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Ladlad for change

Established in 2003 as a political party for LGBT Filipinos, Ladlad has already faced numerous challenges – from being refused by the COMELEC twice, to the continuing challenge of unifying LGBTs in the Philippines. But as it observes its 9th anniversary, it celebrates what it has done so far, as it eyes doing even more by winning a seat in Congress in 2013.

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When Ladlad was founded as a Filipino lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) political party on September 21, 2003 by Danton Remoto, associate professor of English at Ateneo de Manila University, its thrust was said to be to fight for equal rights for all Filipinos. For being LGBT-linked, though, a birth-pain Ladlad had to experience was to be denied recognition by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) – TWICE.  When it applied for party-list accreditation in 2007, it was denied accreditation supposedly because it lacked regional membership in the Philippines. And when it applied again for party-list accreditation in 2010, it was again denied accreditation, this time on the grounds of immorality.  In a ruling released on November 11 that year, the COMELEC acknowledged that the party presented proper documents and evidence for their accreditation, but its petition is “dismissable on moral grounds.” Particularly, page 5 of the ruling stated Ladlad’s definition of the LGBT sector as a marginalized sector disadvantaged because of their sexual orientation “makes it crystal clear that the petitioner tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs.”

At that time, Ladlad filed a petition with the Supreme Court (SC) to reverse the COMELEC decision denying the group accreditation for the party-list elections, noting that the very denial of accreditation is an “example of society’s marginalization of LGBT” Filipinos, with the resolution demonizing the LBGT community by “accusing us of indulging in imaginary acts of immorality that the poll body deems ‘a threat to the youth’. More importantly, the resolution violates rights guaranteed under the Constitution and laws of universal application.”

On January 12, 2010, the SC granted a temporary restraining order to allow Ladlad to participate in the elections.  On April 8, 2010, the SC allowed it to join the elections.  Unfortunately, the party only received 113,187 votes (0.37%), which was below the optional 2% threshold, and so was unable to win a seat in Congress.

FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE
“The immediate plan is to mobilize resources so that we can competitively campaign for our party in the 2013 elections. We need to win because this is very crucial moment for us,” Bemz Benedito said. The focus is to “win, win and win in the midterm elections. It’s about time to represent LGBTs in Congress and fulfill the realization of our platform.”

As the group turned nine years old, and with the next national elections slated in 2013, Ladlad is said to have “blossomed” from a struggling organization into a seasoned political organization.

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As Bemz Benedito, Ladlad’s first Congressional nominee, put it, “in the last nine years, we’ve blossomed from a struggling organization to a complete and seasoned political organization for LGBT Filipinos (which is different from other LGBT organizations) that strives to unify all LGBT individuals and groups to advance LGBT friendly policies and laws, and empower LGBTs who are in the closet, discriminated, poor and handicapped,” she said.

It helps that “from our reputation before to be mobilized by LGBT advocates in ‘Imperial Manila’, we’ve maneuvered our movement to the grassroots by creating local chapters in the provinces. In 2007, when we were denied accreditation based on the lack of national constituency because we didn’t have chapters in majority of the regions of the country, now I am proud to say that between 2008 to present, we’ve covered 15 regions out of 17, and 70 provinces out of 80.”

Benedito explained that “the paradigm of Ladlad is different compared to other partylist (groups since) we started in the middle class (i.e. the founding members are middle class) going to the grassroots. And we are proving it that we can do this movement distinctively. We’ve increased our membership tremendously in the past nine years from a thousand to more than 60,000 members now.”

Ladlad’s platform remains the same, i.e. re-filing of the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB) to give LGBT Filipinos equal opportunities in employment and equal treatment in schools, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, entertainment centers, and government offices; setting up of micro-finance and livelihood projects for poor and handicapped LGBT Filipinos; and the setting up of centers for old and abandoned LGBTs, as well as young ones driven out of their homes (the same centers will also offer legal aid and counseling, as well as information about LGBT issues, HIV and AIDS, and reproductive health).

MAKING PROGRESS

Even sans a seat in Congress, Ladlad has been making progress.

In the past nine years, among the biggest achievements are: the recognition of Ladlad as a focal point of the media for LGBT issues and concerns “so that is creating a high visibility not just for Ladlad but for the advocacy,” Benedito said; recognition of the group as a political organization that directly and indirectly defends the human rights of LGBT Filipinos; and its recognition as a political organization that partners and supports other LGBT organizations and their specific concerns, such as the Pink Watch, CDO PLUs, Pinoy Deaf Rainbow, LakanBini of Baseco Port Area Manila, Gay Achievers or GAYAC of Sta. Ana Manila, LGBTs of Bustos Bulacan, and others.

