Nowadays it’s easy to give your two cents worth. Post your views on social media and feel validated with every like, comment, and share.
I’ve always been more comfortable sitting behind a computer screen but a couple of years ago I read a quote once that stuck to me like glue:
It went, “Here’s the rule, the airtight rule. Criticize somebody precisely in the measure that you are willing to help him or her deal with the problem you’re raising.’
It was then that I asked myself, I’ve been an avid supporter and defender of LBGT rights in the circles wherein I exist but have I ever really given any thought to how else I could contribute?
So in choosing to volunteer for Metro Manila Pride I would love to say that a unicorn had descended from the heavens, galloped atop a rainbow and bestowed me with a sudden burst of altruism but the simple truth was that like Ariel in the Little Mermaid I just wanted more.
During my very first meeting my skittish introvert heart was beating the salsa against my chest. I was both enamored by the passion of the people around me and unsure that I would be able to contribute anything substantial. They had been part of the community for years, had gone through endless events and activities and I was a newbie. A corporate barbie that knew nothing about this world. I would be more of a liability than an asset.
I learned quickly that wasn’t the case.
A marketer by trade I signed up for the Communications and Campaign committee and it was a natural fit. I was able to use my work experience for writing press releases, charming people into purchasing merchandise and setting up during both the pocket events and the march itself.
My personal favorite was live tweeting my very first Pride March. It’s an obvious strategy by now but my shy 16 year old self would never have though that her beloved online platforms would one day contribute to a worthy cause.
In choosing to volunteer for Metro Manila Pride I would love to say that a unicorn had descended from the heavens, galloped atop a rainbow and bestowed me with a sudden burst of altruism but the simple truth was that like Ariel in the Little Mermaid I just wanted more.
Although I was using the Metro Manila Pride account I felt like with every tweet and photo I was infecting the world with my joy and wonder.
It’s miniscule. It could never compare to the decades of people who had fought the good rainbow fight. But it was my contribution and while it wasn’t a lot, it was important.
It’s cheesy AF but seeing everyone come together under one colorful and love filled banner is a moving, heartwarming and something that I wish my younger self had experienced.
Volunteering doesn’t just mean hiding behind a phone or a laptop of course. There are different committees for different interests and skill sets. If the committee you’re placed in isn’t a good fit for you, the organizers will let you switch because they’re amazing like that.
In true Buzzfeed style here are ten reasons why those of you who are volunteering for Metro Manila Pride just made the best decision of your life:
1. Rainbows will follow you everywhere you go and you’ll almost get sick of it
2. Until you remember what it represents.
3. You get to do what you love – whether it’s writing, drawing, tweeting or organizing activities – for a cause that you love.
4. You’ll also discover new talents you never knew you had.
5. You get to make a difference while looking fabulous!
6. Did I mention that if you wanted you get to wear tutus and fairy wings?
7. You get to meet LGBT people from different backgrounds, different SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression) and allies too!
8. They’ll change the way you see the world.
9. Which will make you feel proud of yourself and the LGBT community
Experience with Volunteering for Metro Manila Pride
10. These people will become your friends and you will love them forever.
BONUS REASON: Your future self will thank you for it.
Fats Roxas is an out and proud lesbian and an outspoken advocate of LGBT and women rights. A self-proclaimed corporate barbie who spends her free time discussing and deconstructing pop culture, she is part of a large community of unpublished and independent writers focusing on transformative works.