How Filipino LBTs Cope with Economic Disadvantage (2015)

(Written for the Institute of Development Studies [IDS])

By: The Research Team, GALANG Philippines

In this study supported by the Institute of Development Studies, GALANG seeks to identify strategies in which Filipino lesbians, bisexual women and trans men (LBTs) cope with workplace discrimination and the severe lack of employment opportunities in the country. GALANG argues that Filipino LBTs are more likely to be tolerated by their respective families when they make a substantial financial contribution. Because biases over sexual orientation or gender identity/expression (SOGIE) make finding gainful employment especially challenging for sexual minorities, many LBTs have turned to creative livelihood sources to empower themselves economically and to contribute to the family coffers in order to gain acceptance.

Additionally, this case study examines the motivations, aspirations and personal lives of LBT Filipino migrant workers in Hong Kong. It tackles the links between and among financial independence, economic empowerment, family acceptance, migration and sexuality, specifically in the context of Filipino LBTs. Homosexuality and lesbianism are often described as the ‘social costs’ of migration. This research goes against the grain of this argument. It seeks to illustrate how financial independence sets the stage for lesbians to better come to terms with their sexuality.

Read GALANG’s study here.

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