Academic, professional, and advocacy institutions joined forces to establish the University of the Philippines (UP) Rainbow Research Hub that aims for better and more LGBTQI scholarship and research.
Supported by the UP Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, the collaborating institutions: the UP School of Statistics, the UP Diliman Office for the Advancement of Teaching, the Psychological Association of the Philippines-LGBT Psychology Special Interest Group, and Babaylanes Inc., launched the hub on June 30, 2023 at the UP Diliman University Theater Lobby.
The hub is currently headed by Asst. Prof. Xavier Javines Bilon of the UP School of Statistics. Introducing the hub during its launch, he said it was a response to a demand for LGBTQI research, apparent during a 2021 webinar for students and academics on doing LGBTQI research.
“Our goal at the UP Rainbow Research hub is to make a difference for the LGBTQI community in the Philippines through better LGBTQI scholarship and research,” Bilon said. “We achieve this by supporting students’ access to knowledge and expanding educators’ arsenal of teaching materials through our accessible open educational resources in doing LGBTQI research.”
In her closing remarks, Director Marby Villaceran of the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies said: “By generating reliable data and empirical evidence, researchers can challenge discriminatory narratives and provide a more accurate understanding of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.”
According to Bilon, the hub currently features six video lectures and four journal articles covering topics from methodological challenges to ethical and practical considerations of studying LGBTQI lives and issues. “We cover the basics, such as introduction to basic concepts in gender and sexuality, and the more advanced topics, like intersectionality,” Bilon added. They can be accessed freely at rainbowresearchhub.up.edu.ph.
The launch was attended by more than 50 guests, University officials, academics, students, and members of civil society organizations, from the different CUs of UP, other universities in the country, and other development partners.
Guests were welcomed by UP Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria Theresa Payongayong and UP Diliman Chancellor Edgardo Carlo Vistan. Messages of solidarity were delivered by: Dean Joseph Ryan Lansangan of the UP School of Statistics; Former Director Jose Antonio Clemente of the UP Diliman Office for the Advancement of Teaching; Co-Chair Beatriz Torre of the Psychological Association of the Philippines LGBT Psychology Special Interest Group; and, Babaylanes Inc. Executive Director Jap Ignacio. Responses were given by representatives of partner institutions: Michael Tiu Jr. of the UP College of Law Gender Law and Policy Program, and Julia Labao of UP Babaylan.
Beauty queen Nicole Cordoves was the master of ceremonies.