In celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Metro Manila Pride March, LGBTs and allies are invited to come together and advance the call for love right in one of the bastions of Philippine freedom: the Luneta Park. Participants will be assembling at the Lapu-Lapu Monument, also known as the Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom, in the afternoon of June 27, 2015.
With the theme “Fight For Love: Iba-Iba. Sama-Sama,” the nation is reminded that the fight for LGBT rights as Filipino rights as human rights is deeply rooted on caring for persons at the core of the struggle. It is a call for the Philippines to recognize the voices of the LGBT people – boisterous with pride and strong with equal rights activism.
A Fight For Love
The annual Metro Manila Pride march has served not only as an avenue for inspiration and empowerment for generations of LGBT persons but it has also been a platform for visually communicating the growing LGBT community in the country and for advocating the issues and concerns that impact the members of this community.
“All these issues that impact our rights and daily lives require a response from all sectors,” said Red Macalalad, Head of Task Force Pride PH 2015. “And in line with last year’s theme, Come Out For love, this year we shift the focus into a discourse on how we can –
Expand the dialogue on LGBT rights and how to create safe spaces for LGBT people in their local communities;
Provide our non-LGBT allies an avenue to voice their support for the community and the equal rights advocacy; and,
Encourage and highlight local efforts to address discrimination in schools, communities, and businesses who do their own contribution in creating safe spaces for LGBT people through their internal anti-discrimination policies.”
Deeply Rooted in History
First held in June 1994 at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon, the Metro Manila Pride March is the first of its kind in the whole of Asia. Pride events in various countries are held annually in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, a significant moment in modern LGBT social movement.
The Metro Manila Pride March was eventually moved to December in 2003 to coincide with other key dates in the LGBT calendar: World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), National Lesbian Day (Dec. 8), and International Human Rights Day (Dec. 10). The Pride March then became Pride Season, a six-month long celebration of pride and diversity.
This year, 2015, the March sees a return to its roots as the date is moved back to June, to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots and join the global call for reminding the people around us about our plight – that LGBT rights are Filipino rights are human rights. While the rest of the developing world has had a lot of laws and ordinances in place for equal protection of its LGBT people, the Philippines has been lagging behind, with not even an Anti-Discrimination Law set in place.
As individuals we can only do so much but with a united front, we believe we can help push our government to recognize us as part of its people, worthy of the same benefits and rights.
“We understand that as individuals we can only do so much but with a united front, we believe we can help push our government to recognize us as part of its people, worthy of the same benefits and rights granted to our heterosexual counterparts,” said Loreen Ordoño, Task Force Pride PH 2015 Communications Head.
A Day of Freedom and Love
Task Force Pride, the official convener of the of the annual community-driven Metro Manila Pride Season, expects an attendance of 2000 participants this year. The crowd will consist of LGBT individuals, organizations, students, CSO representatives, professionals, government officials, and other friends.
Aside from the main Metro Manila Pride March, there will be a Pride Fest Street Fair, an open marketplace where LGBT-owned, LGBT-themed, and LGBT-friendly businesses will be selling various merchandise, and a Post-Pride Program for inspiring solidarity messages and performances.
Together in Arms
Filipino LGBT human rights is everyone’s concern. If you believe in the recognition, promotion, and fulfillment of everyone’s rights—join the Fight for Love.