TRACING OUR ROOTS
Founded in August 1992, UP Babaylan is sui generis - in a class of its own - in the history of the University. Its membership is composed of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. The diversity of its membership is accounted for by the fact that its members come from almost every college in the UP System's flagship campus. Chapters were also established in UP Manila and UP Los Baños.
UP Babaylan is officially recognized by university authorities. It has been awarded a tambayan in the West Wing of Palma Hall. The organization maintains a high profile in the campus scene. As a matter of fact, a former president of the organization was elected University Student Council chairperson in 1997, running avowedly as gay under the aegis of the organization.
The organization is also a member of the Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network (LAGABLAB), an umbrella organization of gay and lesbian groups, which pursues lobbying efforts for relevant laws concerning the community.
UP Babaylan has established its niche among the students of the University if the number of invitations to speak in symposia, conferences, and classroom discussions is any indication. This is not confined to UP alone. Other schools in Metropolitan Manila have invited the organization's members to speak before students. They are also invited as panelists and resource persons in television and radio programs as well as featured in various publications.
SETTING OUR GOALS
The University of the Philippines Babaylan is the leading gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students' support group in all the campuses of the State University, at the same time maintaining national and international linkages and presence.
The organization's views are heard on major issues confronting the nation, particularly as they affect the lives of Filipino lesbians and gays. It helps empower the latter by educating them on their rights as members of society, concomitantly teaching them how to effectively assert the exercise of these rights.
CLOSING OUR RANKS
UP Babaylan was established to consolidate the LGBT community in the University of the Philippines for the effective advocacy of our rights both in the University and in the national sphere.
Towards this end, the organization aims to forge unity among LGBT students and faculty. We believe that unity within the community is crucial if we are to be heard on issues affecting us. Having been marginalized for so long, we recognize the need to consolidate ourselves into a vocal and potent force for the protection and advancement of LGBT rights.
We believe in the inherent equality of all persons regardless of status or condition. For the organization, this inherent equality implies that human beings should not be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
MAKING THE DECISIONS
The General Assembly, composed of all resident members of the organization, is the highest policy-making body of the organization. In between meetings of the General Assembly, the Executive Committee, composed of all officers and heads of committees, handles the day-to-day activities of the organization.
UP Babaylan is headed by a Punong Babaylan (President). There is a Pangalawang Punong Babaylan (Vice-President), a Kalihim (Secretary), and an Ingat-Yaman (Treasurer). Its various activities are handled by several standing committees.
List of officers and members here.
In pursuit of its goals as a support and advocacy groups, UP Babaylan undertakes a number of activities, to wit:
- Support services for lesbian and gay students;
- Conferences, symposia, and group discussions on lesbian and gay issues;
- Lesbian and gay rights advocacy and lobbying;
- Gender sensitivity workshops (GSW's); and
- Networking with national and international LGBT organizations.