Filipino psychologists and counselors came together in Quezon City for a national training workshop on how to deliver public education sessions. Dubbed “LGBT Psych 101”, the workshop was organized by the LGBT Psychology Special Interest Group of the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP), the first and only collective of LGBT mental health professionals in South East Asia.
Eighteen participants from Bacolod, Davao, Taytay, Baguio, Muñoz, Tacloban, Dipolog, and Metro Manila deepened their grasp of concepts related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and LGBT well-being, as well as skills in public education and LGBT advocacy. These new facilitators came from institutions nationwide, including the University of St La Salle Bacolod, the University of Rizal, Saint Louis University, Central Luzon State University, St Scholastica’s Tacloban, DepEd Dipolog, DSWD, EARIST, the Laguna College of Business and Arts, UST, Ateneo de Davao, Ateneo de Manila, and UP Diliman.
Filipino LGBT advocates like Lynx Hufrancia and Gyky Tangente of GALANG Philippines, Joy Cruz of STRAP, Bibo Perey of Pinoy Deaf Rainbow, Disney Aguila of TransDeaf Philippines, BJ Eco of UP Babaylan, Dr Ronald Del Castillo of UP Manila, Prof Pierce Docena of UP Tacloban, and Prof Moniq Muyargas of UP Iloilo were among the guest resource persons. Highlights of the three-day training were three special panel discussions on Filipino LGBT life and love, on being trans in the Philippines, and on handling dissent in LGBT education, featuring voices from the community.
As a follow-up to the first national workshop in 2013 and the second in 2015, according to Bea Torre, co-coordinator of the PAP’s LGBT psychology group, “this initiative increases the PAP’s pool of psychologists who will carry out our association’s 2011 LGBT-affirmative policy.”
Co-organizing the event was the University of the Philippines Center for Women’s Studies Foundation, with support from the LGBT Concerns Office of the American Psychological Association and the Arcus Foundation.