Tag Archive | "gender rights"

Filipino LGBTQs Dare to Bare for Hubad: Mga Kuwento ng Kalayaan


September 15, 2012— Makati City— Lesbian Activism Project, Inc. (LeAP)*, in collaboration with the Filipino Freethinkers**, will stage a performance at the Manila Contemporary on September 15, 2012 as part of the line-up of activities for the Queer Manila exhibit.

Hubad is inspired by the 2007 production, The Coming Out Monologues (TCOM) of the University of California Riverside. Originally produced by the university’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) organization, TCOM has since been staged in several other universities in the US and Canada. For the first time, LeAP takes this concept and gives it a Filipino spin as a way of spurring discussions on coming out as LGBTQ.

Touching, heartbreaking, and at times funny, Hubad is a collection of narratives originally written by Filipino LGBTQ activists, students and professionals. Both personal and political, these stories of coming out of the closet inform us of how they negotiate, sometimes wrestle with, identities in order to gain recognition and acceptance from their families, friends and the self.

Hubad, the Filipino term for undressing, is about moments of daring to bare the self that is at once a means— and is in itself the end— to achieving true freedom,” says Ira Briones, chairperson of LeAP.

This will be the first of a series of performances that will be held all throughout the months of September and October. The succeeding events will be guerrilla-style in unidentified locations—the clues of which will be posted on facebook.com/LeAPPhilippines.

Manila Contemporary is located at Whitespace 2314, Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City. The performance starts at 5:00 pm. Entrance is free.

 

Contact:

Tao Aves

Project Head for HubadLesbian Activism Project, Inc.

0917-509-43-86/ [email protected]

 

About Queer Manila:

Queer Manila is an ongoing exhibit that attempts to create a visual discussion around gender and sexuality within local contexts and internationalised LGBT discourse. It explores the understandings, misunderstandings, conflicts, humours, loves, eroticisms, deviances, spectacles, and dilemmas within Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender identities. Queer Manila runs until September 15.

 

*Lesbian Activism Project, Inc. is a non-stock, non-profit organization of lesbian, bisexual and queer women that fight for the recognition of LGBT Human Rights.

**Filipino Freethinkers is the largest and most active organization for freethought in the Philippines that aims to promote reason, science, and secularism as a means of improving every Filipino’s quality of life.

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An Official Statement from Ladlad-Negros


The following is the official statement of Ladlad Negros, as written by Pol Escubido Cabalfin.

Ladlad Negros is still alarmed as two members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community have been killed in the month of June.

The two recent victims, one from Silay and the other from Victorias, suffered from more than 20 stab wounds each. On top of this, two cases were also reported for the month of May.

The successive killings of the LGBT members should be treated seriously . We are calling the attention of the local police to further investigate these untimely deaths. We also urge our local government officials to work with the local LGBT groups and associations to fight this grisly trend of murders of LGBTs.

The local governments of Bacolod, Victorias and other cities and municipalities of Negros island must enact legislations against discrimination, bullying and homophobia as these all lead to hate crimes.

The killings here in Negros are just part of the greater whole. In the entire Philippines, around 20 reported LGBT killings have been recorded by the Pink Watch this year, with most of the victims suffering from fatal stab wounds.

At the close of the Pride Month (June), still no justice was given to most of the murdered victims. We demand that justice be brought to these deaths.

We in Ladlad strongly condemn all LGBT killings here in Negros and in the whole country. Like everybody else who have rights, we demand that ours be respected and looked after.

End Discrimination. Stop Hate. Stop LGBT Killings. Forward Equality. Spread Love.

Image from www.lehman.cuny.edu

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It’s International Women’s Month! Share Your Stories with Us!


 

March is International Women’s Month! If you have a story to share about fantastic females, send them to us! Commemorate your mother’s strength, narrate your best friend’s journey, or divulge your very own struggles. Or if you have in-depth commentary on the fight for women’s rights, we would love to hear it, too.

Simply email your tales and essays to [email protected] with the subject “Women’s Month Submission.”

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Why LGBT People Must Get Personal with the Catholic Church


When Pope John Paul II formally apologized for the persecution of Galileo, it was an apology that took the Catholic Church more than 300 years to make.

If it also needs 300 years for the Catholic Church to apologize for the persecution of LGBT people, then there is no better time for LGBT activists to start working on this but today. And there is a great opportunity today to open minds and provide accurate information to refute the statements of Dr. Ligaya Anacta Acosta, regional director of Human Life International (HLI) Asia and Oceania, that appeared on two different articles.

In the article “Being portrayed as oppressed is best way to public sympathy, homosexual activists told,” Acosta asked the following questions:

“Are they really oppressed? We see many gays in the media… in fact, they lord it over [in the industry] so how can they say that they are being oppressed?”