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The group has even gone global through the efforts of its members abroad, like Ladlad Europa, Ladlad Middle East, Ladlad Japan, Ladlad USA and partnering with Fil Mo (a lesbian group in London for community outreach programs). It is also one of the few LGBT organizations regularly invited by universities and colleges to speak on LGBT rights and LGBT politics.

Since the group now has a staffed and equipped national headquarters, thanks to the support of TV personality Boy Abunda, Ladlad senior adviser, the group has been able to focus on “continuously developing (members of the) younger generation to lead Ladlad in different capacities. Hindi namin ipinagdadamot ang partido at hindi ekslusibo sa mga matagal na sa adbokasiya lamang kundi para sa lahat na gustong tumulong, may dedikasyon at handang maglabas sa sariling bulsa,” Benedito said.

Benedito added: “Generally, we focus more in empowering and organizing LGBT individuals and groups here in the country, and we don’t claim to represent all LGBT Filipinos because we acknowledge the fact that not all LGBT Filipinos subscribe to the mission, vision and platform of Ladlad. Masaya na kami na ang mas nakararami lalo sa mga probinsiya ay nagtitiwala at nakasuporta sa laban ng Ladlad. That is enough achievement.”

EFFECTING CHANGES

Benedito believes that Ladlad is making headway in effecting changes for the LGBT Filipinos.  “By empowering many LGBT lives that we should not be relegated as third class citizens; by letting them understand that we have human rights like anybody else; by inculcating in them that it is not depressing, gloomy or deplorable to be LGBT so suicide is not the answer; by informing them that we need to fight for a representation in Congress because there are no policies or laws that protect them and there are laws existing that can be used against them. We continue to give a positive, pleasant, feisty but respectful face to LGBT Filipinos when we get interviewed. All of these are initial changes that making headway to the community and when we get to Congress, we can give them more in terms of laws and programs to champion them,” she said.

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There remain challenges, Benedito admitted.

For one, a “continuing problem is that some personalities do not believe or trust the leadership of Ladlad,” she said, “but this is inevitable and you can never please everybody. I just hope that our advocacy is greater than our personal differences.”

It doesn’t help, too, that as Ladlad’s popularity grows, there are actually members of the LGBT community that attempt to use if for personal interests.  There have been reported cases, for instance, when members of the LGBT community attempt to ask for money from various offices, claiming that the same will be used by Ladlad.  Such moves “ruin the good name of Ladlad,” Benedito said.

Then there are “those LGBTs belonging to the upper class and middle class who cannot relate to the advocacy because they are doing very well in life and have never experienced discrimination. So we have to explain to them that they have to help this community especially for those who are not as fortunate as them in life and we are going to strengthen our platform so that it caters to all sectors and all social classes in the LGBT community. In any development work, the focus must be to all that we seek to represent.”

Also, “we encounter LGBT individuals who think that Ladlad is all about dole-out. We help as much as we can even if we don’t have resources, but we have to instill in them that Ladlad is towards legislative work, where the voice of LGBT Filipinos are heard and consulted when a law or policy is crafted.”

All eyes are now in the 2013 elections.

“The immediate plan is to mobilize resources so that we can competitively campaign for our party in the 2013 elections. We need to win because this is very crucial moment for us,” Benedito said.  The focus is to “win, win and win in the midterm elections. It’s about time to represent LGBTs in Congress and fulfill the realization of our platform.”

For more information on Ladlad, visit Unit 3-C 4K Plaza, 677 Shaw Blvd., Brgy. Kapitolyo, 1603 Pasig City; call telefax (+63 2) 584 8029; call/send SMS to (+63) 917 8LADLAD (+63 0917 8523523); or visit http://www.ladladpartylist.blogspot.com/.

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Conversion ‘therapy’ begins at home

Study shows pivotal role of parents in “conversion” efforts to change LGBT adolescents’ sexual orientation.

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LGBT hate – like love – begins at home.

Parents – not just therapists and religious leaders – play a big role in attempts to change the sexual orientation (often called “conversion therapy”) of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people who experience sexual orientation change efforts during adolescence.

