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When I’d get out of school, they’d follow me [and] push me, call me ‘gay,’ ‘faggot,’ things like that.” While verbal bullying appeared to be the most prevalent problem that LGBT students faced, physical bullying and sexualized harassment were also worryingly common—and while students were most often the culprits, teachers ignored or participated in bullying as well.
The effects of this bullying were devastating to the youth who were targeted.
Representatives of the Church warn that recognizing LGBT rights will open the door to same-sex marriage, and oppose legislation that might promote divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total population control, and homosexual marriage, which they group under the acronym “DEATH.” In a country that is more than 80 percent Catholic, opposition from the Church influences how LGBT issues are addressed in families and schools, with many parents and teachers telling students that being LGBT is immoral or wrong.
One way that schools can address bullying and discrimination and ameliorate their effects is by providing educational resources to students, teachers, and staff to familiarize them with LGBT people and issues.
Benjie A., a 20-year-old gay man in Manila who was bullied throughout his education, said, “I was depressed, I was bullied, I didn’t know my sexuality, I felt unloved, and I felt alone all the time. I was listing ways to die.” The mistreatment that students faced in schools was exacerbated by discriminatory policies and practices that excluded them from fully participating in the school environment.
Schools impose rigid gender norms on students in a variety of ways—for example, through gendered uniforms or dress codes, restrictions on hair length, gendered restrooms, classes and activities that differ for boys and girls, and close scrutiny of same-sex friendships and relationships.
But these policies, while strong on paper, have not been adequately enforced.
In the absence of effective implementation and monitoring, many LGBT youth continue to experience bullying and harassment in school.Interviews were conducted in English or in Tagalog or Visayan with the assistance of a translator. Whenever possible, interviews were conducted one-on-one in a private setting.Researchers also spoke with interviewees in pairs, trios, or small groups when students asked to meet together or when time and space constraints required meeting with members of student organizations simultaneously.Human Rights Watch interviewed members of those groups as well as students who were known to those groups, whether or not they had experienced discrimination in school.We sought interviews with students of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, but gay boys and transgender girls were disproportionately represented among the students identified by LGBT groups and the students who attended the group discussions. But in the Philippines, students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) too often find that their schooling experience is marred by bullying, discrimination, lack of access to LGBT-related information, and in some cases, physical or sexual assault.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating