LGBT psychology in the Philippines


Manalastas, E. J., & Torre, B. A. (2016). LGBT psychology in the Philippines. Psychology of Sexualities Review, 7(1), 60-72. Copy at


This paper presents an account of the initial developments towards an LGBT psychology in the Philippines. We situate this on critical events leading to: (1) an official policy by the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) against anti-LGBT discrimination in 2011, the first in south-east Asia; and (2) the institutionalisation in 2014 of the PAP’s LGBT Psychology Special Interest Group. Organising efforts have focused in four areas: research, education, advocacy, and practice. National conferences have served as naturally occurring moments for mainstreaming and visibility within the profession. Research progress is evidenced by the publication in 2013 of a special LGBT issue of the Philippine Journal of Psychology. Education efforts have involved teaching an undergraduate elective on LGBT psychology, training of psychology teachers to integrate sexual and gender diversity, and conduct of ‘LGBT Psych 101’ seminars. Advocacy has focused on ‘giving away’ LGBT psychology through engagement with the activist community, media, and support for anti-discrimination legislation. Finally, initial work in professional practice has been around raising awareness of LGBT issues in counselling. We reflect on these initial successes and present lessons learned as well as next steps for the development of an LGBT-inclusive psychology in south-east Asia.

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