HomeFEU Communication Journalvol. 5 no. 1 (2009)

Mariposa sa Likod ng Rehas: Coping Mechanisms of Homosexual Inmates

Joeven R. Castro | Charisse A. Concepcion | Katherine V. Imson | Lovely Rose A. Magdayao | Luis G. Recto | Jorelle Frank D. Robles | Rove Tan

Discipline: Sociology, Sexuality, Gender Studies



Double jeopardy besets some members of the minority gender: discrimination due to their gender preference and their dismal experiences while in prison.


This paper tackles the coping mechanisms of homosexual inmates from the inhumane treatment inflicted by some male inmates. For these homosexual inmates, survival in prison means keeping silent, submission to the whims of their kakosa (male inmates), prayer, affiliation with gangs, and homosexual “marriage” for protection.


Their voices remain unheard because of the absence of responsive help desks that should stop or prevent physical and sexual abuses. As a muted group, their communication and social transactions are highly limited by their self-concept and the perception, language, and culture that male inmates impelled them to obey. In effect, they are like “mariposa sa likod ng rehas” (butterflies behind bars). They satisfy the needs of others but not necessarily their own.