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Filipino Americans face challenges along the path of identifying their
sexuality and coming out. One can identify that the act of realizing one’s
sexual identity is somewhat desirable in second-generation immigrants, as
opposed to first generation immigrants (Berkman). There are plenty of LGBT
organizations that are catered to address issues within the Asian community as
a whole, and some cater to Filipino Americans only. To name a few, “Gay Asian
Pacific Support Network,” “Barangay,” “Filipino American Foundation of New
Mexico,” are active LGBT organizations. As a whole, lesbian and gay Asian
Americans are segmentally targeted for their sexual preferences, and there is
some sense of stigmatization attached towards the Asian race and the perceived
feminine characteristics (Han et al. 220). The concept of sexuality for Filipinos
themselves is a complex one, as most of the country is Catholic Christian, with
a minority of Muslims in the nation.

            In the modern day and age, many
Filipino men tend to find themselves in a dilemma due to the innate sexual
preferences they hold. For instance, many young men in America find that
religion holds some value in their life, and the Catholic church is pitted
against the most natural desires they are familiar with (Joaquin 2). The values
that they consider normal are seen as mostly unnatural and sinful, and such religious
teachings resonate of the lack of love and acceptance they will receive from
society itself and the Catholic churches that are part of. Many Catholic
Filipino men in the United States will denounce their faith, and they will look
to sexually practice their life under strict measures.

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            It is important to note that
Filipino Americans are the second largest denomination in the group of Asian
Americans, and there are millions of them residing in the prime cities that
include New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and also Hawaii. Despite the rich
history that first and second generation Filipino Americans have, their principles
have mostly contrasted with that of the West in many aspects. Many Queer
Filipino individuals fall in a wide range of the spectrum, for instance, some
are more open to the idea of varied sexual preferences, while others are more
constricted. It has also been found that despite being the second largest
ethnic group in America, Filipinos are very less likely to seek mental health
services as compared to other Asian Americans. As many as 75% of Filipino
Americans have never used mental help (Morelli). Such statistics show the lack
of importance that mental barriers have on many conventional Filipino American

            One needs to look beyond medieval
times and understand that many homosexuals, bisexuals, and trans-genders are
allowed to live higher quality lives than previous generations. However, the
Catholic church does not support any deviations from the “natural” sexual and
gender identities, and this has impacted the lives of the Filipino American
community to a huge extent. 

Filipino American Perception:

perception by the Filipino Americans on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) identities relate to the understanding of this field by
Americans of Filipino descent. The study of LGBT covers a broader range of
understanding. It emphasizes history, psychology, and sociology of the lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender-related Americans of Filipino descent (David 34).

The broader range of the field that these chapter covers does not necessarily
include the sexual orientation of the Filipino Americans only, but also the
culture and cuisine of the Filipino Americans in the United States. The field
covers the immigration policy and politics of the people who have lesbians,
gay, bisexual and transgender characters. The immigration and political lives
of the people of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender identities is a study
that is significant when attempting to understand their social lifestyles in
the United States. It helps the audience to understand their personal
experience with the community regarding their sexual orientation.

            Filipino Americans are mostly Catholics.

They support the rights of the people with identities of LGBT because they have
often called for the legalization of the same-sex marriage in the United
States. They believe that gay people have earned the same rights as the
straight people despite their sexual orientation. Despite the Christianity
religion not supporting the same-sex marriage, the Filipino Americans have
neglected this and have called for the federal government to recognize the
rights of the gay people.

            Even though some few states in the
United States have legalized same-sex marriage, people with LGBT identities
have still faced discrimination (Garcia 88). The prejudice of the Filipino Americans
with LGBT identity goes back from the colonial period. During the colonization
decade by the United States in the Philippine territory, people who dressed
oppositely from their sex were discriminated upon, which led to a strict
dressing code imposed on the Filipinos. The laws to regulate same-sex acts were
enacted in the 1930s in the Philippines. Despite this laws existence,
homosexuality was not recognized until the later years. Some United States
citizens who engaged in same-sex acts during the colonization period in the
Philippines were prosecuted. Statistics show that the number of Americans who
were prosecuted during this time was higher than the number of the Filipinos
that were convicted. Due to this, it’s argued that during the colonization
period of the Philippines by the United States, some veterans contributed to
the same-sex acts that have today been legalized in the Philippines.

            Filipino Americans usually face a
host of barriers regarding the revealing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender identities. In the United States, religion is an essential aspect
of ethical values. The Filipino Americans are mainly Catholics, which makes it
a challenge for some of them to reveal their identities (Buff 422). In
Christianity religion, same-sex acts are forbidden and considered a sin because
the Bible teaches otherwise. Other than religion, one’s reputation is always at
stake when revealing to the public their LGBT identity. The belief of being
successful in the United States is regarded as more significant than the idea
of revealing the LGBT status. A Filipino American would rather keep his
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender identity a secret than reveal it to the
public, which would lead to the belittling of his reputation. The problem of
coming out has been widely associated with the first-generation immigrants of
Filipino Americans. The second-generation immigrants have had the desire to
reveal their LGBT identities due to their legal immigration status. The first
generation of Filipino immigrants in the United States consists of many of them
who have undocumented immigration papers.

