7 In the current Congress, the adb has passed out of committee in the senate for the first time, but at time of writing, it has not yet passed out of committee in the house. 8 The anti-discrimination ordinances that have passed in the absence of federal legislation remain largely symbolic, as quezon City is the only local government unit to follow the passage of its ordinance with implementing rules and regulations that are required to make such an ordinance. 9 even if fully enforced, these municipal and provincial ordinances would collectively cover only 15 percent of the population of the Philippines. 10 In a pair of decisions, the supreme court limited the possibility of legal gender recognition, ruling that intersex people may legally change their gender under existing law but transgender people may not. 11 The Philippines does not recognize same-sex partnerships, and although Duterte signaled openness to marriage equality in early 2016 while campaigning for the presidency and his legislative allies promised to support same-sex marriage legislation, he appeared to reverse course and express opposition to marriage equality. 12 Moreover, hiv transmission rates have soared in recent years among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women, due to a combination of stigma, a lack of comprehensive sexuality education, barriers to obtaining condoms, and laws that prevent children under age. 13 Many of the efforts to advance lgbt rights have met with resistance from the catholic Church, which has been an influential political force on matters of sex and sexuality.
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The Philippines has a long history of robust lgbt advocacy. In 1996, lgbt individuals and groups held upholstery a solidarity march to commemorate Pride in Manila, which many activists describe as the first known Pride march in Asia. 1 Lawmakers began introducing bills to advance the rights of lgbt people in the country in 1995, including variations of a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill that has been reintroduced periodically since 2000. 2 In the absence of federal legislation, local government units across the Philippines have begun to enact their own anti-discrimination ordinances that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. As of June 2017, 15 municipalities and 5 provinces had ordinances prohibiting some forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. 3 Attitudes toward lgbt people are relatively open and tolerant; a survey conducted in 2013 found that 73 percent of Filipinos believe society should accept homosexuality, up from 64 percent who believed the same in 2002. 4 President Rodrigo duterte has generally been supportive of lgbt rights as well. During his time as mayor, davao city passed an lgbt-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance, and on the campaign trail, he vocally condemned bullying and discrimination against lgbt people. 5 Nonetheless, many of the basic protections sought by activists remain elusive. A bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation—and in later versions, gender identity—in employment, education, health care, housing, and other sectors has been regularly introduced in Congress since 2000. 6 The Anti-discrimination Bill, or adb, passed out of committee in the house of Representatives for the first time in 2015, but never received a second reading on the house floor and never passed out of committee in the senate.
Gender, non-Conforming, a descriptor for people who do not conform to stereotypical appearances, behaviors, or traits associated with their sex assigned at birth. Homosexual, a sexual orientation in which a persons primary sexual and romantic attractions are toward people of the same sex. Lesbian, a sexual orientation in which a woman is primarily sexually or romantically attracted to other women. Lgbt an acronym to describe those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Panromantic A sexual orientation in which ones romantic attraction is not restricted by sex assigned at birth, gender, or gender identity. Sexual Orientation A persons sense of attraction to, or sexual desire for, individuals of the same sex, another sex, both, or neither. Tibo a slang term for lesbian in Tagalog, usually used pejoratively. Tomboy a term for a person assigned female at birth gps whose gender expression is masculine and who may identify as lesbian or as a man; it can be used pejoratively as a slur for a masculine individual who was assigned female at birth. Transgender The gender identity of people whose sex assigned at birth does not conform to their identified or lived gender.
Bisexual, a sexual orientation in which a person is sexually or romantically attracted to both guaranteed men and women. Cisgender, the gender identity of people whose sex assigned at birth conforms to their identified or lived gender. Gay, synonym in many parts of the world for homosexual; primarily used here to refer to the sexual orientation of a man whose primary sexual and romantic attraction is towards other men. In the Philippines, the term gay can also refer to a person who is assigned male at birth but expresses themselves in a feminine manner or identifies as a woman. A persons internal, deeply felt sense of being female or male, neither, both, or something other than female and male. A persons gender identity does not necessarily correspond to their sex assigned at birth. Gender-Fluid, a descriptor for people whose gender fluctuates and may differ over time.
