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Living History: How int’l exposure affected local LGBTQI concepts

It goes without saying that our current LGBTQIA-related concepts were greatly influenced by international media and local reinterpretations of LGBTQI people who spent time overseas. This “development” also reflects the social divide from within the LGBTQI community, with the “society’s class stratification being reproduced in the gay scene”.

Patterned after what we see.

It goes without saying that our current LGBTQIA-related concepts were greatly influenced by international media (and, according to Michael L. Tan, local reinterpretations of LGBTQI people who spent time overseas).

If the practice in the past was for a gay guy to only sleep with a hetero-identifying man (because having sex with another gay guy is said to be tantamount to “lesbianism”), then changes started to happen. In the 1980s, for instance, gay men exposed to the Western notion of “gay” started having relationships with other gay men, instead of with heterosexual-identifying men, as the bakla used to do (Tan, 2001).

Living History: ‘Conceptual history’ of gay culture in Phl started in the 1960s

This “development” actually reflected the social divide from within the LGBTQI community. Particularly, since many of these gay men belonged to the middle- or upper middle-class, this marked what Tan described as the “Philippine society’s class stratification being reproduced in the gay scene” (Tan, 2001).

Incidentally, this “patterning” continues to this day.

Sources:

Tan, M.L. (2001). Survival Through Pluralism: Emerging Gay Communities in the Philippines. Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity, Community. Gerard Sullivan & Peter A. Jackson (Eds.). The Haworth Press Inc. 117-142.

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

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