This is according to a study from the Family Acceptance Project (FAP), dubbed “Parent-Initiated Sexual Orientation Change Efforts with LGBT Adolescents: Implications for Young Adult Mental Health and Adjustment“, which examined the sexual orientation change experiences for LGBT youth across several domains and asked about conversion experiences with both parents/caregivers and with practitioners and religious leaders. This study builds on an earlier FAP project study on family rejection and health risks that identified and measured more than 50 specific family rejecting behaviors that include parental and caregiver efforts and external interventions to change their LGBT child’s sexual orientation.

In the study published online in the Journal of Homosexuality, more than half (53%) of LGBT non-Latino white and Latino young adults, ages 21-25, reported experiencing sexual orientation change efforts during adolescence. Of these, 21% reported specific experiences by parents and caregivers to change their sexual orientation at home; and 32% reported sexual orientation change efforts by both parents and by therapists and religious leaders.

Notably, according to the researchers, “any sexual orientation change efforts – whether by parents alone or by parents, therapists and religious leaders contribute to higher risk for LGBT young people. However, those who experience both parental and external conversion efforts by therapists or religious leaders had the highest levels of risk.”

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The role of parental support is worth highlighting, because – whether change efforts are carried out at home by parents and caregivers or by practitioners and religious leaders – parents serve as gatekeepers to both engage in and take their LGBT children for external conversion interventions. Both home-based parent and external sexual orientation conversion interventions by therapists and religious leaders, coupled with parent conversion efforts, contribute to multiple health and adjustment problems in young adulthood. These include higher levels of depression and suicidal behavior, as well as lower levels of self-esteem, social support and life satisfaction, and lower levels of education and income in young adulthood, compared with LGBT young people who did not experience conversion efforts.

Other study findings include:

  • Rates of attempted suicide by LGBT young people whose parents tried to change their sexual orientation were more than double (48%) the rate of LGBT young adults who reported no conversion experiences (22%). Suicide attempts nearly tripled for LGBT young people who reported both home-based efforts to change their sexual orientation by parents and intervention efforts by therapists and religious leaders (63%).
  • High levels of depression more than doubled (33%) for LGBT young people whose parents tried to change their sexual orientation compared with those who reported no conversion experiences (16%) and more than tripled (52%) for LGBT young people who reported both home-based efforts to change their sexual orientation by parents and external sexual orientation change efforts by therapists and religious leaders.
  • Sexual orientation change experiences during adolescence by both parents / caregivers and externally by therapists and religious leaders were associated with lower young adult socioeconomic status: less educational attainment and lower weekly income.
  • LGBT adolescents from highly religious families and those from families with lower socioeconomic status were most likely to experience both home-based and external conversion efforts, while those who were gender nonconforming and who were from immigrant families were more likely to experience external conversion efforts initiated by parents and caregivers.
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“Although parents and religious leaders who try to change a child’s LGBT identity may be motivated by attempts to ‘protect’ their children, these rejecting behaviors instead undermine an LGBT child’s sense of self-worth, contribute to self-destructive behaviors that significantly increase risk and inhibit self-care which includes constricting their ability to make a living,” said Dr. Caitlin Ryan, director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University and lead author noted.

“We now have even more dramatic evidence of the lasting personal and social cost of subjecting young people to so-called ‘change’ or ‘conversion’ therapies. Prior studies with adults have shown how harmful these practices are. Our study shows the role central role that parents play. It is clear that there are public health costs of ‘change’ efforts for LGBT adolescents over the long-term. The kind of change we really need is family education and intervention” added study co-author, Stephen T. Russell, Ph.D., Regents Professor, University of Texas at Austin.

Although responses to prevent conversion efforts particularly overseas have focused on adopting laws to curtail licensed practitioners from engaging in sexual orientation change interventions (deemed unethical and harmful by mainstream professional associations), this study nonetheless underscores “the urgent need for culturally appropriate education and guidance for families and religious leaders to provide accurate information on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, on the harmful effects of family rejecting behaviors which include sexual orientation conversion efforts, and on the need for supporting LGBT young people to reduce risk and increase well-being.”

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3rd Iloilo LGBTQI gathering stresses that #PRIDEisProtest

Iloilo hosted its 3rd LGBTQI Pride parade, with the core message highlighting that Pride remains an act of protest.

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The city of Iloilo hosted the third iteration of its Pride parade, with the core message highlighting that Pride remains an act of protest. In a way, this is contrary to the current direction many Pride-related parades are taking – including in Metro Manila – where advocacy is getting trumped by commercialization/partying.