I must say that this is perhaps the weakest, most misinformed reasoning that I have ever heard. The media is the last place Acosta should look at if she wants to have a glimpse of reality. This kind of reasoning is an insult to the couples who were almost declared persona non grata for committing their lives to each other. This reasoning is an insult to Hender Gercio who was denied the simple right to be addressed with the right pronoun in class. It is an insult to the gays and transgenders in Cebu who were attacked with pellet guns. It is a grave insult to the more than 141 LGBT Filipinos who were not only oppressed but killed because of hatred. Acosta must rethink her conclusions because they are based on a distorted version of reality. Otherwise, it would do her well to actually talk to the gay media personalities she is referring to and ask them what kind of oppression they had to go through (and are still going through) before reaching their current status.

Acosta has also claimed that the “homosexual revolution” is political as it is based on a “Marxist mold.” In the article “‘Homosexuals are born that way’ theory long debunked,” the article supports her claim with the following statement:

“Another significant incident in the history of the homosexual agenda was the removal of homosexuality from the list of mental disorders by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which turned out to be a political move rather than one based on findings of scientists.”

Acosta is then quoted as saying:

“Is homosexuality really normal? This all started in 1973 when the American Psychiatric Association, under intense pressure from gay groups, removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. But we have to take note that [the organization] never did say that [homosexuality] was normal,”

This is another case of picking out facts that conveniently support one’s argument while leaving out the rest of the evidence, thereby suggesting an imbalanced perspective.

According to Eric Manalastas of the Psychological Association of the Philippines, “there are lots of studies that show being lesbian/gay is not a disorder.” Manalastas adds that this is “why the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) was revised — in response to better knowledge and growing understanding that the problem was not being gay/lesbian. Rather the problem was the stigma and discrimination faced by gay and lesbian people”

This also begs the question of how homosexuality was even included in that list to begin with. Acosta must present compelling scientific evidence to support the inclusion of homosexuality in that list. If she cannot, then it is irrelevant if the move to take homosexuality off the list is political in nature or not.

The truth is, the “Marxist mold” and the politics behind the LGBT movement are irrelevant to me when I can’t hold hands with my partner in public. To me, it is hardly political, it is personal. When children are bullied because of how they express their sexuality, it doesn’t matter to them what disorders are on the list of the American Psychiatric Association. To these children, it is hardly political, it is personal. When lesbians are raped to cure them of their “disease,” they don’t care much about how homosexual activists gain public sympathy. To these lesbians, it is hardly political, it is personal.

So stop referring to our activism as the “homosexual agenda” and start acknowledging our human rights. Don’t wait another 300 years before admitting you have been as wrong about us as you were about the universe 300 years ago. All it takes is a little love and compassion and you will see that our oppression is very real. Our oppression is very personal.

 

Read original article here | Read more from the same writer here

 

 

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Shedding Light on “Dr.” Acosta’s Gay Discrimination Lecture


It’s been a while since we’ve last heard from Dr. Ligaya Acosta, who drew acclaim for her sold-out performance at last January’s RH Bill forum at the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health. Everybody still remembers how her crazy antics had the audience rolling in the aisles…

Wait, what do you mean that was serious? Oh my.

In any case, Dr. Acosta’s at it again, but instead of more aneurysm-inducing presentations on the Reproductive Health Bill, she’s set her sights on the gay community. Ligaya goes through great lengths in her rhetoric to discuss the rising trend for gay rights, before attempting to dismiss its legitimacy.

I’ve taken the liberty of correcting her more salient points where necessary. After all, much like her, I would prefer to hear the truth of the matter 😉

Curing the “Disease”

Dr. Ligaya Anacta Acosta, regional director of Human Life International (HLI) Asia and Oceania told delegates to the “Philippines for Life” Congress that there is a need to alert the public about the campaign to promote homosexual practice, and to call people in all sectors— especially us in the Catholic Church — to make a firm and appropriate response and address different approaches available to men and women of homosexual inclination who wish to leave… the life of active homosexuality.”

Said “appropriate response” includes the use of conversion therapy from groups such as the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), which claims that it has means of curing homosexuality, as if it were a mental disorder.

The problem is, gay conversion therapy has long been debunked by the greater medical community. The British Medical Association (BMA) has declared conversion therapy to be harmful to patients, while the American Psychological Association (APA) has removed homosexuality from their list of mental disorders all the way back in 1975.

You’re probably wondering why a good doctor like Acosta would be advocating gays to undergo quack treatment to “cure” their condition. *Hint hint*: She’s not a medical doctor. Acosta’s HLI profile indicates that she has a Doctorate in Management, and Bachelor Degrees in Law and Social Work. Note the lack of certification in psychiatry, or even a graduate degree in psychology.

Discrimination? What Discrimination?

Quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, she reminded everyone that healing can be and has been found after living a homosexual lifestyle, and that “every sign of discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

Acosta noted that there is an agenda to advance homosexual rights by presenting gays as a discriminated minority.

Are homosexuals really discriminated against? Whether or not the answer is yes, presenting themselves as victims of oppression is one of the steps in advancing homosexual rights, ultimately to include the recognition of such rights by the law, she said.

Let’s humor Ligaya’s question, and see what a few minutes of Googling turns up:

  • The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) actively supported the passing of Proposition 8, which criminalized gay marriages in the State of California.
  • The Roman Catholic Church opposed the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which adds sexual orientation to existing anti-discrimination laws in the United States.
  • Catholic charities refused to allow gay couples to adopt children, and while receiving state money at that.
  • The CBCP threatened legal action for a gay wedding in Baguio…against a denomination that’s not even Catholic.

And these are just the Catholic cases. I have yet to cite the more recent examples from around the globe, such as Nigeria’s recent gay marriage ban, or Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill (which was in turn linked to anti-gay Christian fundamentalism.

So despite Ligaya’s baseless posturing, we have plenty of evidence to indicate that not only are gays being discriminated against, but that one of the groups responsible for this discrimination is the RCC itself. At least we now know why she’s being so evasive.

Starstruck

“Are they really oppressed? We see many gays in the media… in fact, they lord it over [in the industry] so how can they say that they are being oppressed?” Acosta asked a group of over 200 pro-life delegates.

While it is true that the appearance of gays like Vice Ganda in Philippine cinema can be seen as progress, it is also equally true that gays are still a discriminated minority that are the target of hate crimes. These two facts do not cancel each other out. As per the Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch, At least 32 were killed in 2011, and another 34 in 2010, with the victims being targeted because of their sexual orientation.

Following Ligaya’s logic, it’d be like saying it’s alright not to give a damn about the chronic problem of domestic violence our women face, or that 11 of them die each day because of birth complications, because we have Sarah Geronimo, KC Concepcion, Kim Chiu, and Shamcey Supsup in the spotlight.

Her reasoning is flawless!

Illegitimate

 Being true to the pro-abortion, pro-gay rights monicker given to him, the president has established an LGBT Month (LGBT stands for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders), appointed homosexuals as key officials in government, and carried out other measures that have ended up bestowing illegitimate rights on homosexual members of society.

What Acosta calls “illegitimate,” most people see as progress to a more tolerant society that grants gays the same rights as any other person. They’re in the same vein as the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the legalization of same-sex marriage in states such as New York, and the enactment of more comprehensive anti-discrimination and anti-bullying laws.

None of these measures grant any “special” or “illegitimate” privileges to the LGBT community. At the very least, they provide them with same rights as everybody else, and ensure that they don’t have to live in fear of being discriminated against.

Ligaya’s attempt to make the matter of gay equality an issue is tantamount to her crying over the fact that blacks can finally sit anywhere they damn want on a bus.

Gay Recruitment

“Hindi lang po ‘yan sa US because the policies of the United States of America affect the whole world… It’s actually also part of population control. If they cannot force us to legalize abortion or massively use contraception, then [they] promote homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle. Start at kindergarten… and therefore we have to know what is the agenda.”

Yes. Because as everybody knows, going gay is the perfect alternative if your girlfriend refuses to let you do it because you’re not wearing rubber.

For the readers who’ve seen the Harvey Milk film, Ligaya’s “Gays recruiting your children in schools” argument should be familiar. It was the same mantra chanted by the Save our Children coalition founded by singer and notorious anti-gay bigot Anita Bryant.

The coalition was established to help repeal a Florida ordinance that made it illegal to discriminate based on an individual’s sexual orientation. And much like Bryant, Ligaya has yet to present any evidence that gays are indeed turning our schools into recruitment centers for their cause.

New World Order

“I have to tell you that there is a huge homosexual network all over the world, and although constituting a minority only of less than 3% of the population, we have to know that the homosexual movement is highly organized and very well-financed,” Acosta pointed out.

For once, Ligaya is right. Sort of.

There are a growing number of movements around the world that are advocating the eradication of discrimination against the LGBT community. One of the biggest being the United Nations, which passed a resolution this year declaring equal rights for all people, regardless of their gender identity.

There’s also the It Gets Better Project, established to provide moral support for LGBT teens who are being bullied and discriminated against in school because of their sexual orientation.

By contrast, Catholic-affiliated anti-gay groups such as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been losing legal ground over its accusations of experiencing harassment while advocating gay discrimination; One incident involved one of its members being given mean looks as he handed out anti-gay pamphlets.

And if Ligaya really wants to push the matter of highly organized and well-funded groups with an agenda, she doesn’t have to look further than her own Human Life International. Over its history, HLI has been knee-deep in scandals regarding the accuracy of its research and its blatant…well…insanity.

