Jackie Forster (6 November 1926 – 10 October 1998) She was a prominent activist and a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Her life and work left an indelible mark on the LGBTQ+ community in the Philippines.
Life & Career
Jackie Forster was born into a family in Manila, Philippines. She grew up in a society where being openly LGBTQ+ was not widely accepted, but this did not deter her from embracing her true identity. From an early age, she demonstrated courage and a commitment to living authentically. Forster became an actress and joined the Wilson Barrett Repertory Company in Edinburgh before moving to London in 1950. She attended the Arts Theatre Club and was in various West End productions and films before developing a successful career as a TV presenter and news reporter under the name of Jacqueline MacKenzie.
Jackie Forster was one of the first openly lesbian individuals in the Philippines to use her platform to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ issues. She used her voice and visibility to challenge stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community.
During her life, she was active in LGBTQ+ organizations, participating in pride marches and events that aimed to promote equality and acceptance. Her courage in the face of societal norms helped pave the way for greater LGBTQ+ visibility and acceptance in the Philippines.
Legacy and Awards
Jackie Forster’s legacy lives on through her contributions to the LGBTQ+ community. Her advocacy and the visibility she brought to LGBTQ+ issues in the Philippines continue to inspire others. She played a significant role in fostering greater understanding and acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals and issues in a society that was often unwelcoming. In 1972 Forster was one of the founders of Sappho, which was a social group and one of the UK’s longest-running lesbian publications (Sappho magazine was published from 1972 to 1981, although the group continued to meet regularly for many more years).
Although she may not have received formal awards, her work as an activist is immeasurable in its impact. Jackie Forster’s dedication to LGBTQ+ rights is celebrated and remembered by those she inspired and supported.
While Jackie Forster may not have authored traditional written works, her life and activism are her most notable works. Her courage, visibility, and commitment to LGBTQ+ rights were a beacon of hope for many in the Philippines, and her legacy continues to inspire future generations of LGBTQ+ activists.
Jackie Forster’s advocacy and her willingness to be open about her identity made her a pivotal figure in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the Philippines.