MARIKINA CITY, June 30, 2018 — GALANG Philippines, along with over 150 of its partner lesbians, bisexual women, and trans men (LBT) people’s organizations (LPOs) and their families and friends, marched at the 2018 Metro Manila Pride March in commemoration of the annual LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender person) Pride Month.
For close to 10 years now, GALANG has been steadfast and unwavering in its commitment to become a catalyst for the empowerment of Filipino urban poor LBTs. Aside from joining national pride marches, GALANG has been at the forefront of campaigns and causes, calling for equality and condemning acts that are non-inclusive and discriminative of LGBT persons.
In 2015, GALANG called out blatant forms discrimination directed toward people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (SOGIE). The Taguig City club incident, where a trans woman was denied entry for allegedly violating the club’s ‘No Crossdressing’ policy, was a perfect example of how LGBT persons are treated when they deviate from social norms. In addition, US Marine Scott Pemberton’s case being downgraded to ‘homicide’ after admitting that the reason for his killing of trans woman Jennifer Laude was due to shock at discovering her sexuality proved just how skewed the country’s justice system is when handling cases of gender-based violence. Moreover, the absence of mechanisms to appropriately address such cases intensifies the vulnerability of LGBT persons to all forms of discrimination and violence.
At the height of the campaigning period for the 2016 national elections, GALANG stood with the LAGABLAB Network in reminding the public to vote for public officials who are uncompromising in their commitment to lobby for policies and programs championing equality and diversity. Despite derogatory statements comparing LGBT persons to animals, GALANG became even more motivated to keep lobbying for policies alongside equality advocates and champions. At the 2016 Metro Manila Pride March, GALANG’s battle cry was to urge people to continue fighting for equality, and to not be deterred by a sexist president and the staggering number of drug-related killings happening.
GALANG continued its efforts to promote comprehensive sexuality education as essential in promoting LBT well-being. Back in 2016, a teenager committed suicide, allegedly because of the lack of support regarding her sexuality. This was an unfortunate event that, if support, understanding, and acceptance were given, should have been avoided. Although emotionally distressing, GALANG treats this as fuel to fire their commitment to promote a culture of diversity, acceptance, and awareness for LGBT persons and their families and friends. In the same year, GALANG also stood in solidarity with LGBT persons around the world (e.g. gays being detained in Chechnya, Russia, homosexuals being caned and arrested in Indonesia, LGBT persons killed at the Orlando nightclub shooting), with human rights activists, and for people living with HIV.
This year, GALANG marched in Marikina City, bringing its banner that reads ‘MANINDIGAN PARA SA KARAPATAN (RISE UP FOR RIGHTS)’. In resonance with the March’s theme, ‘Rise Up Together,’ GALANG stands by its commitment to continue working with fellow human rights advocates and equality champions. In spite of huge challenges, GALANG continues to lobby for the SOGIE Equality Bill, believing that one day, Filipino LGBT persons could proudly walk the streets without fear of prejudice, discrimination, and violence.
Name: Gyky Tangente
Position: Advocacy Officer
Contact Number: 435-4103
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