When students were interviewed in groups, those who were present but did not actively volunteer information were not counted in our final pool of interviewees. Human Rights Watch sent a copy of the findings in this report by email, fax, and post to depEd on may 15, 2017 to obtain their input on the issues students identified. Human Rights Watch requested input from DepEd by june 2, 2017 to incorporate their views into this report, but did not receive a response. In this report, pseudonyms are used for all interviewees who are students, teachers, or administrators in schools. Unless requested by interviewees, pseudonyms are not used for individuals and organizations who work in a public capacity on the issues discussed in this report. Bading, a slang term for gay in Tagalog, usually used pejoratively. Bakla, a tagalog term for a person assigned male at birth whose gender expression is feminine and who may identify as gay or as a woman; it can be used pejoratively as a slur for an effeminate individual. Bayot, a cebuano term for a person assigned male at birth whose gender expression is feminine and who may identify as gay or as a woman; it can be used pejoratively as a slur for an effeminate individual.
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Adopt anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies that are inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity, inform students foam how they should report incidents of bullying, and specify consequences for bullying. Human Rights Watch conducted the research for this report between September 2016 and February 2017 in 10 cities on the major islands of luzon and the visayas in the Philippines. To identify interviewees, we conducted outreach through lgbt student groups, particularly at the university level. Human Rights Watch interviewed members of those groups as well as students who were known to those groups, whether or not they had experienced discrimination in school. We sought interviews with students of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, but gay boys and transgender girls were disproportionately represented among the students identified by lgbt groups and the students who attended the group discussions.
Human Rights Watch conducted a total of 144 interviews, including with 73 secondary school students or recent graduates who affirmatively identified as lgbt or questioning, 25 students or recent graduates who did not affirmatively identify as lgbt or questioning, and 46 parents, teachers, counselors, administrators. Of the lgbt students, 33 identified as gay, 12 identified as transgender girls, 10 identified as bisexual girls, 6 identified as lesbians, 4 identified only as lgbt, 3 identified as transgender boys, 2 identified as bisexual boys, 2 identified as questioning, and 1 identified. Interviews were conducted in English or in Tagalog or Visayan with the assistance of a translator. No compensation was paid to interviewees. Whenever possible, interviews were conducted one-on-one in a private setting. Researchers also spoke with interviewees in pairs, trios, or small groups when students asked to meet together or when time and space constraints required meeting with members of student organizations simultaneously. Researchers obtained oral informed consent from interviewees after explaining the purpose of the interviews, how the material would be used, that interviewees did not need to answer any questions, and that they could stop the interview at any time.
Juan., a 22-year-old transgender man who had attended high school in Manila, said, There would be a lecture where theyd somehow pass by the topic of homosexuality and show you, try to illustrate that in the bible, in Christian theology, homosexuality is a sin. Virtually all the students interviewed by human Rights Watch said the limited sexuality education they received did not include information that was relevant to them as lgbt youth, and few reported having access to supportive guidance counselors or school personnel. When students face these issues—whether in isolation or together—the school can become a difficult or hostile environment. In addition to physical and psychological injury, students described how bullying, discrimination, and exclusion caused them to lose concentration, skip class, or seek to transfer schools—all impairing their right to education. For the right to education to have meaning for all students—including lgbt students—teachers, administrators, and lawmakers need to work together with lgbt advocates to ensure that schools become safer and more inclusive places for lgbt children to learn.
To the congress of the Philippines. Enact an anti-discrimination bill that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, including in education, employment, health care, and public accommodations. To the department of Education, create a system to gather and publish data about bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. Revise forms to more clearly differentiate and record incidents of gender-based bullying on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, and include these categories on all forms related to bullying, abuse, or violence against children. Revise the standard sexuality education curriculum to ensure it aligns with unescos guidelines for comprehensive sexuality education, is medically and scientifically accurate, is inclusive of lgbt youth, and covers same-sex activity on equal footing with other sexual activity. Issue an order instructing schools to respect students gender identity with regard to dress codes, access to facilities, and participation in curricular and extracurricular activities. To local Officials, enact local ordinances to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, particularly in education, employment, healthcare, and public accommodations.
