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Men’s Exclusives: Providing space to affirm diverse identities

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On February 14, 2013, a clan* – named Men’s Exclusives – was established to offer “support by affirming the diverse identities and lives of LGBT Filipinos.”

Said Zy Freh, who founded Men’s Exclusives: “(With Men’s Exclusives, we wanted to) cultivate a safe space… with opportunities for the visibility of LGBT people and our issues. We seek to foster a space free of prejudice, bigotry, harassment and violence by providing a space for all members to increase their understanding on aspects related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.”

Though clans get criticized as grounds for “booking” – that is, it largely serves only as an avenue to pick up for sexual contacts – Men’s Exclusives actually has efforts that go beyond the EBs (eyeballs, or the meet-ups/gatherings). In fact, these efforts are sources of pride for its members; and these include numerous outreach programs, such as “Balik MEskwela”, “Embracing Street Life”, “HIV Awareness: Do The Right Move”, and “Share A Dress”.

Through these efforts, said Zy Freh, Men’s Exclusives is able to: 1) show a different side of “clans”; and 2) actually do something relevant.

Men’s Exclusives is, by the way, the official organizer for 2015 of the TOP 10 M0ST OUTSTANDING CLANS/ORG. And seemingly highlighting the emergence of these clans as “alternative” organizations that gather members of the LGBT community, it was participated in by 57 clans in Mega Manila alone.

Even as Men’s Exclusives continues to eye growth, it aims to be relevant by staying true to its reason of existence – that is, to “affirm our diverse identities by providing space,” Zy Freh ended.

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For more information about Men’s Exclusives, visit the group’s Facebook page.

*IN THE PHILIPPINES, CLANS EXIST AS INFORMAL GROUPS OF SELF-IDENTIFYING GAY AND/OR BISEXUAL MEN. THESE CLANS ARE USUALLY FORMED WITH THE USE OF MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES (E.G. MOBILE PHONES, INTERNET); AND THEIR MEMBERS USUALLY STAY IN TOUCH ALSO BY USING THE SAME.

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