All posts by Adrienne Maguddayao

UP Pride 2019 opens with exhibit launch

The University of the Philippines Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (UPCWGS), together with the UP Babaylan, the UP Diliman Office of the Chancellor, the UP Diliman Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA), the UP Diliman University Student Council (USC), the UP Diliman Office of Student Activities (OSA), and the UP Diliman Office of Anti-Sexual Harassment (OASH), opened UP Pride 2019 with an exhibit launch on 10 September 2019 at the Palma Hall Lobby, UP Diliman. Special guests were Dr. Nathalie Lourdes Africa-Verceles of the UPCWGS and Atty. Ma. Gabriela “Gaby” Roldan-Concepcion of the UP College of Law. The exhibit features select pages from the second edition of “Anong Pangalan Mo Sa Gabi?.”

Dr. Nathalie Lourdes Africa-Verceles (center) of the UPCWGS with the attendees of the exhibit launch on September 10 at the Palma Hall Lobby, UP Diliman

With the theme “Embracing Diversity Towards Equality,” UP Pride 2019 aims to push forward the formulation and adoption of a university system-wide policy on equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).

UPCWGS organizes second session of Conversations through Art series

The University of the Philippines Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (UPCWGS), together with the Youth, Adult Survivors, and Kin in Need (YAKIN), the UP College of Fine Arts (CFA), and the Art Ventures and Advocacy Network (ART VAN), organized the second session of the discussion series, “Conversations through Art: Tapping Various Creative Modalities for Intervention, Growth, and Transformation,” on 9 September 2019 at the UPCWGS Conference Room.

The second session of the series, Carving Out Feminist Spaces for Women’s Narratives, featured Maria Reimondez, a feminist Galician writer, translator, and activist, whose body of work includes poetry and novels for adults, children, and young adults. Through her works, she carves spaces for conversations around the intersections of gender, language, sexual orientation, ethnicity/race, coloniality, poverty, ability, and celebrate polyphonic feminist spaces across frontiers.

Maria Reimondez at the Carving Out Feminist Spaces for Women’s Narratives on September 9

Conversations through Art is an initiative by artists, advocacy builders, social workers, and those in the helping professions to collectively promote arts for social change. Envisioned as a series wherein various creative modalities are highlighted in each session, the invited resource speakers will be individuals from different parts of the world who are making contributions to the establishment of the expressive arts practice or use specific creative modalities for personal-professional, community, and sectoral development.

Statement of Support for the SOGIE Equality Bill, an Act Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE)

The UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies expresses its vigorous and unwavering support for a national law that protects all Filipinos from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE). We recognize that everyone has their own SOGIE, but lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) people are discriminated against, marginalized, and oppressed for theirs in a society that privileges those who are cisgender, heterosexual, and gender-conforming. In the absence of a national law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of SOGIE, the unjust treatment towards LGBTQI people continues to severely impact their well-being and overall quality of life. The passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill is a matter of national urgency, as more than 80 million Filipinos reside in areas without anti-discrimination ordinances, with 25.8 million of them living below the poverty threshold.

As an institution that champions gender equality, we acknowledge that cisgender-heterosexual women and LGBTQI people experience similar forms of sex- and gender-based discrimination. We assert that upholding the rights of LGBTQI people must run parallel to upholding the rights of women. 

LGBTQI rights are human rights. Pass the SOGIE Equality Bill now!

UP Pride 2019: Schedule of Activities

September 10 (Tuesday)
Exhibit Launch
Palma Hall Lobby, 11:30 AM -1:00 PM
September 11 (Wednesday)
Feminism & SOGIESC Workshop
School of Economics Auditorium, 4:00-7:00 PM
September 12 (Thursday)
Equality Talks: A Forum on the UP SOGIESC Policy & the SOGIE Equality Bill
School of Economics Auditorium, 4:00-7:00 PM
September 13 (Friday)

Breaking the Stigma: Free and Confidential HIV Testing
Palma Hall Parking Lot, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Pride Assembly
Quezon Hall, 4:00 PM

Pride March
Academic Oval, 5:00 PM

Pride Night: PRIDEday the 13th
6:00 PM onwards

Statement of UPCWGS Director Dr. Nathalie Lourdes Africa-Verceles during the SOGIE Equality Bill Hearing on 4 September 2019

I was Catholic school-educated from pre-school to high school, and the God I came to know is compassionate, just, and intolerant of oppression. 

I am as heteronormative and cisnormative as it gets. Assigned sex, female. Sexual orientation, heterosexual. Gender identity, woman. Gender expression, feminine. All in perfect congruence. Everything in place according to what society dictates as appropriate for my sex. Privileged on the basis of my sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Free from the daily oppression experienced by those who do not fit into the socially-constructed norms on human sexuality.

Oppression. The scholars Launius and Hassel define oppression as, and I quote, “prejudice and discrimination directed toward a group and perpetuated by the ideologies and practices of multiple social institutions,” end of quote. They draw attention to how privilege and oppression are fundamentally about unequal power relations. For those of us who are fortunate enough to be in a position of privilege, is it compassionate and just to exercise our power by demanding adherence to ideologies and practices that we know are oppressive? Is not the moral imperative to dismantle all structures of oppression, to end all forms of inequality?

Human sexuality is diverse.