Metro Manila’s LGBT gathering breaks attendance records, highlights ubiquity of LGBT people if not causes

In a statement provided to Outrage Magazine, Carlo Gabriel Evidente of the Iloilo Pride Team said that the move to focus on #PRIDEisProtest is “in recognition of the legacy of the Stonewall Riots, and the continuing gender-based violence and discrimination experienced by persons of various SOGIEs all over the world.”

Irish Granada Inoceto, vice chairperson of Iloilo Pride Team, added: “Through this (gathering we hoped to) make all colors of gender visible and celebrated. This is our way of saying we are here and we are not going anywhere.”

Over 2,000 people joined this year’s gathering, the biggest for the three-year-old annual gathering.

Iloilo has actually been making rainbow waves lately.

In June, the city of Iloilo joined the ranks of local government units (LGUs) with LGBTQI anti-discrimination ordinances (ADOs), with the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) unanimously approving its ADO mandating non-discrimination of members of minority sectors including the LGBTQI community.

Iloilo City passes anti-discrimination ordinance on final reading

Following this, in August, Iloilo Mayor Jose S. Espinosa III declared the city as “LGBT-friendly”, with plan to establish an office that will develop programs and activities for the LGBT community.

Iloilo declared as ‘LGBT-friendly’ city; mayor eyes to establish office to handle LGBTQI-related efforts

For Inoceto, “as long as Pride remains inclusive of the issues of the most marginalized, when it continues to be a platform for the courage of those who stand for LGBT rights and human rights, Pride will never grow passé.”

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PHOTOS PROVIDED BY ‘HUMANS OF ILOILO’; CHANNEL BIBANCO; ALJHUR ALQUIZAR III

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Malabon passes anti-discrimination ordinance on the basis of SOGIE

Malabon City now has an anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO) that prohibits: discrimination in schools and the workplace, delivery of goods or services, accommodation, restaurants, movie houses and malls. It also prohibits ridiculing a person based on gender and/or sexual orientation. Penalties for discriminatory act/s include imprisonment for one month to one year, a fine of P1,000 to P5,000, or both.

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Still slow national move; better local endeavors.

In the absence of a national law that will protect the human rights of LGBTQI Filipinos, a growing number of local government units are taking the lead in ensuring that LGBTQI-related discrimination is checked. And now the city of Malabon has joined the list of LGUs with an anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO).

City Ordinance 16-2018, signed on September 10 by Mayor Antolin Oreta III, declares “as a policy of Malabon City to actively work for the elimination of all forms of discrimination that offend the equal protection clause of the Bill of Rights.”

Among the prohibited acts in the ADO are: discrimination in schools and the workplace, delivery of goods or services, accommodation, restaurants, movie houses and malls. It also prohibits ridiculing a person based on gender and/or sexual orientation.

Penalties for discriminatory act/s include imprisonment for one month to one year, a fine of P1,000 to P5,000, or both.

As with other ADOs, the Malabon ordinance similarly mandates the creation of the Malabon City Pride Council, tasked to monitor complaints, assist victims of stigma and discrimination, as well as recommend to the city council additional anti-discrimination policies and review all existing resolutions, ordinances and codes if these have discriminatory policies.

The same Pride council will oversee the implementation of an anti-discrimination campaign and the organization of LGBTQI groups in the barangays of the city.

The Malabon ADO also aims to include anti-discrimination programs (including psychological counseling, legal assistance, and forming of barangay-level LGBTQI organizations), with the budged to be sourced from the gender and development (GAD) plans, projects and programs (uo to 5%).

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The ADO also tasks the Malabon police station to investigate cases involving violence based on SOGIE.

Also with the ADO, Malabon will now commemorate LGBTQI-related events, including the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17; Pride parade in December; World AIDS Day on December 1; and Human Rights Day on December 10.

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Majority of Catholics call for church to change its damaging approach to LGBT people

Fifty-six percent of baptized Catholics believed that the current teachings of the church could cause a child/young person to feel that being LGBT was a misfortune or disappointment. Meanwhile, 65% of baptized Catholics believe that the church should reconsider its teaching re LGBT people.

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Majority of practicing Catholics in the world’s eight biggest Catholic countries want the Roman Catholic Church to adopt a more positive approach towards young people and to change their teaching on LGBT.

