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Living History: Emergence of LGBTQIA-related writing in Phl

Toward the end of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, the awareness of and on LGBTQIA Filipinos continued to grow. Helping increase particularly gay awareness, for instance, were the release of literary mats on this.

The rainbow ink cometh.

Toward the end of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, the awareness of and on LGBTQIA Filipinos continued to grow.

And helping increase particularly gay awareness, for instance, were the release of literary mats on this.

Good examples include:

  • In 1994, Ladlad was released as an anthology of Philippine gay writing. It was edited by Danton Remoto and J. Neil Garcia.
  • In 1993, A Different Love: Being Gay in the Philippines was published by Dr. Margarita Go-Singco Holmes.
  • In 1998, Tibok was released as an anthology of lesbian writing.
  • In 1999, a lesbian primer was released by CLIC (Cannot Live In a Closet).
  • In 1999, ManilaOUT opened as the first LGBT newspaper in the Philippines. It was published by Bayani Santos Jr., with Fr. Richard Mickley serving as editor in chief.

The 1990s also saw the mainstreaming of LGBTQIA-related writing, with LGBTQIA people writing in mainstream media (perhaps a good distinction is being open about their SOGIE while doing so).

Also starting then, and this time from the academe, studies of the likes of Michael L. Tan also saw publication, providing insights particularly into the emerging communities of gay men. Meanwhile, a glimpse of the plight of members of the LGBTQIA community in southern Philippines was provided in 1997 with the release of an ethnographic study that focused on the experience of 40 parloristas (gay males or transwomen working in beauty parlors) from Sulu in Mindanao. This study highlighted the evolving notions of SOGIE, said to be both informed by Western concepts and yet affected by local sensibilities (Johnson, 1997).

Sources:

Johnson, M. (1997). Beauty and Power: Transgendering and Cultural Transformation in the Southern Philippines (Explorations in Anthropology). Oxford & New York: Berg Publishers.

UNDP, USAID (2014). “Being LGBT in Asia: The Philippines Country Report.” Bangkok.

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