Gay and Lesbian Activist Network for Gender Equality (GALANG), Philippines
The Gay and Lesbian Activist Network for Gender Equality (GALANG) was founded by a small group of lesbian feminist activists in the vast metropolis of Manilla, Philippines, in 2008. In the mainly Catholic society of the Philippines, homosexuality is looked upon as unnatural and immoral, and lesbians and bisexual women face isolation and discrimination. GALANG works to raise the self-esteem of mainly young, low-income lesbian and bisexual women, as well as transgender people from the slums of Manilla and educates them about discrimination, their human rights and leadership. (watch video)
‘Many lesbians live in poverty and isolation’, says Anne Lim, one of the founders of GALANG. ‘They don‘t get an education and have no access to health care and in order to survive they often have to turn to criminal acts.’ Through GALANG the women learn nothing is wrong with their sexual preferences. In order to raise self-confidence GALANG creates educational materials, like a comic book, starring Pamboy, a contemporary heroine who has lesbian feelings.
GALANG supports the women to set up their own local organisations. Anne Lim: ‘In the coming years we want to train fifteen young women, so they are able to mobilise more lesbians to create local groups in their own districts.’ The organisation is also working together with politicians, human rights organisations and educational institutions to push for policies and services supporting lesbian and bisexual women and transgender people.
GALANG received grants from Mama Cash in 2008, 2009 en 2011.