Psychologists, teachers and scholars from all over the Philippines are urging for campuses to be more LGBT-friendly, as they gathered at the 41st National Conference for Filipino Psychology in the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros, Manila to share best practices in creating LGBT-inclusive classrooms and campuses for Filipino college students.
Faculty members from Iloilo, Tacloban, Makati and Manila stressed the importance of incorporating sexual orientation and gender identity in psychology classrooms.
“Learning psychology should be broadening and transformative,” said Dr Ver Reyes, coordinator of the teaching arm of the Psychological Association of the Philippines, which co-organized the panel.
There are already various campus-wide initiatives for LGBT inclusion, though more need to be implemented. Prof Hadji Balajadia, for one, shared the push for gender-neutral bathrooms in Ateneo de Davao University, while Prof Joeven Castro of Far Eastern University talked about transgender-friendly dress code policies for students. Prof Moniq Muyargas of UP Iloilo also detailed the establishment of an LGBT student organization and the creation of rainbow pedestrian lanes in UP’s Miag-ao campus.
The panel discussions, along with a symposium on LGBT research, were part of the sixth year for dedicated LGBT programming in the annual Filipino psychology conference. According to Bea Torre, co-coordinator of the Psychological Association of the Philippines LGBT Psychology Special Interest Group, “We are happy to bring together advocates in the academe, led by psychologists and student affairs coordinators, to talk about creating and sustaining safe spaces for LGBT youth.”