Malaya : ma · la · ya : free or freedom

The Malaya Project came to fruition in March 2011 at the height of political uncertainty for many gay, lesbian, transgender and queer individuals in the United States.  In the same year, photographer Deney Tuazon and filmmaker Gregory Pacificar came together to work with Barangay Los Angeles to understand the specific concerns of the Filipino LGBTQ community.  What became apparent was the lack of visibility, acknowledgement and voices of strong LGBTQ Filipinos amongst the greater Fil-Am communities.  The two artists delved further in researching access and availability to LGBTQ Filipino stories, only to discover there was a clear void of positive imagery and shared stories.

This alarming concern propelled the two artists to take an active role in addressing the dilemma. Deney Tuazon, having spent years in photography and Gregory Pacificar working as a filmmaker and documentarian, combined their talent to create The Malaya Project.

The Malaya Project is an ongoing photography series that highlights the lives of proud gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer Filipino/as.  With the technique and style of Tuazon’s photography and Pacificar’s background in film, the two have found a way to capture the lives and stories about pride, culture and family in a series of still images and written words.  The goal of the project is simple, it is to give the community the power to share their stories and to make it accessible to all communities.

Fiscal Sponsor:

FilAm ARTS, is a multi-disciplinary community arts organization whose mission is to advance the understanding of the arts and diverse cultural heritage of Filipinos in the United States. With three public programs- the Annual Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture, the statewide Pilipino Artists Networkm and the arts education program, Eskuwela Kultura, FilAm ARTS' organizational purpose is to engage diverse peoples in cultural arts as a synergistic approach to individual and community self-determination and empowerment.

Community Partner:


Barangay Los Angeles is dedicated to providing a supportive environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning Filipinos; to meet and discuss concerns relevant to being Filipino and LGBTQ; to foster positive self-esteem; and to advocate on behalf of its members and the LGBTQ community of Los Angeles www.BarangayLA.org