By Pauline Hui
Widespread discrimination. Hostility. Violations of human rights. These issues exist among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
“Hindi naman mawawala ang pagpapababa sa aming mga bakla eh. Ganun talaga ang buhay.”
This is according to Babes*, a homosexual beautician in a local parlor at Krus na Ligas, Quezon City.
In the 2012 report of Human Rights Violations on the Basis of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Homosexuality in the Philippines by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), it was found that “the State also fails to address the overwhelming amount of hate crimes and murders of LGBT individuals in the Philippines and the number of hate crimes against LGBT people in the Philippines is increasing.”
For years, there has been no representation of the LGBT community in the political circle.
Mama Leah, a homosexual business owner, said, “Kailangan natin talagang magkaroon ng representation para alam naman nila na kabilang din tayo. Meron din tayong paninindigan. Hindi lang sila, kabilang din kami. Parang ang sa amin kasi, parang ganon nalang ang tingin nila sa amin. Kailangan naming ipakita sa kanila na kami, kabilang din, nagkakaisa rin kaming lahat.”
However, this coming election might change that.
Ang Ladlad partylist has been accredited to battle it out in the coming elections this May 2013. It is the only political party of LGBT Filipinos to promote gender rights and equality.
Ang Ladlad partylist has been denied accreditation twice by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), first in 2007 because it lacked nationwide presence, and second in 2009 due to “advocating immoral doctrines.”
Eds Gabral, a member of the LGBT community and a UP Diliman student-activist from the College of Arts and Letters, said that it’s a triumph for Ang Ladlad because the LGBT is truly marginalized in the current society but it’s still a challenge for the partylist to incorporate the LGBT struggle to the struggle of the whole society.
“Naniniwala naman kasi tayong sa dulo’t dulo, hindi pa rin makakamit ng mga miyembro ng LGBT community ang kalayaan just with mere open expression of themselves or with being out without being discriminated, genuine freedom of the sexes, of the genders, will be achieved once we free the entire Filipino society from its present ills,” said Gabral.
*Not his/her real name
**Interview with Ang Ladlad Partylist to follow.
Akei LGBTIQ Working Group | Hate Crimes Research Initiative | Media Campaign | LGBT Murders Infographic (Photo)