In the Philippines, You Can Be Both Openly LGBT and Proudly Catholic. But It’s Not Easy.

 | 
06/06/2022

Gabb’z Gabriel is the very definition of a devout Roman Catholic. He even aspired to be a priest. At 12, he became part of his church’s youth ministry in Quezon City, about 10 km from the Philippine capital of Manila. He has attended religious processions of Holy Week flagellants, walking barefoot on sweltering asphalt. Now 35, he’s a regular choir member, and sometimes reads scripture to parishioners. In his free time, he maintains religious statuary and icons used on religious holidays. Gabriel is just one of the more than 80 million people in the Philippines, about 85% of the population, who profess the Catholic faith. But in a crowd of churchgoers on Black Saturday, he stands out with his shoulder-length black hair, his sleeveless kimono haltered by a pink belt, singing the Lord’s praises in a falsetto voice. “I am a gay man,” he tells TIME. “My gender expression is feminine.” The Philippines is known to be one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in Asia, despite its deeply entrenched Catholic culture. LGBT people have carved out their own space in the country’s churches, even taking up key roles in spreading the faith. As Catholicism worldwide seeks to reconcile its difficult relationship with sexual orientation and gender expression, this devoutly Catholic Southeast Asian country is an embodiment of both conflict and harmony between doctrinaire teachings on identity and modernity.

Regions: ,

Share this:

Latest Global News

Added on: 06/14/2024
06/13/2024
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is opening public consultations to inform the development of the next National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy. …
Added on: 06/14/2024
06/13/2024
The KyivPride march will occur on June 16 in the streets of Kyiv. Around 500 participants, including activists, diplomats, and international community representatives, will …
Added on: 06/14/2024
06/13/2024
WARSAW – Mateusz Czyczerski always feared he would be attacked for being gay in Poland and after his worst fears were realised six years …

Explore LGBTQ+ Issues

Other News from ,

Added on: 06/13/2024
The fight for LGBTQIAA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and more) rights has been an ongoing struggle for decades. Throughout history, individuals …
Added on: 06/12/2024
A transgender woman in China who spent millions of yuan on plastic surgery only to end up with a deformed mouth has warned people …
Added on: 06/11/2024
During her eight years in office, Taiwan’s outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen endorsed marriage equality and aspired to build a Taiwan where individuals can freely …