No, his name is NOT Jennifer. It’s Jeffrey

Sure. As Marrian Pio Roda Ching asserts in an Inquirer article, Jeffrey Laude’s “right” to be addressed by the alias “Jennifer” is all about his “right to identity and to self-determination” as stipulated in a certain body of work called the “Yogyakarta Principles” where Article 3 supposedly stipulates, that these assertions of “identity” constitute every human being’s claim to a life of “dignity and freedom”.

Non-issues made issues by Filipino 'activists' struggling for relevance

Non-issues made issues by Filipino ‘activists’ struggling for relevance

And, sure, the New York Times and the Associated Press, as Ching points out, have both signed up to a so-called “style guide” that, get this, “addresses gender inaccuracy and homophobia in the news.” How exactly choosing to address Jennifer by his real name may be construed as “homophobia” is anyone’s guess. Involving one’s self in an argument over what name to use when addressing a transgender and concluding that anyone who begs to differ to the popular view is a potential homophobe is quite a leap of logic. That the media industry which, one may need to be reminded, consists of for-profit enterprises that need to pander to their readership as a matter of survival, chooses to address transgenders by their preferred name does not constitute a rule that necessarily applies to all.

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Fortunately, there is one thing Philippine Law does right, and that is keep layers of political correctness from coating and fouling up otherwise simple principles. In an example of the upholding of its spirit, the Philippine Court of Appeals in a landmark 2006 case involving an appeal by transgender Rommel Jacinto Silverio that he be legally recognised as female ruled that “While petitioner may have succeeded in altering his body and appearance through the intervention of modern surgery, no law authorizes the change of entry as to sex in the civil registry for that reason. Thus, there is no legal basis for his petition for the correction or change of the entries in his birth certificate.”

As such the state regards the issue final. Jeffrey Laude is a male Filipino and will be regarded as such in this case. This is evident in the way Foreign Secretary spokesman Charles Jose representing the Philippine government worded his statement to the public the other day.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs, together with the office of the city prosecutor of Olongapo City, today served the subpoena and complaint against Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton for the murder of Jeffrey Laude, also known as ‘Jennifer’,” Jose said in a statement.

Indeed, that Laude is a man is particularly relevant in this case when one considers the possibility that he had deliberately misled the defendant into believing that he was in the company of a female person — something that will certainly weigh heavily come the time that the court will have to evaluate the gravity or form of the homicide committed (if, in fact, Laude’s death is ruled as such). So, ensuring that there is no confusing the real gender of Laude to satisfy the preferences of people who see their thinking as “progressive” is important in this matter.

The issue of how society regards Laude is a social issue and so the points Ching raises around the respect and dignity Laude is entitled to should be regarded in a social context. Social issues have their place in Twitter debates and personal blogs, not in courtrooms and police reports. When investigating a homicide, the legal context takes precedence. People’s lives are at stake here — the future of a young, barely legal US Marine, and the justice that the 26-year-old victim and his dependent family are entitled to. When such truly important things are at stake, we are best served by principles that are underpinned by science and facts rather than adolescent emotional responses and nebulous personal preferences.

54 Replies to “No, his name is NOT Jennifer. It’s Jeffrey”

      1. That’s a tough question?
        Lol good luck with your career, Mr. blogwriter….won’t go too far into journalism without a critical mind, I’m afraid.

        1. I sincerely appreciate that! My life is fantastic though, not merely ‘nice’……certainly an adventure, and 100% more than you’ll ever do!

      2. Great article, bening0. Keep up the work!

        And if by some miracle the Philippines do progress economically, I hope that it still keeps its common sense. While the death of this man is unfortunate, when it comes to liberal progressives, the fact that he deceived another man into thinking he’s a woman all the way back to the hotel would just fly right over their heads. It’s unbelievable.

        1. Thanks. Unfortunately, that’s not a very popular position to take, specially in the Philippines. But it is worth noting and highlighting as it is relevant in deciding the gravity of the homicide committed (which has a bearing on sentencing if any convictions are made).

    1. Unless the guy changed his name sometime before he was murdered, it would be less confusing (not to mention legally required) to address him by his real name and gender at time of death, self-identification be damned. It’s not “uneducated”, it’s not “backwoods”, and it would be silly if we don’t call a spade a spade because he doesn’t want to be called a spade.