This is according to a poll carried out by YouGov for the Equal Future 2018 Campaign; the poll was conducted in Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Philippines, US, France, Spain and Italy. Collectively these countries comprise half of the world’s total population of baptized Catholics.

“These poll findings are a clarion call to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church from its members that it is time to change their approach to LGBT people. The people of the Catholic Church are leading the way on LGBT issues and it is time the upper management caught up with their flock,” said Tiernan Brady, campaign director of Equal Future 2018.

Asked whether they believed “It could be damaging to a child/young person’s mental health and well-being if they felt that being LGBT was a misfortune or disappointment, 51% of baptized Catholics agreed with the statement. Only 25% disagreed with this.

Fifty-six percent of baptized Catholics believed that the current teachings of the church could cause a child/young person to feel that being LGBT was a misfortune or disappointment.

Meanwhile, 65% of baptized Catholics believe that the church should reconsider its teaching re LGBT people.

“The figures clearly show that Catholic people across the globe believe that the current teaching and approach of the hierarchy towards LGBT people is now damaging to children and young people and the clear majority wants the Church to change its approach,” Brady ended.

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6 Ways Filipino Protestants are breaking the taboo on sexuality

Religious taboo on sex, gender and sexuality remains prevalent in the Philippines, representing a major challenge in HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health services for children and young people. But here are six ways Filipino Protestants are breaking this taboo.

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In the Philippines, the religious taboo on sex, gender and sexuality remains prevalent. This taboo represents a major challenge in HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health services for children and young people.

As a response, there are select efforts that help advance talks on sex, gender, and sexuality in faith-based contexts – e.g. in the case of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), there is now work on sex, gender and sexuality modules.

Here are six ways Filipino Protestants are breaking the taboo on sexuality.

1. Understanding how faith influences knowledge

Research demonstrates that faith-based organizations influence HIV knowledge in the youth.

In 2014, after engaging 213 teenage Pentecostal Botswana church members, Mpofu et al. found that the church youth “conceptually frame their HIV prevention from both faith-oriented and secular-oriented perspectives. They prioritize the faith-oriented concepts based on biblical teachings and future focus.”

The NCCP notes the effects on the youth of the church’s silence on sexuality.

“Sometimes young people feel the need to talk about sexuality. But because the church as a whole is not talking about it; they feel that it is not worth talking about inside the church,” said Ms. Arceli Bile, acting program secretary of the Program Unit on Ecumenical Education and Nurture of the NCCP.

2. Breaking the silence

“We find it unfortunate that issues on sexuality are not discussed in the open due to a wrong perception that sex talk is indecent talk,” said Bile.

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Thus, in 2015, the NCCP General Convention approved a statement on creating safe spaces for discussing human sexuality. “We offered this to member churches and associate members. We need to provide material that would help the discussions,” Bile added.

Giving sex education is mandated by the Reproductive Health Law signed in 2010 by then-President Benigno Aquino III. Specifically, comprehensive sexual education is to be incorporated into science, health, English, and physical education courses. This education begins in grade 5 and extends through grade 12. However, opposition by the Roman Catholic Church continues. They believe that sex education encourages the young to engage in sex outside marriage earlier.

As of July 2016, the Department of Education has yet to develop the minimum standards of sex education. Once developed, schools and other learning facilities should comply with the standards.

3. Knowing that the youth are most harmed

The low level of knowledge and awareness in the youth on sex-related matters – including on HIV – has increased vulnerability. Risks are higher among key affected populations, particularly in young women, gay, bisexual, other males who have sex with males, and transgender people.

A 2013 survey by the University of the Philippines Population Institute showed that one out of 3 Filipino youths (aged 15–24) has had pre-marital sex. More alarming than this is the fact that 78% of those who had pre-marital sex for the first time in this age bracket did not use any protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections.

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Not surprising then is the significant rise in the incidence of HIV among the same age group as well as a rise in teenage pregnancy noted from 2014 to 2018. In 2016, 14% of all the AIDS-related deaths reported in the country were in youth aged 15–24 years old.

4. Making churches come together

In 2015, NCCP conducted a study on HIV-related efforts among its member churches. It revealed that member churches strongly support comprehensive sex and sexuality education. The study also described existing efforts by the churches on sex and sexuality education to children and youth. These efforts are often integrated in existing church initiatives. These efforts included discussions of human sexuality in Christian education in schools, youth gatherings (usually for those aged 12 and up), sex education classes, and youth camps.

