Brothers, Lovers, and Revolution: Negotiating Military Masculinity and Homosexual Identity in a Revolutionary Movement in the Philippines


Alburo, Kaira Zoe K. 2011. "Brothers, Lovers, and Revolution: Negotiating Military Masculinity and Homosexual Identity in a Revolutionary Movement in the Philippines." Asia-Pacific Social Science Review 11 (2): 27-42.

Author: Kaira Zoe K. Alburo


In an attempt to contribute to theorizing military masculinity and heteronormativity, I look at a ‘queer’ event that made headlines in the Philippines in 2005: the first ‘gay marriage’ in the country officiated by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). As a Maoist inspired guerrilla movement, the NPA has waged war against the Philippine government since 1969 under the leadership of the CPP. The paper examines how the relations between masculinity, military and homosexual identities play out at different levels: ideology, institutions, subjective identities, and symbols. These elements come together and embody competing articulations about the masculine/sexual Filipino ‘revolutionary’, thus challenging heteronormative imaginaries of Philippine society. The paper concludes by demonstrating how gay cadres in the NPA negotiate their sexual identity in the context of military masculinity in the 21st century revolutionary movement.

Keywords: homosexuality, military masculinities, Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army, Philippines

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, LGBTQ, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Sexuality Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2011

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at