Wednesday, May 18, 2011

UP Babaylan supports the Freedom to Love: Pink Dot Singapore

Let the day come when we can connect all the Pink Dots all over the world...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Statement of the Psychological Association of the Philippines on Non-Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos continue to experience stigma, prejudice and discrimination in Philippine society. This stigma is manifested in actions such as: bullying, teasing and harassment of LGBT children and adolescents in families, schools and communities; media portrayal of LGBTs as frivolous, untrustworthy and even dangerous or predatory; denying transgender Filipinos entry into commercial establishments; pigeonholing LGBT Filipinos into particularly limited roles and occupations; or curtailing their rights to participate in the political sphere.

LGBT Filipinos often confront social pressures to hide, suppress or even attempt to change their identities and expressions as conditions for their social acceptance and enjoyment of rights. Although many LGBTs learn to cope with this social stigma, these experiences can cause serious psychological distress, including immediate consequences such as fear, sadness, alienation, anger and internalized stigma (Hatzenbuehler, 2009; Meyer, 2003). This anti-LGBT prejudice and discrimination tend to be based on a rhetoric of moral condemnation and are fueled by ignorance or unfounded beliefs associating these gender expressions and sexual orientations with psychopathology or maladjustment.

However, decades of scientific research have led mental health professional organizations worldwide to conclude that lesbian, gay and bisexual orientations are normal variants of human sexuality.  These include: the American Psychiatric Association in 1973, the American Psychological Association in 1975, British Psychological Society, the Colombian Society of Psychology, Psychological Society of South Africa, the Australian Psychological Society, and the International Network on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns and Transgender Issues in Psychology, among others.

The Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) aligns itself with the global initiatives to remove the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with diverse sexualities and to promote the wellbeing of LGBT people. Moreover, the PAP Code of Ethics (2010) is clear in its stance against discrimination. Filipino psychologists are called upon to recognize the unique worth and inherent dignity of all human beings; and to respect the diversity among persons and peoples (Principle I, a and b).  This means that Filipino psychologists should not discriminate against or demean persons based on actual or perceived differences in characteristics including gender identity and sexual orientation (Ethical Standard III-A and C; V-B.8).

In order to eliminate stigma, prejudice, discrimination and violence against LGBT, the PAP resolves to support efforts to:

•    oppose  all public and private discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and expression;

•     repeal discriminatory laws and policies, and support the passage of legislation at the local and national levels that protect the rights and promote the welfare of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions;

•     eliminate all forms of prejudice and discrimination against LGBTs in teaching, research, psychological interventions, assessment and other psychological programs;

•    encourage psychological research that addresses the needs and concerns of LGBT Filipinos and their families and communities;

•     disseminate and apply accurate and evidence-based information about sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to design interventions that foster mental health and wellbeing of LGBT Filipinos.

Meeting with UP President Pascual

We are happy to share with you good news. Never dropping the ball on the continuing fight to win the discrimination case of our member Hender Gercio, UP Babaylan is simultaneously working with the University to prevent future cases of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity to happen to other students of the University. Finally, we were able to schedule a meeting with officials of the University to discuss our programs and plan of actions to prevent and stop discrimination from propagating inside the University. This is the solution that will prevent faculties, students and employees of the University to abuse loopholes in University policies that allow them to abuse and hinder students and other members of the University to grow and learn to their fullest potentials, by exposing the students to harmful and discriminatory acts based on biases against chosen sexual orientation and gender identity of the students.

UP Babaylan (represented by Punong Babaylan Bohn Vergara and Hender Gercio), together with the University Student Council Gender Committee (headed by Babaylan member, Councilor Heart Dino) met up with President Pascual and the Prof. Marion Tan from the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs and presented programs on how the University of the Philippines can be at the forefront of Gender Equality.

Among the issues and programs discussed were:

1. Anti-Discrimination Policy within UP
2. Mandatory Gender Sensitivity workshops for faculty and non-teachinf personnel.
3. Gender-neutral curriculum in UP.
4. Celebration of UP LGBT Week on June 28 - July 1

This is how UP Babaylan will continue to advance the rights and welfare of the students of the University, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Join us in our campaign for a University that allows you to choose who you want to be, a person who is free to express who you want to be, without fear of prejudice from society inside and out of the University. 

To learn more on how you can be part of the campaign or how you can also enjoy how it is like to live your life free from discrimination and prejudice, add the following on facebook:

UP Babaylan

UP University Student Council Gender Committee

UP RH Agenda
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