    2. While I agree the blog is shit, you may want to acknowledge that when calling someone uneducated, it’s best to spell backwards right… sort of the idea that none of us are perfect. Likewise while the blogger is clearly uneducated in so many issues, clearly has no real understanding of what life is for most people (also given other blogs here), there’s a reason for that. And the only way to change a person is to help them see and help them experience what else there is. Jumping on someone and name-calling will only make people defensive…

  1. Let justice takes its own course, and the ax of justice hit whoever might be. Im fine with them being a trans, no problem about it. But hey, dont let everyone believed in your make believe world, naka loko ka na nga, gusto mo, tawagin ka pang babae na ang pangalan Jennifer?

  2. Well, you’re not really violating anyone’s rights when you refuse to call a transgender by his/her preferred name, you’re just being an a$$#073.

    1. A DECEASED transgender, even?

      Oh boy, methinks the National Statistics Office’s gonna have a field day with such naming shenanigans.

    2. How high maintenance can you get? You have a given name that you are known for and you change horses midstream so everyone has to adjust to you. The name is the opposite of the gender that God gave that person. And whoever does not adjust in your words is an “a$$#073”. Gee, I want to emulate how you evaluate “a$$#073″s.

  3. There are a bunch of people who believe and call themselves Jesus, Napoleon, Cleopatra etc. We dont call them what they want, we put them in assylums. Enough of the fucking pandering.

  4. Okay. If I mentally suffer from species dysphoria and personally think that I am a horse, should I be legally considered a horse?

    If, despite my human form, I think that I am a horse, would calling me a human constitute a “hate” crime?

    Let’s just call a spade a spade.

  5. It seems Philippines birth certificates get the kids’ genders wrong a lot of the time anyway, I know two people who’ve had to spend time and money correcting someone’s laziness/mistake to finally become officially female. No wonder so many Filipinos are confused about their identity.

  6. From the Philippine Star – //Fallback source was Olongapo Mayor Rolen Paulino who was present during the autopsy. He told me that he saw Laude indeed had a penis, adding he was “well endowed.” To me, that was enough confirmation that the victim was not a woman as some media would have it.//- “Jennifer” is a fucking guy. His name is Jeffrey. Fuck the panderers.

  7. Games People Play – Eric Berne
    Game – Make Believe
    Children engage in make believe for a number of reasons.[2] Play allows children to “deal with fears in a safe setting.” It also allows them to “indulge their secret fantasies.”[2]

  8. this is for the most part a silly debate. jennifer or jeffrey? tomato or toma-to? but yeah all these “liberal” rules on how to properly refer and identify a person get down right fascist.

    just one in a long line of missing the point distractions that filipinos get themselves into instead of focusing on the true issue.

    jeffrey is dead. a US marine may have killed him. investigate properly. nothing to see here (except if you like dwelling on PC issues). move along.

  9. Jeffrey Laude AKA (also known as) Jennifer Laude; can claim he/she is Jennifer Laude.
    If you want people to call you: “Monkey”; it is your business…I have no problem with that issue.

    You can live in a World of Make Believe; and make a Fool of Yourself…Only you have to deal with the TRUTH in yourself. If you cannot accept the Truth; it is your problem, not mine…

  10. The Gay dude was a guy, and not a chick and it may very well be why he was killed. So for anyone to be crying for him to be seen as a chick is really off the mark as that is what he was trying to avoid be found out, THAT HE WAS NOT A CHICK, right before he died….or so the only witness says. How convenient.

  11. For the record:Jeff Laude was a guy. Jeff maybe wished he was a ‘Hot Chick’, but NOPE ! He was a guy !

    Biology, not even if an operation is performed to remove genitalia,will always see an XY pairing of chromosomes in the guys DNA, it can never be denied.Not scientifically possible…YET !

    1. We are not yet in that stage of human civilization; whereby, we can alter: DNA, chromosones, etc…

      It will be frightening to us; if we are in that stage…you can Clone living things and change their DNA…

      Anyway , the Anunakis , inserted their DNA in the Ape-like Men, that produced our ancestral species…as shown by those Archeologists…to produce a working class slaves of living beings…

      1. @ HT 747, yeah right , the annanukis…who told you that? and why do you believe it, more importantly.

        Listen closely, a fertilized HUMAN egg,conceived naturally, and brought to full-term resulting in the live birth of a male child will have an XY paired 23rd chromosome that WILL be present for the duration of that MALE HUMAN’s life-time.

        YOU CAN BANK ON IT ! especially in the 3rd world Philippines where the technology to build & maintain proper sewer systems for a large city can not be done properly, never mind genetically engineering the chromosomes of people like the deceased in this article.

        1. The Babylonian Clay Cablets, which are very very old; it tells story of the Anunakis Extra Terrestrials who came to this Planet Earth, to mine Gold. Archeologists deciphered the written Clay Tablet… I am a Technical Man…Science and Technology are my ways of earning my daily bread.

          Religion has also a place in our lives, but not how we are using it now…this is my belief…I am a confirmed “Infidel”. I hope my head will not be cut off..

  12. A Volkswagen with a Benz star on it is still a Volkswagen in my book.

    It always amazes me how Filipinos can get riled up over insignificant stuff, but if it comes to important issues they keep on eating shit.

  13. What are you going to lose if you call her the name she prefers and refer her the gender she prefers? She feels she is a girl and wants to be recognize as such, what is wrong with that? Fine, only socially if you are such a legal minded person because our laws really make sense, just like our lawmakers are so honorable. Funny how people would accept Vice Ganda for who she is but not Jennifer. If you can’t give it to her, at least give the dead person some respect.

  14. Gayboy is still a man. what the hell is wrong if you address him with his real name. He was registered with that name,probably grew up with it, and until recently changed it to jennifer. Therefore from now on, i will call myself, leonidas,and if anyone calls me by my real name, i will sue them. for i am a real spartan.

  15. I will RESPECT YOUR WISH and call you Leonidas. If feeling like a real Spartan makes you feel complete then go for it. As long as you don’t violate over people’s rights, you have the right to express how you feel, and you should be respected for that.

  16. I’ll just write this in Tagalog since my English is not that good.

    Ang issue dito ay kung bakit siya pinatay at sino ang pumatay. Isa itong krimen so inaalam natin kung ano talaga ang nangyari para mahuli ang gumawa ito at maparusahan ng naayon sa batas. Nataon lamang na sensitibo ang kaso na ito dahil sa mga taong involved. Kung ano man talaga ang nangyari ay hindi natin alam so inaasam lang natin na sana yung totoo ang lumabas sa imbestigasyon.

    Walang katuturan ang artikulong ito kung ang ibig lang nitong pag-usapan ay kung anong pangalan ang dapat na itawag sa namatay. Kung may pagkakamali man siya para humantong sa ganito isa ito sa importanteng malaman pero higit sa lahat dapat mabigyang linaw kung bakit humantong sa pagkitil ng buhay para mabigay ng korte ang karampatang hatol/hustisya.

  17. All I can say is that HE is “legally” known as Jeffrey and he is “legally” a HE and is known as such for legal purposes. If that is the only way which HE can avail of HIS rights under the law, then so be it. I do not see how HE is being disrespected or “inaapi” by being called Jeffrey or referred to as a HE when we are talking about rights or injustices bigger than his right to identity…

    1. In this country, people are only referred to as a “siya” (correct me if I’m wrong here please, because I have never encountered a Philippine language or dialect that has the “he” and “she” ruling).

      Still, that is completely right. Whatever gender they want him or her to be identified with doesn’t matter. And whatever the law requires should only be procedural and shouldn’t be a roadblock to the right path. What matters is (s)he gets justice for this crime.

  18. Whether we call her Jennifer or Jeffrey isn’t just an issue of a name. It’s much deeper than that. This transgender person was killed precisely because they were transgender. The issue isn’t whether we call her Jennifer or Jeffrey, it’s what that represents – that society is so twisted we would deny people rights, and kill, over something as benign as how people perceive themselves.

    There is always a deeper level to any issues like this… unfortunately not enough people see that and just jump on the superficial.

    1. No, No and No. Jeffrey ended up losing his life because he thought he. Could fool another man. He thought wrong, good riddance, nobody really cares.

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