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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in PHILIPPINES...
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G (user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex readers in response to this story on 04/05/2012 +0
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http://estoryahey.com/2012/05/01/miriam-quiambao-on-gays-homosexuality-is-not-a-sin-but-it-is-a-lie-from-the-devil/
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G (user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex readers on 04/05/2012 +3
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On national television, a discussion that tackled LGBT issue, a local celebrity said: “Homosexuality is not the one that makes you a sinner. Actually, sexual immorality is what makes you a sinner."

Among her succeeding tweets: “No offense to the LGBT but the Truth is the Truth that comes from God. Take it or leave it. We will all face the judgment seat of God.” “I’m not a savior. Just a messenger. Only Jesus saves. Turn to Jesus. God bless.” “Mahal ko ang LGBT. That’s why I am sharing with you the truth. If you are not ready for it, please don’t shoot me. I am just a messenger.”

But what really ruffled a lot of feathers was another tweet Miriam posted the following Sunday: “Homosexuality is not a sin but it is a lie from the devil. Do not be deceived. God loves gays and wants them to know the truth.”
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Brian Don Perez (user currently living in PHILIPPINES) posted for gay lesbian transgender bisexual intersex readers on 07/02/2012 tagged with lgbt families, human rights, sexual orientation, marriage / civil unions, illegality of male to male relationships +4
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Hi.. good day
I'am Brian 20 y/0 gay male i reside in Philippines iam a college student taking up the course nursing actually iam a graduating this coming march. my mom is a plain housewife and my dad is a seaman…. And because my dad is a seaman most of the time he is not at home and we used to met once a year I have my little brother he is 10 year younger to me. When I was still a child I spent most of my time with our relatives and because of the absence of a fathers figure my mom is always there to fulfill all the attention that my dad didn’t gave to me because he is too far from us because of his work. Until at my age of 7 y/o I’ve discovered already myself That I’am a gay and because of my fear to be discriminated or abused I’ve decided to hide my gender to my family but my mom already knows that I’ am a gay because when I was still a baby I suffered from the disease known as hemorrhagic disease of the newborn where in the baby has a low platelet count and because of that condition the baby will star to vomit a blood and have a nosebleed until the baby dies. The only thing to manage this disease is to have a blood transfusion. I was a type B positive that time a B positive is very very difficult to find because of that problem My god mother took the floor she offered her blood because she was a B positive blood type and after the transfusion the doctor talk to my mom and she explained to my mom that your son may have a possibility to be a gay when he grown up because of the blood that we transfused is a blood of a woman and not from a man and after that conversation may mom explained my situation to my daddy and my daddy accepted and understand my situation deeply in to his heart. As time goes by after I graduated my high school and I’ve entered college when I’ve become a 17 y/o my mom and my dad approved me and its ok to them that I become a gay. You know what the feeling of being free and accepted of your family and relatives is one of the most happiest feeling in your life that is the reason why iam so blessed because in behalf of my choosen gender god gave me the opportunity to be loved by my family. And I hope that all of the LGBT who will read my story of my life will be inspired and I hope that they will not surrender because I belive as a LGBT we are all have the rights to be loved, accepted by our family, community and by the world that we are standing in so I hope that we are all fight for our rights especially the approval of same sex marriage we must unite for our future LGBT for them to have a good future without discrimination but having and equalization…

Very truly yours

Brian Don R. Perez
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Jhem, 24, is a pretty transgender who frequently wins drag beauty pageants, a loving child and a doting provider to younger siblings who depend on her for their school expenses and lunches. She graduated with a degree in business management. Her neighbors in Barangay Caybiga, Caloocan City considers her to be better off than many residents who live a hard scrabble life in the village where unemployment runs at around 40%.

However, Jhem laments that she has to be content with working as a hairdresser in the neighborhood, working long hours for less thank minimum wage. After graduation, she spent months looking for a job in the corporate world, only to be turned down by erviewers.

