Vibal Foundation marks Pride Month with launch of More Tomboy, More Bakla Than We Admit
More Tomboy, More Bakla Than We Admit is the latest addition to Academica Filipina, Vibal Foundation’s imprint that pushes the boundaries of scholarly publishing with smart, literate, and thought-provoking works exploring the Philippine past, present, and future. Edited by Dr. Mark Blasius and Dr. Richard Chu, the featured 15 essays were written by Filipino scholars studying sexual and gender identities, such as J. Neil C. Garcia, Raquel A. G. Reyes, and Rolando B. Tolentino. The book editors made sure that the anthology contained an essay to represent each letter of the LGBTQIA+ community. Dr. Blasius is a Professor Emeritus at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, while Dr. Chu is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Looking through the eyes of the LGBT community In the Philippines today, LGBTQIA+ people and the issues they face have become more prominent in the mainstream public consciousness. Despite the prominence of Catholic cultural practices and values due to more than three centuries under Spanish rule, it is assumed that tolerance and acceptance of sexual and gender diversity is the result of more modern American cultural influence on the country. This assumption does not take into account the fact that sexually diverse and gender-non-normative individuals have been part of Philippine history—not just for the past two or three decades, but for centuries, even during precolonial times. More Tomboy, More Bakla than We Admit centers its essays on the questions “what does it really mean to be a tomboy or a bakla?” “What are the lived experiences of the Filipino lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person?” “How do they fit in and stand out within the colorful tapestry of Philippine life?” The different views of the writers in this anthology attempt to answer these questions through research and personal experiences which add a more realistic persona to the book.
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