Rights Assertion and Experience of Young Poor LGBTs in a Philippine Rural Area

Miss Athena Charanne Presto1

1University Of The Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

This is an exploratory study of poor LGBT youth in a rural area in the Philippines. This addresses the gap in knowledge since the bulk of the literature on the Filipino LGBT community focuses on the urban setting, especially in Metro Manila (Hart & Hart 1990), and with adults as respondents. Through in-depth interviewing, this paper pays attention to experiences of rural poor LGBT youth which is shaped by their disadvantaged position in terms of gender, class, age, and rural-urban location. Using intersectionality as a framework, this paper engenders unique interpretations of the LGBT identity and the rights claim it limits given mutually-reinforcing vectors of oppression. Finally, this paper asserts that in studying the lives of LGBT, it is crucial to recognize the many vectors that play on their lived experience and understand how the interaction of these vectors open up and close down access to the enjoyment of their rights, especially in the context of the current populist administration.

Keywords: bakla, intersectionality, rights claim, LGBT, rural youth


Athena Charanne “Ash” R. Presto is an instructor and a Masteral student at the Sociology Department of the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She graduated summa cum laude at the same institution in 2016 and has since built a research interest in the sociology of inequalities, sociology of justice, and sociology of human rights.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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