Today, the gay movement has put male homosexuality into the open. In the 1960s, nations like the Philippines had a gay subculture, but it was hidden. Moreover, studies indicate Filipino gays are relatively tolerated. The two colonizers were homophobic; hence the roots of such tolerance might be of pre-colonial origin, culturally carried over until today.
To measure and compare the level of tolerance prior to the gay movement, the researcher interviewed eleven post-65 year old Filipino gays. These participants were tolerated by their family and friends prior to the emergence of the international gay movement; thus indicating a prior baseline tolerance for Philippine homosexuality.
The participants had their sexual initiations isolated from one another in small towns across the Philippines. Usually this was a pre-teen homosexual experience. Sexuality was never discussed in the media or schools. This suggests homosexuality starts off at least as an essential difference between people, although later the participants followed socially constructed roles for a 1960s Filipino gay. These social roles help give the participants a sense of identity and dignity.
Jonathan Foe, University of Sto Tomas, Philippines
Stream: Cultural Studies
This paper is part of the ACCS2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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