Manalastas, who represents PAP on the INET, and
University of the Philippines graduate student Beatriz Torre
launched a number of actions, including:
• Influential statements: Manalastas worked with PAP
leaders to craft two statements related to LGBT issues: a
policy statement on the importance of not discriminating
against LGBT people, and a statement on the harmfulness
of sexual orientation change therapy.
• Workshops: In partnership with the country’s
Department of Education, PAP launched LGBT-education
workshops for public school guidance counselors. The
association also created training for trainers, who agreed to
conduct at least two sessions of “LGBT Psychology 101” in
their universities or elsewhere within six months. • A special journal issue: The Philippine Journal of
Psychology accepted Manalastas’s proposal for a special issue
on LGBT issues in psychology, which he then guest edited.
The issue was completed two months earlier than usual so it
could be disseminated at the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) Regional Union of Psychological Societies,
which will hold its fourth congress in conjunction with
PAP’s 50th annual convention in October.
• Media outreach: PAP has partnered with various
Philippine media outlets and has an ongoing popular
psychology column in one of the country’s largest online
newspapers. Several of those pieces have been LGBT-related.
• Travel funds for presenters: PAP will provide travel
assistance so presenters can attend the ASEAN/PAP meeting
in October, to ensure that LGBT issues are well-represented
in the program and to facilitate regional networking for
psychologists interested in LGBT issues, Manalastas says.
Encouraging new research and using the accumulated
research on LGBTI health and well-being in such specific,
concrete and positive ways marks hopeful progress for
LGBTI rights worldwide, APA’s Anderson adds.
“Psychology and psychological organizations are only
one element in society, but they have a unique role to play
in helping to establish that the human rights of LGBTI
people are important, that there is no justification for
denying them those rights, and that increased protection
of LGBTI people’s rights will benefit all of society,” he says.
“APA has had a unique and beneficial role in this process in
the United States, and I am confident that the psychological
organizations in INET have great potential to play such a
role in their countries and regions, as well.” n
Tori DeAngelis is a writer in Syracuse, N. Y.
For more information on APA’s work to foster
LGBT rights worldwide, go to www.apa.org/pi/
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