WP 4


Digital and Literary Productions of
Cultures of Equality among LGBTQ Young People in the Philippines




Drawing from feminist and queer insights about the conditions of possibility for making life both livable and lovable, WP4 explores the ways that digital literacies and creative writing can be used to disclose forms of discrimination and stigma that LGBTQ young people face in the Philippines, and the personal consequences of discrimination on mental health and wellbeing. The aim is to create new opportunities and prospects for bringing together and mobilising such practices more effectively across class and generation to enable a shift from public cultures of tolerance to that of rights and recognition. 



Lead Academic Investigator

J. Neil C. Garcia teaches creative writing and comparative literature at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, where he serves as Director of the university press and a Fellow for Poetry in the Institute of Creative Writing. He is the author of numerous poetry collections and works in literary and cultural criticism. Between 1994 and 2014, he coedited the famous Ladlad series of Philippine gay writing. Other important anthologies that he edited are Aura: the Gay Theme in Philippine Fiction in English, published in 2012, and Bright Sign, Bright Age: Critical Essays in Philippines Studies, published in 2017. He is the director for the Philippines of Project GlobalGRACE: Global Gender and Cultures of Equality, a world-wide research and arts consortium sponsored by the Research Councils of the United Kingdom and Goldsmiths, University of London. He is currently at work on “Likha,” his seventh poetry book.


NGO Research Head

Kate Ramil has over 10 years of experience in the fields of Gender and Development, Youth Leadership, Human Rights and Higher Education. She is the NGO Research Coordinator for the Global GRACE Project in the Philippines.  Currently, she serves as the President of Erasmus Mundus Southeast Asia Chapter and a Lecturer at De La Salle University-Manila. Previously, she served as a Legal Researcher at the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB), and as a Senior Programme Manager at SPARK Philippines. She was a recipient of the European Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies (GEMMA). She was also a fellow of the UNESCO Chair and Institute of Comparative Human Rights, and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) Young Women’s Leadership Institute (now FRIDA).

Mark Johnson is currently PG Research Convenor and is Principal Investigator of the following research projects: The AHRC Curating Development project (2016-2018) investigates Filipino migrants’ contribution to development; the British Academy project, Big Data, Live Methods and Surveillance Subjectivities (2016-2018) explores perceptions and experiences of surveillance among Filipino and British transnationals in Hong Kong; and the RCUK GCRF GlobalGRACE (Global Gender and Cultures of Equality, 2017-2021) project investigates the production of cultures of equality in fragile contecs across the world. He was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Anthropology at Stockholm University, Autumn 2014, funded by the Forum for Asian Studies and was Visiting Professor in the Graduate School of Space and Gender, Universities of Gottinge-Kassel in April, 2011. He is the chair of the expert advisory committee for the EU funded GRACE (Genders and Cultures of Equality in Europe) project, based at the University of Hull, and is a member of the editorial boards of American Ethnologist, Sociological Review, East Asian Research.


PG Research Convener

Timothy F. Ong is Assistant Professor at the Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of the Philippines-Diliman. He graduated with the MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from Ateneo de Manila University. In 2014, he was awarded the Asian Graduate Student Fellowship from the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore for his research on the tropics of eroticism in travel literatures in Southeast Asia. He is co-editor of Látag: Essays on Philippine Literature, Culture, and the Environment published by Likhaan: UP Institute of Creative Writing in 2019. His research interests include tropical studies, postcolonial ecocriticism, folk literatures, and Philippine literatures. He is the coordinator of the 2nd GlobalGRACE-UP National LGBTQ Writers Workshop.

2nd NWW Coordinator


The Writers Workshops



WP 4 uses creative writing workshops to engage with LGBTQ identified writers and young people in the Philippines and explore their subjectivities and the intersecting forms of inequality they experience.  We ask:


  1. How might creative writing enable LGBTQ people to talk about and transfigure their subjective experiences of the world?

  2. What does/ might equality and well-being look and feel like to LGBTQ people in the Philippines?

  3. When and where do LGBTQ people feel dis/empowered? How does ethnicity, disability/illness, age and religion affect these feelings?

  4. How can creative writing enable new ways of talking about and pressing for rights and recognition?

  1. To build research capacity and capabilities of interdisciplinary, feminist and queer researchers.

  2. To create new collaborative partnerships between academics, NGOs, writers, educators and the public in the Philippines with regards to LGBTQ rights and well-being.

  3. To create a research space wherein LGBTQ people feel safe and enabled to narrate and convey their varied experiences of intersecting inequalities and resultant impacts on their wellbeing.

  4. To use creative writing and spoken word to elicit the relationships between LGBTQ people’s everyday lives, intersecting inequalities and existing practices and strategies that challenge such inequalities.

  5. To build pathways to impact and enable the sharing of creative and critical cultural competencies focused especially on literary production of cultures of equality within and across GG work packages.



  • Production of a digital archive of LGBTQ texts in English and Pilipino

  • Documentation and recording of workshops, publicly available in an edited form

  • End of project workshop for educators focused on ways to integrate gender and sexuality sensitivity training within the creative writing curriculums

  • Contribution to Global Museum of Equality & the GlobalGRACE online course

  • ECR contribution to NGO research methods toolkit

  • Sole and co-authored academic publications