Here’s a few choice words from Father Thomas Euteneuer, HLI’s president from 2000 to 2010:

Fundamentally, Harry Potter indoctrinates young souls in the language and mechanics of the occult. The fact that the fake curses and hexes are not able to be reproduced because the “ingredients” are pure fantasy is beside the point. Curses are not pure fantasy. The fact that “curse” as such, and other elements of witchcraft, are presented in a glorified state throughout the Harry Potter series means that our kids’ minds are being introduced to and imbued with occult imagery.

Euteneuer subsequently left HLI, under a cloud of suspicion that he had sexually abused a woman he was performing exorcism duties for.

If there is anything we can take away from people like Ligaya, it is that they are running scared. They are terrified of the fact that in the past few years, several landmark decisions have been made that are slowly eroding the layer upon layer of lies that the Catholic Church sits upon.

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Why I Will Not Walk Like a Sl*t


Disclaimer: The asterisk in the title was used in order for this post to come out on our Facebook pages. Just to make it clear, I’m as much of a pottymouth as the next person. Kepyas kepyas kepyas.

“Slut” is a derogatory term, and it should stay that way. This is coming from someone who dry heaves at the term “making love,” and made casual sex her sport of choice when she was single. No matter how comfortable I am with the idea of mindless sex and its pursuit, I believe that there is a difference between being in full control of one’s sexuality, and just being plain promiscuous.

SlutWalk - "Why I will not walk like a slut" by Marguerite de Leon
Walk like a slut

A group of female activists inToronto, however, have started a pride march of sorts dubbed the “SlutWalk” last June. It was sparked when a local police officer suggested that “women should avoid dressing like sluts” to avoid sexual harassment. In protest, these women have taken to the streets in an effort to redefine slut-dom, with many of them donning tacky, skimpy clothing and daring men not to ogle or wolf-whistle. The movement has become so popular that SlutWalks have been held across the world ever since, including in uber-traditional, harassment-heavy New Delhi.

I am totally for women speaking out not only against harassment, but also in support of their right to be open about their love for sex, whether mindless or meaningful. What I find very weak about these women’s concept, however, is their dependence on the image of a scantily-clad slut to further such a well-intentioned cause.

SlutWalk - "Why I will not walk like a slut" by Marguerite de Leon
Who you callin’ hot mama?

If you go out on the street in a low-cut blouse, hot pants, and heels, and then feel bad that people are staring at you, you should probably reassess your situation. What other reason is there for women to wear revealing clothing other than to attract attention? “To make me feel good about myself and/or my body” may be a valid sentiment, but  the fact remains that at the very root of your feeling good about yourself and/or your body via clothing is your being found sexually attractive by others.

Why bother wearing something revealing if sexual attractiveness is not the message you’re willing to convey? For the love of fashion, you say? Most skimpy haute couture wasn’t meant for the commute to work in the first place. Heterosexual men are predisposed to like boobs and legs and butts, and if you feel offended that your halter top/micro-mini/low-rise jeans has garnered you unwarranted attention, then it would be best for you to sit down and read up on biology and gender studies before heading out again.

SlutWalk - "Why I will not walk like a slut" by Marguerite de Leon
Frankness and foresight

The odd wolf-whistle or two, of course, is absolutely nothing compared to rape, and the best way for any individual to avoid it is to avoid vulnerable situations. Marching the streets in a bikini and waving a placard that reads “This is NOT my I WANT YOU face!” is not going to keep some depraved schmuck from taking advantage of you.

Instead, try lucid communication. On a night out, for instance, not only should you verbally make your intentions with your date clear, but also look and act that way you want to be treated. Want sex on the first date? Go for it – drop as many double entendres as you deem necessary. Want to play it slow or show that you’re not interested? Then stop trying to spill your cleavage onto your plate and laughing at every other thing your date says. Better yet, for either case, just say what you feel. “I like you. Want to come up to my apartment for a drink?” “I like you. Maybe we can have dinner again this week. When are you free?” “You’re very nice, but I don’t think we’re a good fit. I should go on ahead. I hope you understand.”

At the end of the day, however, anyone, regardless of what they’re wearing, can become a victim of rape. There are bad people out there, and they will not listen to what you tell them. The key to eradicating such a horrid crime is more about advancing an intelligent, empathetic, and conscientious society and less about pitting men against women through the Pussy Power Patrol.

So, if you want to redefine how men and women interact with one another, don’t parade yourself in your panties and dare people not to stare at you. Don’t try to alleviate the perils of mixed signals with even more mixed signals. Just quit the ambiguous bullshit, period.

Click here for a follow-up to this piece. 

(Images from IBTimes, TnT Magazine, Lisa VanDyke, and The Guardian)

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