Religious Influence:

            Sexual orientation and religion have
been researched to have different paths in the life of an individual (Nadal,
28). Despite religion affecting the sexual orientation of an individual, some
people have disregarded the teachings of their respective religions and still
engaged in same-sex acts. The Christianity religion prohibits all the believers
from participating in same-sex activities. The Bible teaches all the Christian
believers to support marriages that involve the people of the opposite sex.

Same-sex marriage is not recognized in the Christian religion despite some
people advocating for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
people to be respected. Family influence could play a crucial role in the determination
of one’s sexual orientation. Some families could convince a loved one to change
their sexual identities through counseling and therapy. In most cases, families
could persuade a loved one to reconsider their sexual stand due to the religion
of the family. In this particular case, the families that believe in the
Christianity religion usually attempt helping their loved one overcome their
sexual orientation issues.

            Religion has a powerful influence on
the determination of one’s sexual identity. Parents can play a major role when
it comes to the determination of their children’s sexual orientation (Nadal
78). The parents could always influence the orientation of their children based
on the beliefs of their religion. Religion usually impacts on the sexual
identity of every person because of the position that it has regarding
homosexuality. A research study carried out resulted in findings, which
suggested that people who originate from the Jewish society have a powerful
attitude against homosexuality than people from other communities. The Jewish
community powerfully opposes same-sex marriage and activities that relate to
same-sex acts. Their powerful opposing could lead them to report the people who
associate themselves with the same-sex acts and marriage. Since most countries
that are Jewish consider homosexuality an offense, a Jewish person reporting
such people would severe punishment for their actions.

Jewish community is in contrast to other people who come from conservative
families. The research indicated that people from traditional families did not
powerfully disagree with same-sex acts. The people from conservative families
were reported to be less interested in the activities of other people
irrespective of their sexual identities. The people from traditional homes
share the same ideas as the Protestant people who are usually Christians. Even
though they might consider these practices to be sinful, they often do not
control the activities of other people but might offer advice to the interested
parties. The Jewish heritage is strict regarding homosexuality, which is
regarded as a severe offense in the countries that embrace the Jewish culture.

            Despite homosexuality being
considered a sin in the Christian religion, some Christian religious groups
have come out to offer their support to the people of lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender identities. The religious groups have offered their support to
the LGBT people in an attempt to understand their personal experiences. The
religious organizations like the Unitarian Universalist Association, Unites
Church of Christ, United Church of Canada and much more have explained their
actions as understanding the sinful people whom they would like to return to
being God’s children. Due to this, religion has been widely regarded as an
impactful factor in sexual orientation.


influence has had a significant impact on the sexual orientation of a person.

It is an experience that is similar to those that people of the lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender identity go through in their everyday life (Felson
1). The first-generation immigrants of Filipino Americans usually face
different challenges regarding revealing their sexual orientation to the
public. It is an experience that is similar to the one that the black community
undergoes in the United States. Despite the same experiences that both the
communities go through regarding “coming out,” they are faced with different
factors that relate to their sexual identity revealing.

first generation of immigrants of the Filipino American community preferred to
keep their reputation intact instated of revealing their sexual identities to
the public. They often had a problem putting their reputation on the line with
the discovery of their sexual identity. They believe that success in the United
States is achieved with a clean image and reputation.

 The second-generation immigrants of the
Filipino Americans, however, do not have such problem of revealing their sexual
orientation to the public. They would rather reveal their identity to the
public, instead of keeping it a secret. It is a different scenario with the
people from the black community who often find it a challenge in telling the
public about their sexual orientation. Coming out is one of the issues that
affect people with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender identity (Felson 1).

The people from the black community often fear the discrimination that they
might expose themselves to by revealing their sexual identity. Other than
discrimination, the people from the black community are usually faced with many
challenges that different people from various backgrounds regarding their
sexualities. Violence is one severe issue that people with LGBT identities
often undergo when talking about their sexual orientation. The LGBT members of
the black community have been exposed to physical violence due to racial
discrimination. Members of the black community are exposed to a host of
barriers due to the color of their skin. It is an ethnic injustice that they
are usually exposed to when justifying their sexuality.


            People of lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender identities are faced with many challenges due to their
sexuality. Religion is the crucial factor that influences many people to either
change or reconsider their sexual orientation. The parents usually play a
crucial role in ensuring their children reconsider their sexual orientation
depending on their religion. The Filipino Americans have supported same-sex
acts since their existence in the United States. Many Filipino Americans are
not influenced by their religion when it comes to defending the legality of
same-sex marriage. Despite them being mostly Catholics, they still support
same-sex acts and uphold the idea of sexual identity equality.

            Many incidents require there to be
an enforcement of LGBT education among the youth and elderly alike. Preventive
measures are required at basic school level that cater to casual bullying
incidents. Verbal bullying is excessively common for Filipino LGBT students,
and teachers will require intervention as well. To some extent, families and
schools are central to the quality of life of the young and developing queer
community in the US. Despite the teachings of the Christian religion being
against homosexuality, some religious groups have come out to offer guidance
and support to the people of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

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