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LGBT in the Philippines

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LGBT in the Philippines

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the Philippines have a distinctive culture but limited legal rights. Gays and lesbians are generally tolerated, if not accepted, within Filipino society, but there is still widespread discrimination. The most visible members of the Filipino LGBT culture, the Bakla, are a distinct group in the Philippines.

According to the 2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey, 11% of sexually active Filipinos between the ages of 15 and 24 have had sex with someone of the same sex.[1]

Filipino poet and critic Lilia Quindoza Santiago has speculated that Filipino culture may have a more flexible concept of gender because kasarian, the Tagalog word for "gender", is defined in less binary terms than the English word gender.[2] Kasarian means "kind, species, or genus".[3] The English word gender originally also meant "kind".


Main article: Bakla (Philippines)

A bakla is a gay man who displays feminine mannerisms, dresses as a woman, or identifies as a woman. The term itself is not the equivalent of the English term "gay",[4] but bakla are the most culturally visible subset of gay men in the Philippines. They are often considered a third gender, embodying femaleness (pagkababae) in a male body.[5][6] The term bakla is sometimes used in a derogatory sense, although bakla people have largely embraced it.

Bakla individuals are socially and economically integrated into Filipino society and are considered an important part of society. The stereotype of a bakla is a parlorista, a cross-dresser who works in a beauty salon.[7] Miss Gay Philippines is a beauty pageant for bakla.

Slang terms for LGBT people and concepts

In the Philippines, the term gay is used in reference to any LGBT person. For Filipino gays, the Tagalog phrase paglaladlad ng kapa ("unfurling the cape"), or more commonly just paglaladlad ("unfurling" or "unveiling") refers to the coming-out process. Tibo, T-Bird and tomboy are derogatory terms for butch lesbians just as bakla is for effeminate gay men. Some lesbians, both butch and femme, use the terms magic or shunggril to refer to themselves.[4] Neutral slang terms for gay men include billy boy, badette, bading, and paminta (straight-acting gay man).

While many of these terms are generally considered derogatory, they are sometimes used casually or jokingly within the Filipino gay and lesbian community. For example, gay men often refer to their gay friends as bakla when talking to each other.

LGBT rights

Although legislation supporting same-sex marriage in the Philippines has been proposed several times to the Philippine legislature, none has ever been passed.[8]

The Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC) disqualified the Filipino LGBT political party Ang Ladlad from running in the 2007 general election when COMELEC concluded that Ang Ladlad did not have nationwide membership.[9] COMELEC again refused Ang Ladlad's petition for permission to run in the 2010 elections, this time on grounds of "immorality".[10] However, on 8 April 2010 the Supreme Court of the Philippines overturned the decision of COMELEC and allowed Ang Ladlad to participate in the May 2010 elections.[11]


Main article: Swardspeak

Swardspeak, or "gay lingo", is a cant slang derived from Englog (a Tagalog-English pidgin) and is used by a number of homosexuals in the Philippines.[12] Swardspeak uses elements from Tagalog, English, Spanish and Japanese, as well as celebrities' names and trademark brands, giving them new meanings in different contexts.[13] It is largely localized within gay communities and uses words derived from local languages or dialects, including Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Bicolano, and/or other Philippine languages.

The use of Swardspeak once immediately identified the speaker as homosexual, making it easy for people of that orientation to recognize each other. This created an exclusive group among its speakers and helped them resist cultural assimilation. More recently, though, straight people have also started to use this way of speaking, particularly in industries dominated by gays, such as the fashion and film industries.

LGBT Politics: In the Philippines, the Communist Party of the Philippines Marxist-Leninist and Maoist revolutionary proletarian party in the Philippines are the one and first to introduce and promote the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. They recognize the LGBT as part of the bulk of the masses that can encourage and recruit for their revolutionary work. The revolutionary leader admitted that in their rank. The wide spread of sexual intercourse within their rank and same sex that brought their party principle to set a guideline for those belong with the LGBT's. They also allow to married their fellow same sex revolutionary party member as long it will not affect their revolutionary task in the party organization. Document of the CPP-MLM guideline "Gabay Para sa Rebolusyunaryong Pakikipagrelasyon at Pagpapakasal" .

