With Voices Raised

Malate, Manila, December 3, 2011 — Whenever Filipinos take to the streets with conviction, those streets, whether they be Mendiola, Ayala, or Edsa, become the site, sum, and property of popular urban struggle. A march, therefore, has the power to transform an ordinary street into both a moment and a space in which to demand the end of injustice, discrimination, or war. On December 3, 2011, the streets of Malate will thus be transformed for the 2011 LGBT Pride March.

Among other things, a Pride March involves the construction of a space in which LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and queer) people can express their feelings more openly than is available to them elsewhere. It represents a challenge to the hegemonic strength of traditional social, political, economic, and cultural structures and their legitimated heterosexuality. During a Pride March, LGBTIQs and their concerns become visible and are voiced.

This year, GALANG Philippines joins the call of “Maralitang Lesbyana: Magkaisa, Mag-organisa!” being made by urban poor LBTs (lesbians, bisexual women, and trans men) who have organized themselves, are aware of their rights, and are taking control of their lives despite the fact that many of them face daily discrimination, lack adequate housing, need jobs with just wages, are denied quality health care and education, seldom have access to clean water, sanitation, and affordable electricity. GALANG Philippines will thus march on December 3, 2011 in solidarity with 52 urban poor LBTs on the streets of Malate as they raise their voices to chant “Maralitang Lesbyana: Magkaisa, Mag-organisa!

In Filipino fashion, on December 3, 2011 the streets of Malate will celebrate an ambivalence that allows for something different to be said, something that resists the re-enactment of eternal binaries that makes possible the imagining of a new form of popular urban struggle in which all Filipinos—regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression—can participate.

GALANG Philippines is a lesbian-initiated, lesbian-run feminist human rights organization that works with urban poor lesbians, bisexual women, and trans men (LBTs) who struggle with the multiple oppressions of class, poverty, sex, gender identity/expression, and sexual orientation.

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