"I didn't want to think that my feminine demeanor is the reason why they won't hire me," Jhem sighs. "In college, I was always in denial, refusing to believe my other cross-dressing friends who kept tellim me I will also have to be content working typecast work for queers, like cutting hair."

Like Jhem, hundreds of thousands of transgender, lesbians and gay men are victims of discrimination in hiring policies, wage levels, benefits and other workplace benefits. The problem is so pervasive that the victims are not even painfully aware that they suffer inequalities in quality of life and legal benefits.

However, a bill filed in the House of Representatives in 2010 aims to correct these inequities and provide hope to some eight million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos. House Bill 1483, An Act Defining Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and

Gender Identity and Providing Penalties Therefor, was authored by Rep. Teodoro Casino who represents the partylist Bayan Muna, a leftist alliance of marginalized sectors,

Also known as the Anti-Discrimination Bill, the measure promises to provide people like Jehm and society at large the legal definition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, or SOGI for short.

Once discrimination based on SOGI is defined, according to Rep. Casino, then the State can put up mechanisms for citizens to report, file unfair labor cases and access justice for violations of SOGI-related rights. The bill recommends penalties up to 200,000 pesos and prison terms.

During a town hall meeting sponsored by Bayan Muna in the city that explained the features of the bill, Jhem came close to tears after realizing the roots of her lingering unease about her situation.

"I didn't realize that the bakla (effeminate queers) have human rights, too! All my life, I thought I had to endure the taunts from almost everyone in the street. I was already resigned to my fate as a bakla who just silently accepts whatever crumbs come my way," Jhem explained.

The bill is supported by several LGBT activist groups such as ProGay Philippines, a national alliance of grassroots LGBT community organizers. According to ProGay spokesperson Goya Candelario, violations of human rights of LGBTs in the Philippines is difficult to document, precisely because a majority of the victims are not even aware what constitutes violations.

Candelario adds that Filipinos are also in denial about the level of discrimination and homophobia, because the suffering is less harsh compared to more conservative Southeast Asian societies. There are no laws punishing sodomy and other same-sex relations, but at the same time, SOGI status is not a protected classification.

"We usually get complaints about gay job applicants who give up on looking for work in prestigious workplaces, but because of a lack of an anti-discrimination law, the complainants do not get anywhere. We report it to the government, and the police simply laugh and send us away. This should end with House Bill 1483."

Aside from financial losses, ProGay activists assert that discrimination impairs physical and emotional health among victims, making Filipino LGBTs more susceptible to health issues such as malnutrition, personality disorders, sexually transmitted infections, and in the worst cases, traumatic injuries resulting from anti-gay violence.

The proposed law prohibits employers, malls service providers, schools, health care instutition, even public sector institutions such as the police and the military from making policies that bar employment or access according to real or perceived SOGI.

Government agencies who are negligent and that have failed to protect vulnerable groups from violators are also answerable, based on the principle that the State has a responsibility of protecting its citizens. Casino said that the Philippines, as a signatory to global treaties that uphold economic, political, civil and cultural rights, is obligated to chase after the violators and not just claim that the government is not able to implement the law.

However, getting the bill approved is an uphill battle. For now, only a handful of progressive solons are pushing the bill to be calendared for public hearings. ProGay is also doing its part to raise awareness in the public, in a campaign called "One Love, One Call,, Human Rights for All.". Candelario is one of the grassroots trainors who juggles her time between a busy salon and scheduling training workshops for activists.

Candelario goes around town telling people that the bill not only assures equality for LGBTs, but also helps the country gain economically and financially. She says that equality that is achieved with the Anti-Discrimination Bill will help reduce unemployment in a sector that is known for artistic and intellectual creativity. She is asking support from the heterosexual citizens to write or call their congressmen with the aim of getting the bill tabled the soonest.

To participate in the campaign, log on to www.progay.multiply.com
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