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The first catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (cbcp) has condemned violence and discrimination against lgbt people, but in practice, the roman Catholic Church has resisted laws and policies that would protect lgbt rights. The cbcp has sought to weaken anti-discrimination legislation pending before congress, for example, and has opposed implementation of comprehensive sexuality education in schools. Representatives of the Church warn that recognizing lgbt rights will open the door to same-sex marriage, and oppose legislation that might promote divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total population control, and homosexual marriage, which they group under the acronym death. In a country that is more than 80 percent Catholic, opposition from the Church influences how lgbt issues are addressed in families and schools, with many parents and teachers telling students that being lgbt is immoral or wrong. One way that schools barbing can address bullying and discrimination and ameliorate their effects is by providing educational resources to students, teachers, and staff to familiarize them with lgbt people and issues. Unfortunately, positive information and resources regarding sexual orientation and gender identity are exceedingly rare in secondary schools in the Philippines. When students do learn about lgbt people and issues in schools, the messages are typically negative, rejecting same-sex relationships and transgender identities as immoral or unnatural.
The mistreatment that students faced in schools was exacerbated by discriminatory policies and practices that excluded them from fully participating in the school environment. Schools impose rigid gender norms on students in a variety of ways—for example, through gendered uniforms essay or dress codes, restrictions on hair length, gendered restrooms, classes and activities that differ for boys and girls, and close scrutiny of same-sex friendships and relationships. For example, marisol., a 21-year-old transgender woman, said: When I was in high school, there was a teacher who always went around and if you had long hair, she would call you up to the front of the class and cut your hair. That happened to me many times. It made me feel terrible: I cried because i saw my classmates watching me getting my hair cut. These policies are particularly difficult for transgender students, who are typically treated as their sex assigned at birth rather than their gender identity. But they can also be challenging for students who are gender non-conforming, and feel most comfortable expressing themselves or participating in activities that the school considers inappropriate for their sex. Efforts to address discrimination against lgbt people have met with resistance, including by religious leaders.
school staff. Carlos., a 19-year-old gay student from Olongapo city, said: When I was in high school, theyd push me, punch. When Id get out of school, theyd follow me and push me, call me gay, faggot, things like that. While verbal bullying appeared to be the most prevalent problem that lgbt students faced, physical bullying and sexualized harassment were also worryingly common—and while students were most often the culprits, teachers ignored or participated in bullying as well. The effects of this bullying were devastating to the youth who were targeted. Benjie., a 20-year-old gay man in Manila who was bullied throughout his education, said, i was depressed, i was bullied, i didnt know my sexuality, i felt unloved, and I felt alone all the time. And I had friends, but I still felt so lonely. I was listing ways to die.
In 2012, the department of Education (DepEd which oversees primary and secondary schools, enacted a child Protection Policy designed to address bullying and discrimination in schools, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The following year, congress passed the Anti-bullying Law of 2013, with implementing rules and regulations that enumerate sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited grounds for bullying and harassment. The adoption of these policies sends a strong signal that bullying and discrimination are unacceptable and should not be tolerated in educational institutions. But these policies, while strong on paper, have not been adequately enforced. In the absence of effective implementation and monitoring, many lgbt youth continue to experience bullying and harassment in school. The adverse treatment they experience from peers and teachers is compounded by discriminatory policies that stigmatize and disadvantage lgbt students and by the lack of information and resources about lgbt issues available in schools. This report is based on interviews and group discussions conducted in 10 cities on the major Philippine islands of luzon and the visayas with 76 secondary school students or recent graduates estate who identified as lgbt or questioning, 22 students or recent graduates who did not. It examines three broad areas in which lgbt students encounter problems—bullying and harassment, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and a lack of information and resources—and recommends steps that lawmakers, depEd, and school administrators should take to uphold lgbt students right.
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Senator and boxing legend Manny pacquiao says were not human. They should just let. Edgar., an 18-year-old gay high school student in Manila, february 2017. Schools should be safe places for everyone. But in the Philippines, students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (lgbt) too often find that their schooling experience is marred by bullying, discrimination, lack of access to lgbt-related information, and in some cases, physical or sexual assault. These abuses can cause deep and lasting harm and curtail students right to education, protected under Philippine and international law. In recent years, lawmakers and school administrators in the Philippines have essays recognized that bullying of lgbt youth is a serious problem, and designed interventions to address.