Eva Callueng was born January 18, 1983 in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines to Estrelita and Melchor Callueng. Her family was deeply involved in the Catholic Church leading her to be involved at a very young age. She struggled with her sexuality when she was younger because of her connection to the church and wrestled with the church preaching about homosexuality being dirty and wrong. It wasn’t until college where she was able to realize that she was not wrong because she was happy and not hurting others.
Eva attributes a major part of her growth to her involvement in the University of Philippines Babaylan organization. UP Babaylan started in 1992, becoming the first LGBTQ+ organization in the Asian Pacific. It was created to protect the rights of homosexual men but then expanded in 1996 to include other sexual identities. Today this organization is officially recognized by university authorities and has chapters throughout the UP system.
Callueng noticed a lack of women in these spaces when she joined (in 2001) which inspired her heavy dedication to the organization. She became the first lesbian president in 2004 and organized three Pride marches during her time there. After receiving her Bachelors in Philosophy, Callueng went on to get her Masters in Philosophy of Education. She was inspired to do so in order to create more research and literacy around LGBTQ advocacy. She discovered her passion for education during this time and went on to get her Doctorate in History and Philosophy of Education and wrote her dissertation on LGBTQ+ inclusive education.
Today Eva Callueng is passionate about giving opportunities to young leaders and helping students that face discrimination in college at the hands of conservative teachers. She founded the Rainbow Catholics in the Philippines in 2017 and is the Asia Pacific Representative to the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics. She works as a college professor and works as the Chair of the Department of Professional Education at the University of the East. Dr. Callueng has also collected the stories of many different LGBTQ people in the Philippines which she then turned into a book called Buhay Bahaghari: The Filipino LGBT Chronicles in 2014.
(This biographical statement written by October Kamara from an interview with Eva Callueng.)
Activist (religious institutions) | Catholic (Roman) | Women and Religion | Manila | Philippines