The Philippines,being a democratic nation, asserts to providing the same access and opportunityto each citizens. Notwithstanding this situation, the Filipino LGBT societyare still treated as “second class citizens” (Roland, 491). They continueto undergo humiliation, threat of violence due to their sexual orientation, andinequality in the Philippine society. The violence they encounter is physical,verbal, and mental. Physical violence is usually the most destructive as it usuallyresults in their death.
There was the exemplar case of a transgender who washumiliated and beaten to death in public for using a female washroom. This humiliationis also evident in behaviors such as intimidating LGBT children in families andthe neighborhood. The absenceof legitimate protection for LGBT persons significantly impacts their daily lives.It restricts their chance for more desirable employment, access to goodeducation and appropriate housing. They narrate the struggle of not being ableto participate in the campaign during the day time, because they would beidentified as transgender, which could cause them their job, keeping in mindmost of them are the breadwinners of their family.
Also, most of the LGBT poorin the Philippines reside in tenement, which is an urban poor program the governmentcreated. They are particularly prone to socioeconomic disadvantages which isstructurally connected to their rights, standard of living, and their welfare. Accessto healthcare is also an issue, as most physicians are ill-equipped and illiteratewhen it relates to attending to LGBT patients. LGBT people were more likely to bedeferred, or not receive care due to costs. Due to this, most of them turned toself-medicating themselves in order to transition, which is very dangerous,owing they have no prior knowledge to the harms of the drugs, and how theyshould be used. Despite ofthe actuality that there is a growing amount of crimes, as well as discriminationand exclusions, there are no governmental laws that protects the LGBTgroup.
Persistently, Filipino LGBT community has been fighting for full acknowledgementof their rights, and this proposition is possible, through the decriminalizationof the national anti-discriminatory bill. Their fight can also be identified asa form of resistance against the ways they have been discriminated against,abused and denied their rights as citizens. Ang Ladlad, the LGBT political party in thePhilippines, presented Bemz Benedito to campaign to be in congress, which wouldmake her the first transgender woman in congress. The documentary encourages,and prompts succeeding LGBT rights activist, by exemplifying how braveactivists can create, and manage their political campaigns in the face of livingin homophobic nation. Ladlad showed resilience nevertheless the barriers theyencountered, and challenged their problems by spreading their equal rightscampaign to hair salons, and beauty pageants.
They encouraged Transhairdressers and beauty queens to be a part of their campaign against theirpolitical opponents, homophobic religious leaders, and demonstrate to the nationsbody politic that rights of LGBT people is required to be taken (Roland, 505). The nationhas a responsibility to attend to, and ensure an equal safety of the lawto every individual. Nonetheless, of the constitutional support, the Philippinenation has no law which punishes discrimination against LGBT group.
By restricting their right of speech, lack of essential resources to ensuretheir survival, and representation in congress they are unable to be heard andbe represented, therefore denying them their rights as citizens. Their issuesare not addressed by major parties and politicians (Roland, 492). The filmreveals the LGBT challenge to institutionalized, “difference-neutral” understandingof citizenship. They have been denied deference, and equal opportunitiesbecause they are different, of which the difference is their true self, whichthey have the right to establish themselves without exception (Holston andAppadurai, 8).
They demand their citizenship rights to ensure their survivaland well-being. Religionequally takes part in influencing the lives of LGBT Filipinos owing to thenation being predominantly Catholics. The church encourages initiatives that ensure equalrights and opportunities for everyone and is only worried about initiatives manifestingextensive implications, which would be in opposition to the church’s principle andthe bible. The church is afraid that if the anti-discrimination bill is recognizedby the law, LGBT people will aim for the legalization of same-sex marriage.LGBT Filipinos are not in quest for distinct rights, but for recognitionof human rights that they should enjoy as a citizen of the nation.