After coming out, is the world outside the closet ever a safe place for you?
As the world celebrates Pride Month this June, Task Force Pride (TFP) asks this not only to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Questioning (LGBTIQ) Filipinos, but also to other citizens experiencing inequality every day.
TFP, a collective group of advocates from different LGBTIQ organizations, has been spearheading Metro Manila Pride since 1994. A first in Asia, it is an event that celebrates the existence of and fights for the rights of LGBTIQ Filipinos. This June 27, 2015, the 21st anniversary of this celebration will be held in Luneta Park with the theme, “#FightForLove: Iba-Iba. Sama-Sama.”
Creating a safe space
Inspired by last year’s theme, “Come Out for Love Kasi Pag-ibig Pa Rin”, TFP urges those who “came out” and people around them to think about the next step: fighting for the love they came out for in order to have a safe place to work, to live, and to be themselves.
#FightForLove wants to showcase acts of resistance that create safe spaces, not just for the LGBTIQ community, but for people deprived of common human rights for all reasons — be it sex, gender, color, race, religion, political opinion, social class, or something else entirely. TFP’s Partnerships Head Red Macalalad cites examples of these so-called acts of resistance, mentioning schools with inclusive policies for LGBTIQ students, family members who support their LGBTIQ loved ones, and organizations and companies that already practice equality within the workplace despite the government’s refusal to approve the Anti-Discrimination Law. These are just a few examples of acts of resistance that different Filipinos can practice in order to promote equality and remove discrimination.
Macalalad says that this year’s pride march will not just focus on the annual march itself, but also on the campaign’s impact on other LGBTIQ communities around the Philippines. With the emergence of numerous other pride councils and marches in the country, TFP wants to inspire these smaller groups to make and strengthen their own campaigns as a form of continuing and spreading MMP’s fight for love.
#FightForLove in Luneta
From Malate to Quezon City, TFP has assembled a lineup of activities for the month of June. The annual Pride March shall start alongside two of the greatest heroes in Philippine history, in Luneta Park. Marchers are to assemble on June 27, 2015 at 3 pm right beside the statue of our first hero, Lapu-Lapu, and will make their way around Taft and Roxas Boulevard. The specific route is still being decided by TFP as of press time.
For those who would rather avoid getting burned by the sun and are content with staying beside the heroes in Luneta during the march, the Proud Street Fair is your partner. The fair will feature multiple LGBTIQ-owned, LGBTIQ-themed, and LGBTIQ-friendly businesses selling their wares during the festivities.
After fighting for love in the streets of Manila, marchers will then be welcomed to a program that will feature performances from artists as well as solidarity speeches from different individuals and organizations.
Other pride events this June
There are several other pride events taking place this June in anticipation of the pride march. Last June 14, a fundraising event entitled IpagLOVEan featured musicians and spoken word poets. Meanwhile, on June 19, the 1st Batangas Pride March will be held at the municipal hall of Sto. Tomas, Batangas. Tomorrow, June 20, a pair of events will take place, with LoveYourself Pride Carnivale 2015, featuring the Rainbow Race, taking place at Quezon City Circle, and The Pride Party feat. Manila Luzon at O bar. On June 26, Cagayan Valley Pride will take place at the municipal hall, while the much-awaited 21st Metro Manila Pride will take place a day after, on June 27, in Luneta Park.
For further updates and announcements about the 21st Metro Manila Pride, visit their website, go to their Facebook page, or follow their Twitter account. TFP is still open to volunteers, sponsors, and donations for the success of the march. If you are interested in helping, contact them at [email protected]