According to a 2013 study by Pew Research Center, most Filipinos believe homosexuality should be accepted (more specifically 73 percent). Although four out of five Filipinos are Catholic, they are highly tolerant of homosexual and transsexual individuals.

Manila: A Heart of Tolerance

Manila is the core of tolerance and acceptance, with pride marches taking place there practically every year. The most successful Metro Manila Pride March to date has been 2018’s #RiseUpTogether, which attracted more than 20,000 attendees. It took place on June 30, starting at Marikina Sports Center.

The 21st Metro Manila Pride March took place in 2015 with the theme “Fight For Love”. It was the first of many marches that transgender singles in Manila would literally flock to. Around 2,000 people took part in the event, which was held on July 25. The theme of the march in the following year was “Let Love In”, which pushed through despite the tragic Orlando Nightclub Shooting that had occurred recently.

In 2017, the LGBTI community organized #HereTogether. They gathered to begin the march at Plaza de los Alcaldes, Marikina on June 24.

A Bright Future for Transsexuals in Manila?

According to the research cited above, Filipinos are much more tolerant of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community than citizens of other countries that were part of the survey, like China, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. A relatively high number of members of this community are now holding government positions in the Phillipines. Non-stereotypical depictions of transgender persons in the media are increasing as well.

However, not everything is as great as we could hope for. Members of the transgender community are still at a disadvantage in a number of ways. A bill prohibiting discrimination against community members is still waiting to be passed and same-sex marriage is still illegal. On the plus side, the country does not criminalize homosexuality, unlike many other Catholic countries.

Trans-Friendly Places in Manila

If you want to learn more about the trans community while in Manila, one place you should definitely visit is Pineapple Lab. It’s a great place to enrich one’s cultural and artistic knowledge. Pineapple Lab hosts exhibitions and performances by Filipino as well as international LGBTI artists and performers. This hub hosts visual art galleries, monthly events, workshops, performances, and gatherings for locals and tourists who are either experts in art or have an interest in it. It is located in Makati City at the center of Barangay Poblacion.

Another laid-back, casual place you can go to is the Boho Sarapsody Bistro, a house converted to a tambayan rose located in Cubao. A lot of members of the LGBT community come here to eat, drink, socialize, meet new people, enjoy live acoustic music, or just relax.