Disclaimer: I am not an expert in SOGIE.
Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE)
We have had related training sessions conducted from time to time. There is a need to reach more people so that we can orient them on SOGIE. A number of people I know are still in the dark on these terminologies.
There are different terms within this module. Terms that the general population will have to learn, understand, and yes, respect. Terms like sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation. What’s a transgender (TG)? When is someone called a TG?
There are a handful of organizations doing orientations and training on SOGIE, some of these are:
- Action for Health Initiative
- TLF Share
- Association of Transgenders in the Philippines
- Ganda Filipinas
Schools and Private Organizations
More schools and private companies are encouraged to conduct these training sessions. While the above-mentioned organizations are actively conducting these trainings, we hope that more groups would take on the initiative of sharing SOGIE to their respective organizations.
School based LGBT organizations should be trained. MSM (Men who have sex with Men) clans should be oriented.
SOGIE and HIV
So what does SOGIE have to do with HIV? For those working in the HIV community, an understanding of SOGIE is required to better work with the different key affected populations. As for those who are not (in the LGBT or HIV community), it would be nice to have a good understanding of what SOGIE as we deal with different members of our community– community may mean “within the same geographical location” or “of the same interest”.
The thrust of SOGIE orientation or training is to drive for a better understanding of the entire LGBT community. It would have been ideal to call for a universal respect of the community but we are a bit far from that. Gender-based violence is prevalent in out society and recently, ACHIEVE came out with a Gender-based violence study among People living with HIV.
We are not however begging for respect. They say it’s a two-way street, respect begets respect. It is not the case for us in the LGBT community, we respect heterosexuals more than heteros respect the LGBT community. It may be because of the culture, maybe religion, maybe our education system, whatever the case may be, I think it’s important that a better understanding of SOGIE starts from the inside out.
Understanding SOGIE should start from within the LGBT and the HIV community.