Research Article - Journal of Public Health Policy and Planning (2018) Volume 2, Issue 3
Exploring challenges and problems faced by LGBT students in Philippines: A qualitative study.
The Philippines is considered as a gay-friendly country. However, it is reported that Filipino Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual (LGBT) community, especially LGBT students are struggling with bullying and discrimination from families, communities and schools. This paper aims to explore the works conducted by the first Filipino student LGBT organization (UP Babaylan), major barriers experienced by the organization, the challenges and problems faced by LGBT Filipino students, and the possible solutions to address these issues. This is a qualitative study and 13 members of the ‘UP Babaylan’ were interviewed after getting written informed consent. All the interviews were transcribed and thematically analyzed using NVivo 11. Findings of the study suggest that the organization has conducted a number of activities, such as educating and sensitizing, coordinating with HIV clinics and other organizations to help LGBT students, lobbying to pass the anti-discrimination bill and conduct UP Pride at the University of Philippines. The main barriers of the organization were the poor support from the government along with the lack of funding and workforce. The lack of legal protection, mental health issues and discrimination at different places were big challenges to Filipino LGBT students. The religion was also not supportive towards LGBT and showed powerful influence on many aspects, including education and politics. To address these issues, educating and sensitizing more people, and engaging LGBT individuals into advocacy were mostly expected. It is recommended to the government to act positively to pass the ‘anti-discrimination bill’ that was already prepared. Other several recommendations were made for different stakeholders including the government, community and universities.Author(s): Xijia Tang, Ak Narayan Poudel