Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in the Philippines have a distinctive culture but limited legal rights. Gays and lesbians are generally tolerated, if not accepted, within Filipino society, but there is still widespread discrimination. The most visible members of the Filipino LGBT culture, the Bakla, are a distinct group in the Philippines. According to the 2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey, 11% of sexually active Filipinos between the ages of 15 and 24 have had sex with someone of the same sex. Filipino poet and critic Lilia Quindoza Santiago has speculated that Filipino culture may have a more flexible concept of gender because kasarian, the Tagalog word for "gender", is defined in less binary terms than the English word gender. Kasarian means "kind, species, or genus". The English word gender originally also meant "kind".[citation needeA bakla is a gay man who displays feminine mannerisms, dresses as a woman, or identifies as a woman. The term itself is not the equivalent of the English term "gay", but bakla are the most culturally visible subset of gay men in the Philippines. They are often considered a third gender, embodying femaleness (pagkababae) in a male body. The term bakla is sometimes used in a derogatory sense, although bakla people have largely embraced it. Bakla individuals are socially and economically integrated into Filipino society and are considered an important part of society. The stereotype of a bakla is a parlorista, a cross-dresser who works in a beauty salon. Miss Gay Philippines is a beauty pageant for bakla. Slang terms for LGBT people and concepts
In the Philippines, the term gay is used in reference to any LGBT person. For Filipino gays, the Tagalog phrase paglaladlad ng kapa ("unfurling the cape"), or more commonly just paglaladlad ("unfurling" or "unveiling") refers to the coming-out process. Tibo, T-Bird and tomboy are derogatory terms for butch lesbians just as...
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