Filipino LGBT organizations

  • Barangay Los Angeles: Barangay Los Angeles, or Barangay LA, is the oldest, most established Filipino LGBT organization in the United States currently serving the Los Angeles Filipino LGBTQ community.
  • PUP Kabaro: a leading gender equality activist organization at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines
  • UP Babaylan: Established in 1992, UP Babaylan is the first LGBT student organization in the Philippines. They remain as the only LGBT support and advocacy student group in the University of the Philippines Diliman (Metro Manila)
  • Doll House: group for open-minded individuals based in the Ateneo de Manila University
  • ProGay: gay rights organization (Metro Manila)
  • Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network (LAGABLAB)
  • Can’t Live in the Closet: lesbian activist group (Metro Manila)
  • Lesbian Advocates Philippines (LeAP) (Metro Manila)
  • Lunduyan ng Sining ("Sanctuary of Art"): registered lesbian arts organization providing a venue for lesbians to showcase their art; it has produced a lesbian literary and art folio entitled What These Hands Can Do and regularly holds monthly music, film or art performances at Mag:net Katipunan, Quezon City
  • IWAG: gay social support group (Davao City)
  • Northern Samar LGBT Community (NSLGBT): (Northern Samar)
  • GAHUM: gay support and advocacy (Cebu City)
  • Rainbow Rights Project (R-Rights): an NGO that serves as a legal & policy think tank dedicated to LGBT issues
  • Society of Transsexual WOMEN of the Philippines (STRAP) (Metro Manila)
  • PinoyFTM: Founded in July 2011, the first organization for transsexual and transgender men in the Philippines. PinoyFTM is based in Metro Manila but has members from all over the country.
  • Order of St. Aelred: spiritual gay center (Metro Manila)
  • AKOD: gay support group (Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology)
  • Gorgeous and Young (GAY): gay support group
  • Philippine Forum on Sports, Culture, Sexuality and Human Rights (TEAM PILIPINAS): promoting human rights, sexual and gender diversity and equality through sports, culture and recreation (Philippines and global)
  • UPLB Babaylan: student LGBT organization and support group at the University of the Philippines Los Baños; promotes gender equality within the university, among the student body, and beyond; holds activities such as Pink Flicks (a film festival showing movies which revolve around gender issues), symposia, educational discussions and tie-ups with other LGBT organizations
  • Task Force Pride (TFP) Philippines: is a network of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) groups and individuals, as well as LGBT-friendly groups/individuals, that seeks to promote positive visibility for the LGBT community. Founded in 1999, it is the official organizing network of the annual Pride March.
  • Pinoy Pride Vancouver (PPV): Filipino-Canadian LGBTQ group aims to increase visibility, raise awareness & acceptance and to provide a safe & respectful space for its members, family, friends and allies (Vancouver, BC)
  • LGBTS Christian Church is a family-oriented, progressive, ecumenical community of faith of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight people in Quezon City.
  • The Knightingales - (Davao City) - an awareness group, a non-profit organization that aims to uphold the LGBT rights especially the gay rights. This group is a no-nonsense group for the members themselves is educated in an exclusive school in Davao City. Although the organization is not recognized by the institution, it still gained campus(and to other universities in Davao) popularity because of the organization’s yearly pageant, Miss Gay University, that aims to crown a beauty with purpose. It was established as an organization to consolidate the gay and lesbian community in a prestigious university for the effective advocacy of gay rights both in the University and in the local sphere. Founded in 2001, Knightingales is 'sui generis' - of its own kind/genus –in the history of the prime university in Mindanao. Its membership is composed of respected and well-educated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students, alumni and faculty supported by the entire academic community.

See also


External links

  • Barangay Los Angeles - Filipino LGBT organization in Los Angeles.
  • Outrage Magazine - publication for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and ally (GLBTQIA) communities in the Philippines.
de:Homosexualität auf den Philippinen
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