Babaylanes Inc. is the first and, so far, the only LGBT education initiative focusing on developing the capacities of LGBT communities in campuses to enable them to organize effectively, raise the consciousness and awareness of LGBT students, and foster a sense of solidarity and community.
Babaylanes Inc. is the alumni association of the University of the Philippines (UP) Babaylan. Founded in 1992, UP Babaylan is the first officially recognized LGBT students’ organization not only in UP Diliman but in the whole country. Also, it is one of the most established and oldest LGBT organizations in the country. In 2007, the more than a hundred alumni of the organization have committed to expand their advocacy work beyond UP by assisting LGBT students’ organizing initiatives in other schools through Babaylanes Inc.
Babaylanes Inc. aims to share lessons in LGBT student organizing, raise the level of consciousness of LGBT students about their rights and sexuality, and serve as a center for leadership for the various LGBT communities in campuses across the country.
In the light of the lack of organizing initiatives among LGBT students, “Replicating the Babaylan Experience” in other schools is the current flagship program of Babaylanes Inc. Organizing among LGBT students is crucial to the protection of their rights and in providing a social support system by fostering a sense of community.
- Awareness Raising. Education is crucial in cultivating a responsive and vigilant LGBT community, conscious of their rights and welfare.
- Community Building. The necessary first step in advancing LGBT concerns is bringing together LGBT individuals towards the collective goal of advancing the interests of the community.
- Consolidation of LGBT Communities. Forging links and cooperation between and among LGBT communities is crucial in collectively addressing the community’s issues and concerns.
- Campaign, Advocacy and Mainstreaming of LGBT Concerns. The LGBT community must aggressively address discrimination, bigotry and ignorance by mobilizing support from within the community and from other sectors of society.
- Support for the initiatives of UP Babaylan. Active support is to be extended to the UP Babaylan to strengthen the organization and make more meaningful its organizing, expansion and advocacy efforts.