GALANG Philippines and its partner lesbian, bisexual women, and transmen (LBT) organizations from the urban poor sector will proudly march the streets of Metro Manila to resonate this year’s 21st Pride March theme “Fight for Love: Iba-Iba. Sama-Sama”. More than 100 LBT individuals from GALANG and partner organizations will join the march with their friends, families, and loved ones on June 27, 2015 (Saturday) at the historic home of the heroes—Luneta Park. The assembly of thousands of marchers will be at the sentinel of freedom – Lapu Lapu Monument around 3:00 PM.
The Pride March is a safe space for the LGBT sector’s celebration of diversity, and this year’s theme was chosen to continue the fight for acceptance, love, support, and equality. GALANG Philippines as a feminist human rights organization is one with this fight, together with its four (4) partner LBT organizations, namely: Lesbian Alliance Movement (LAM): Lakas ng Kababaihan Para sa Karapatan (Women’s Power for their Rights); Lesbian Alliance Bagbag (LAB); Ugnayan ng Nagkakaisang Lesbyana Laban sa Diskriminasyon (UNLAD)/Association of United Lesbians Against Discrimination; and Lesbians for Rights (LFR). GALANG’s ‘fight for love’ means fighting for Filipino LBTs in urban poor communities to achieve social and economic equity. In line with this year’s Pride March theme, GALANG calls for LBTs in the urban poor sector to organize and collectively fight for equal rights, which is what GALANG’s four (4) partner organizations have also been fighting for from the time they were formed.
Recently, various forms of blatant discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) were witnessed and experienced by the Philippine LGBT sector ironically through a decades old but well-loved noon-time television show aired in May 2015, and in the premises of a business establishment in Taguig City earlier this month. Inciting a culture of homo/trans phobia in mainstream media and denial of entrance to public establishments are a few of the many forms of exclusionary discrimination the Philippine LGBT sector faces, and these pathologizing acts lead to violence and discrimination anywhere, such as workplaces, schools, health care facilities, and grassroots communities.
Let us be reminded that SOGIE-based discrimination intersects with other identities of members of the Philippine LGBT sector, such as persons with disabilities, poor, ethnic or religious minorities, and so on. It is a glaring reality that LGBT individuals who are poor and may have disabilities are bluntly discriminated against in workplaces or schools especially if their gender expression manifests that of the opposite sex’s masculinity/femininity. In cases like the Taguig club incident, influential and articulate people were involved and their voices continue to be heard loud and clear. The media immediately listened to these stories, calling attention to these manifestations of SOGIE-based discrimination. GALANG stands in solidarity with the LGBT sector’s fight against all types of discrimination. However, we would also like to pose the question: Who listens when poor LBTs are discriminated against? There is no guarantee that somebody will, unless an Anti-Discrimination Bill is passed.
GALANG ardently calls for the passage of a national Anti-Discrimination Bill, the enactment of an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance in Taguig City, and the conduct of SOGIE sensitization among media practitioners and other influencers of culture. May this pride march be a reminder to all of us of the long road ahead and the need for solidarity. Fighting for inclusive policies is fighting for love and equality! Leave no LGBTs behind–rich or poor.Back to Photo Albums