More Tomboy, More Bakla Than We Admit: Insights into Sexual and Gender Diversity in Philippine Culture, History, and Politics

More Tomboy, More Bakla Than We Admit: Insights into Sexual and Gender Diversity in Philippine Culture, History, and Politics

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More Tomboy, More Bakla Than We Admit: Insights into Sexual and Gender Diversity in Philippine Culture, History, and Politics 

Edited by Mark Blasius and Richard T. Chu
Foreword by Mina Roces
In the Philippines, those who do not fall neatly within the dictated norms of gender and sexuality have often been rendered invisible if not condemned outright by  mainstream society heavily steeped in westernized gender roles and Catholic notions of sexual propriety. And yet such individuals have existed throughout our history, from the androgynous bayog and asog shamans of precolonial times to members of the Chinese community persecuted for sodomy in Spanish Manila, to lesbian activists of the last few decades striving for recognition within a greater feminist movement, to transpinay (transgender) movements and multiple local, regional, and national organizations, to contemporary gay and “bi” men representing themselves on Planet Romeo.

Through the essays in More Tomboy, More Bakla Than We Admit, acclaimed writers and scholars explore the unique identities, behaviors, and nuances that distinguish Filipino lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons from other Filipinos and those elsewhere in the world. The essays delve into how LGBTI identities are manifested within history, culture, race, religion, family, technology, psychology, for example, in ways that are more complex and multifaceted than we admit.

This anthology gathers the best of LGBTQ literature about and from the Philippines. The contributors skillfully exfoliate the theoretical, conceptual and methodological intricacies of emergence, survival, and flourishing of the various sexual and gender dissident communities. The essays in this treasure trove expose not only the material conditions but also the psychic, political, and ontological upheavals of these marginalized subjects brought about by years of colonization, diasporic mobility, cultural dissent, governmental and church intrusions, and mediated globalization. Ranging from the contradictions of intimacy brought about by new social media apps to the ambivalent position of “queer” as an analytical framework, the capacious range of this collection will surely be a crucial vantage for animating, inspiring, and shaping future political coalitions, cultural productions, and scholarly research agendas.
—Martin F. Manalansan IV
Associate Professor, Department of American Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities



This comprehensive collection of essays on the historical, political, sociocultural and religious lives of people living non-normative sexualities, desires, and identifications, provides a rich insight into aspects of Philippine history which are often ignored. It also fills a gap in the growing body of studies on same-sex sexualities and non-normative genders and sexualities outside of the global north. The theoretical and historical depth of the essays in this anthology will interest a wide readership, both those interested in Asian cultural history and those working on issues of gender and sexuality. The combination of rich ethnographic data, insightful historical analysis, and sharp political insights, brings to life the wide diversity of the LGBT community, both in the Philippines itself and in its diaspora.
—Saskia E. Wieringa
Professor Emerita, Gender and Same-Sex Relations
Crossculturally, University of Amsterdam


About the Editors 
Mark Blasius is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) and has been a visiting professor at the University of the Philippines–Diliman, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Southern California (USC). He holds a PhD in political philosophy from Princeton University and specializes in contemporary political thought and the politics of gender and sexuality across cultures. Mark’s publications include: Sexual Identities, Queer Politics (Princeton, 2001); We Are Everywhere: A Historical Sourcebook of Gay and Lesbian Politics (Routledge, 1997); Gay and Lesbian Politics: Sexuality and the Emergence of a New Ethic (Temple, 1994); and various book chapters and articles in journals such as Political Theory. He has been a resident fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center and the Center for Feminist Research at USC, served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist, received the CUNY Chancellor’s Award for Scholarly Excellence, and has served on the Boards of Directors of both the CUNY Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies and the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture, and Society.
Richard T. Chu is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of History. He holds a doctorate degree in history from the University of Southern California. Dr. Chu specializes in Chinese history and Chinese mestizo history in the Philippines. His published works include Chinese and Chinese Mestizos of Manila: Family, Identity, and Culture, 1860s–1930s (2012) and Chinese Merchants of Binondo in the Nineteenth Century (2011). He was also the editor of the volume More Tsinoy Than We Admit (2015).

 Watch the companion video "A Pinoy Spectrum: Being More Tomboy, More Bakla Than We Admit": 

About the Collection: Academica Filipina

This interdisciplinary series pushes the boundaries of scholarly publishing with smart, literate, and thought-provoking critical anthologies exploring the Philippine past, present, and future.