The Department of Education (DepEd) recently released a memorandum reiterating its Order No. 32 s. 2017, titled “Gender-Responsive Basic Education Policy.” The move came amid online clamor from transgenderism advocates for schools to allow “gender-nonconforming students” to use the school uniform and public restroom—as well as wear a haircut—that align with their gender identity rather than their biological sex.

The problem with this demand is that it is rooted in the premise that gender identity supersedes biological sex, when the opposite is true. Biological sex is objective, verifiable and immutable, while gender identity is subjective, unverifiable and unstable. Common sense dictates that rules should be based on objective, verifiable and immutable criteria. 

We have seen from other countries the tragic outcomes of laws that upheld gender identity rather than biological sex. Women have been beaten—figuratively and literally— in their own game after trans-identifying biological males were allowed to compete in women’s sports. Women’s safety had been put at risk after their restrooms and locker rooms were opened to male predators who pretended to be transgendered. Trans-identifying children’s physical and mental health had also been put at risk as they were subjected to treatment with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones even without parental consent. 

If one reads DepEd’s 2017 Gender-Responsive Basic Education Policy, one would notice that it is actually very women- and children-centered. Hopefully, the government agency will ensure that existing policies that protect women and children will not be overridden by rules that deny basic biology.

Schools are supposed to be bastions of truth. And the truth is, men and women are different — in their anatomy, psychology and neurology, among others. No amount of “gender-identifying” can turn a person into the opposite sex. To pretend otherwise in the name of “gender-sensitivity” is false compassion. To require others to do the same is downright tyranny.