MANILA, Philippines – Pride is a protest. Pride is resistance.
On June 29 at the Marikina Sports Center, the LGBTQ+ community and allies will march the streets not just to celebrate, but to resist together the injustices the community continues to face.
This year’s localized Pride theme #ResistTogether aims to highlight the rootedness of Pride in protest, particularly the 1969 Stonewall Riots – a series of demonstrations against the police crackdown on a gay bar in New York City. The festival also seeks to amplify the clamor against the oppression of the vulnerable.
“It is a place to express dissent against injustice and oppression; a chance for us to uphold our human rights and that of other minorities,” official organizer Metro Manila Pride wrote on their Facebook event page.
Dubbed the most colorful festival of the year, the Metro Manila Pride March and Festival is a space for the LGBTQ+ to celebrate and empower their community. Participants wave their rainbow banners, and raise – even wear – the flags symbolizing their truths. In 2018, the Metro Manila Pride drew 25,000 participants, making it the biggest Pride demonstration in Southeast Asia.
But Pride goes beyond the colorful celebration; Pride, above all, is standing in solidarity against gender-related discrimination and violence.
Despite ranking as the 10th most LGBTQ-friendly country in the world, the Philippines – the Filipino LBGTQ+ community believes – has still yet to become a genuinely gender-inclusive country. Discrimination is still rampant at home, in the workplace, and in public spaces. (READ: 'Tolerated, but not accepted': Filipino LGBTQ+ speak up vs discrimination)
Meanwhile, the SOGIE Equality Bill – which protects any person from discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression – languished in the Senate two years after it was passed by the House of Representatives in 2017. The bill, which was first drafted 19 years ago, now goes back to square one and will have to be refiled as the 17th Congress puts it under archives.
“Arms linked, we resist the roll back of human rights: not just the delay of the SOGIE equality bill, but all injustices against Filipino minorities,” said Metro Manila Pride.
Rappler is one of the official media partners of Metro Manila Pride. – Rappler.com