However, not specified in the study were the age brackets of the young people reached and the types of sex and sexuality education offered. In addition, none of the education efforts included sex and sexuality issues of LGBT youth.

As a response, the NCCP, in partnership with the Church of Sweden, gathered theologians and academics in 2016. They worked on a framework that comprised objectives and key concepts in providing discussions on sex, gender, and sexuality.

“We had our study sessions and reflections on how this can be embraced by the churches or not. Especially on issues on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression,” said Bile. “We discussed this thoroughly because the writers still have a lot of confusion. Especially on how we can use more inclusive terms in dealing with younger children. Sometimes we consider whether they really need to know these concepts at such an early age.”

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5. Valuing the local context

“In localizing this educational material in the Philippines, we need to understand these concepts in our context. This understanding would result in experiential activities. We should provide something that they can relate to, instead of getting some ideas from elsewhere,” said Bile.

The material will cater to nursery and kindergarten students, up to senior high school.

“We hope this material could be of help in providing safe spaces for discussion, then, we will conduct pilot tests to check if this is appropriate. We are thinking of holding training on how to facilitate this as well as check for revisions and modifications,” added Bile.

6. Transforming theologies

Bile anticipates some resistance from the churches but remains hopeful.

“The theological understanding of the body may be one of the controversies in accepting this kind of material. What we hope is that we are also producing a theology that is more inclusive and non-discriminatory,” she said. “This material would promote a theology that challenges the churches to be more compassionate and open, as well as, one that reaches out especially those who are discriminated.”

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Metro Manila’s LGBT gathering breaks attendance records, highlights ubiquity of LGBT people if not causes

Showing growing widespread popularity of everything LGBT-related in the Philippines, Metro Manila’s annual LGBT gathering was attended by an estimated 25,000 people. Moving forward, the challenge is how to leverage this growing number of parade participants to actually push for policies promoting their human rights.

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ALL PHOTOS BY MICHAEL DAVID C. TAN

There but not there.

Perhaps showing growing widespread popularity of everything LGBT-related in the Philippines, Metro Manila’s annual LGBT gathering patterned after Western Pride celebration/s was attended by an estimated 25,000 people. Even if figures are wrong, this still easily topped last year’s 8,000 participants in the event that was held in Marikina City for two years now.

While the number is impressive as a show of force and as advertising magnet for those targeting the pink market, it – nonetheless – does not necessarily equate to promotion of LGBT causes in the Philippines.

Addressing the crowd, Nicky Castillo – again co-head of the organizing team – stressed the much-repeated call to see Pride not just as a one-day/month-long event, particularly since many members of the LGBT community continue to face hardships. This is particularly true to those whose SOGIE is interconnected with their being also members of other minority sectors, including Indigenous Peoples, persons with disability, religious minorities, et cetera.

Speaking to Outrage Magazine, Det Neri – chairperson of Bahaghari-Metro Manila – a multisectoral militant and nationalist LGBT organization based in Metro Manila – said that LGBT people encounter discrimination not only because of their SOGIE but also because they belong to “kinabibilangang uri”.

Lupa para sa mga magsasaka, pagwawakas ng contractualization, regularisasyon ng mga manggagawa kabilang na ang mga LGBT na manggagawa, edukasyon para sa kabataan kabilang ang LGBT na kabataan, self-determination para sa mga katutubo at mga Moro (Land for LGBT people who are also farmers, ending contractualization, regularization of workers including LGBT workers, education for the youth including LGBT youth, self determination of Indigenous Peoples and Muslims),” Neri said. “Ang punto: Ang laban ng LGBT ay laban ng mamamayan; ang laban ng mamamayan ay laban ng LGBT (The gist: The fight of LGBT people is the fight for people’s rights; and the fight for people’s rights is also the fight of LGBT people).”

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In a statement, Deaf transpinay Disney Aguila – president of Pinoy Deaf Rainbow and founder of TransDeaf Philippines – added that “joining a parade, hosting LGBT-related events, or even passing an anti-discrimination bill are good. But those are not enough. Real Pride happens when we’ve changed mindsets so that people of different SOGIE can take pride in their identity… including in their different abilities/disabilities.”

Moving forward, the challenge not just for Pride’s organizers but the Filipino LGBTQI community as a whole is how to leverage this growing number of parade participants to actually push for policies promoting their human rights. – WITH INTERVIEWS BY MICHAEL DAVID C. TAN

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