Launius and Hassel also pointed out that, and I quote, “the scientific and historical evidence of the malleability of gender—the wide range of sexualities across cultures; the range of expectations for masculine and feminine behavior across culture, time, and even an individual’s life span suggests that gender is not quite as ‘natural’ as we suppose,” end of quote.

A statement by the Psychological Association of the Philippines asserts that, and I quote, “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,” end of quote.

Rigid beliefs on sex and gender place people in boxes, or entrap them in closets, and they do not represent realities on human sexuality. It is diversity that is a natural characteristic of human sexuality.

Sexuality is a development issue.

The Sexuality and Development Program of the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex in the UK, emphasizes that sexuality is a development issue. It asserts that, and I quote, “Development should be about increasing people’s well-being, particularly of those who are poor and marginalized. Social and legal norms and economic structures based on sexuality have a huge impact on people’s physical security, bodily integrity, health, education, mobility, and economic status,” end of quote. Nobel Prize Laureate Amartya Sen declared, and I quote, “Development is freedom…the freedom to do and to be, to live the life one values or has reason to value,” end of quote. Being a member of the LGBTQI sector can have deleterious effects on an individual’s welfare. Prejudice and discrimination towards LGBTQI individuals impinge on their human dignity, their freedoms, and their capacities for self-actualization. 

LGBTQI rights are human rights.

According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, and I quote, “Deeply-embedded homophobic and transphobic attitudes, often combined with a lack of adequate legal protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, expose many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of all ages and in all regions of the world to egregious violations of their human rights. They are discriminated against in the labour market, in schools and in hospitals, mistreated and disowned by their own families.

The legal obligations of States to safeguard the human rights of LGBT people are well established in international human rights law on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequently agreed international human rights treaties. All people, irrespective of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to enjoy the protections provided for by international human rights law, including in respect of rights to life, security of person and privacy…the right to be free from discrimination and the right to freedom of expression,” end of quote.

I am as heteronormative and as cisnormative as it gets, but I denounce a world that oppresses those who are not like me. The sufferings of members of the LGBTQI community cannot simply be negated, ignored, or dismissed. Their struggles are inextricable from all other struggles for social justice.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex individuals are not going to disappear despite the non-fulfillment of their rights and the absence of adequate legal protection for them. They will merely remain persistently vulnerable to discrimination, abuse, and violence. From our position of privilege, do we choose to turn a blind eye to this?  Or do we utilize our power to create and nurture an economic, social, political, and cultural order that embraces an inclusive view of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression?

Human sexuality is diverse. Sexuality is a vital development issue. LGBTQI rights are human rights.

UP Pride 2019

This UP Pride 2019, we carry on with our fight for equality.

With the theme “Embracing Diversity Towards Equality,” UP Pride 2019 aims to push forward the formulation and adoption of a university system-wide policy on equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). While there remains no national legislation recognizing and protecting the rights of persons with diverse SOGIESC, in UP, the time for equality is now.

We invite everyone to join the effort in fighting for equality, starting here in our University. Because the fight for gender justice and human rights will not be over as long as discrimination and violence against the LGBTQI community persist and equality remains elusive.

Let our diversity unite us for the greater fight for equality and human rights.

UPCWGS Extramural Program: Call for Participants

[NOTE: The extramural on Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting is rescheduled from 16-20 September 2019 to 25-29 November 2019.]

The University of the Philippines Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (UPCWGS), in partnership with the UP Center for Women’s Studies Foundation, Inc. (UPCWSFI), is organizing an extramural on Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting, exclusive for Local Government Units (LGUs), on 16-20 September 2019 at UP Diliman, Quezon City.

Training fee is P12,500.00, inclusive of food, materials, kit, and certificate. Reply slip must be accomplished on or before September 13.

Reply slip can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/GRPBReplySlip-Sept

An Official Confirmation Letter will be sent upon successful receipt of the Reply Slip. Should there be questions or concerns, please feel free to get in touch with Vince Hermoso of the UPCWGS Training, Outreach, and Extension Program at (+632) 9206950, (+632) 9818500 VoIP 4226, 09358185499, or 09612595082.

Conversations through Art: Tapping Various Creative Modalities for Intervention, Growth, and Transformation

The University of the Philippines Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (UPCWGS), together with the Youth, Adult Survivors, and Kin in Need (YAKIN), and the UP College of Fine Arts (CFA), will be hosting Maria Reimondez for the second part of the discussion series entitled, “Conversations through Art: Tapping Various Creative Modalities for Intervention, Growth, and Transformation,” on 9 September 2019 (Monday), 2:00 PM at the UPCWGS Conference Room. Ms. Reimondez is a feminist Galician writer, translator, and activist, whose body of work includes poetry and novels for adults, children, and young adults. Through her works, she carves spaces for conversations around the intersections of gender, language, sexual orientation, ethnicity/race, coloniality, poverty, ability, and celebrate polyphonic feminist spaces across frontiers.

Conversations through Art is an initiative by artists, advocacy builders, social workers, and those in the helping professions to collectively promote arts for social change. Envisioned as a series wherein various creative modalities are highlighted in each session, the invited resource speakers will be individuals from different parts of the world who are making contributions to the establishment of the expressive arts practice or use specific creative modalities for personal-professional, community, and sectoral development.