No two freethinkers are exactly alike; a group of freethinkers contains a great diversity of perspectives, so there is no one, official perspective shared among all of them. This makes the freethought community a truly vibrant source of ideas and opinions!
In this light, Meet a Freethinker is our series featuring freethinkers of all backgrounds and perspectives. We want to introduce you guys to the people who make up the proverbial melting pot of this growing movement.
Our next freethinker is Sarryna Gesite.
- Can you briefly introduce yourself (one short paragraph/bio)?
Hello, I’m Sarryna! I am presently involved in the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy, which also includes discussions on safe abortion rights in the Philippines. Apart from gender and sexuality, and health sciences, I am also very much into psychology, philosophy, and sociology. I love stressing myself out with news and current affairs, or anything that would make me think more about the interrelationship of human beings and societies.
- How would you define a freethinker?
A freethinker is a person who does not ascribe to one absolute belief or dogma. This person allows the self to discover the world based on truths, on facts, on methods, or logic, to make sense of the world.
- What belief system do you subscribe to?
I am actually an absurdist. I personally believe that life itself has no meaning, but once we’re born and we start being conscious around ourselves, we slowly begin to make sense of our world. We then give purpose to our existence. And I think that’s the exciting part of our life journey! I am also a Marxist by nature. Some Wiccan philosophies also appeal to me, but I’ve been an atheist for years now.
- What’s your freethinker story? What was the funniest or most interesting reaction you got from a person after you told them that you were a freethinker/atheist/non-religious?
Some people would actually mistake me as a Satanist! But if being a Satanist means being able to exercise independence and individuality, free from any religious dogma or belief system which restricts an individual to freely think, cultivate ideas, form opinions, and responsibly employ decisions and autonomy over the self, then so be it!
- How did you get to know Filipino Freethinkers?
I got to know Filipino Freethinkers from my line of work. We usually partner with this organization on different arts-for-advocacy activities. Slowly, I also got to know the organization better and what it stands for.
- What are some of your initiatives in the realm of human rights or the betterment of society?
My present involvement on SRHR advocacy, particularly in the discussions on safe abortion rights in the Philippines, I would say, is one of the initiatives I’ve been doing in the realm of human rights. Prior to this, I also advocated for peasant rights. And on a personal level, I also deeply practice the “Do No Harm” principle, which I think is a very powerful message that we must remember and emphasize in our life.
- Is there anything people can do to help these initiatives?
It is very important to have and practice empathy. Kindness, compassion, and respect go a long way. We also have to be critical around us. Ask and criticize if we must. But we must also put actions as we think and suggest. To be socially and self-aware of the things happening around us and within ourselves is one of the many steps we can take to contribute for the betterment of society.