “tomboy” and past interviews. But, as Shakira Sison (@shakirasison) pointed out on Twitter: “Maybe you think this is funny but a trans person’s act of revealing their correct name is a crucial moment.
“Ultimately, it was a failure in empathy and sensitivity. We regret the article and, knowing that a lot of other people are critical of Jake’s name, urge everyone to be more thoughtful about the issue, and more careful when discussing it. This kind of lapse is easily made, especially when you consider yourself fairly liberal and progressive and accepting. It helps to remember what that really means, once in awhile,” it ended.
At least some good came out from the fiasco. We need to learn from this and respect the decisions people take in life. Respect each other as human beings because everyone has emotions, everyone has feelings.
If you are the liberal and progressive person that you say you are, it’s time you show it.