Bruce Amoroto was born in October, 1978, and was named after Bruce Lee. He grew up with his maternal relatives who were Roman Catholic but cannot even be considered “Sunday Catholics”. His grandparents read the Bible but also practiced numerology, astrology, and as farmers, followed the cycles of the moon. His mother worked hard to send him and his two sisters to Catholic schools. Early on Bruce knew that he was “different” being interested in answering big existential questions, and playing with the girls rather than with the boys although his same-sex attraction came later in his teens. While in his high school sophomore year, he became very interested in the teachings of the Buddha. His childhood experience of sexual-physical abuse and trauma, and his family’s unconventional spirituality would later on significantly define his faith and his work on human suffering, justice, and human rights.
At primary and secondary school, Bruce was introduced to the Catholic social justice mission, charity, and the Filipino Christian piety. Then, while taking Philosophy and Political Science classes at the University of the Philippines, there was a brief moment of exploring atheism and agnosticism. After university and while at his first non-profit work, he settled with the belief that there is a Higher Power though not limiting it to the male Christian God. Around this time he had also fully embraced his sexuality, started coming out, and became interested in Western and Chinese astrology and numerology. As a campaigner at Freedom from Debt Coalition he worked with atheist-socialist community organizers, and progressive lay and ordained Christians who were also staunch socio-economic justice advocates. Coinciding with his coming out, he also became involved in Pride march organizing, and lobbying for equality and LGBT human rights. At the time, he was critical of the relationship between religious dogma and LGBTIQ suffering, but also worked with the nascent but growing religious Filipino LGBTIQ community especially the members of the Metropolitan Community Church (which was introduced to the Philippines by Fr. Richard Mickley). Bruce was also witness to the pioneering work of the first transpinay organization, the Society of Trans Women of the Philippines (STRAP), having attended their first ‘Transgender Day of Remembrance’ which was hosted by the Order of St. Aelred in Quezon City. He also became part of the international LGBT sporting movement as founder and coordinator of Philippine Forum on Sports, Culture, Sexuality and Human Rights (TEAM PILIPINAS), and as board member for the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA International) and GLISA Asia Pacific. Since 2000, he continues to work with non-religious and faith-based communities around the issues of development, peace, human rights, and climate justice in Asia and globally.
Even though he was baptized Roman Catholic, Bruce describes himself not as religious but rather as a “spiritual” person whose practices include daily meditations, astrology, and tarot-oracle card readings. While fighting strongly for justice and development, he also believes that nothing is an accident and that everyone and everything is part of the wisdom, loving-kindness and timing of the Divine/God/Source/Universe. He has a masters degree in Human Rights and Democratisation, and is currently aiming for Ph.D. studies with an interest in further investigating ‘cultural violence’ and how decolonized queer liberative faith may potentially be mobilized for social justice and human rights. He has peer-reviewed articles on neoliberalism and the structural violation of the right to food, and on the systemic-structural-cultural violence against LGBTIQs.
(This biographical statement written by Bruce Amoroto.)
Biography Date: September 2022
Catholic (Roman) | Gay Spirituality | International Human Rights | Trans activism | Philippines | Mickley, Richard
“Bruce Amoroto | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed November 30, 2022, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/bruce-amoroto.