GALANG Statement of Solidarity: Baguio Pride March 2011

The rising visibility of lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex, and genderqueer movements in the country has led to an increasing awareness about the diversity of Filipino gender expressions and sexualities. What was originally a fairly cohesive, if not unified, movement continues to expand–something that is definitely worth celebrating with pride on June 26, 2011 in Baguio.

So what are we to do, and where do we locate ourselves? We can all look to this year’s Baguio Pride March theme for an answer: LIVE. LOVE. BE. JUSTICE TODAY, EQUALITY FOREVER.

After all, a pride march is never about the alienation or condemnation of yourself or others. Neither is it a space for any action that involves rejection or anything that makes anyone feel bad about being themselves. In fact, it makes the opposite claim, that each of us is exactly as we should be and that there is something wrong with anybody or any system that says otherwise.

One way of challenging the rather arbitrary meanings and values that get placed on our bodies, gender expressions, and sexualities is simply to continue living, loving, and being. The underlying principle of a pride march is that we all deserve to be happy; that we will continue to struggle, live, love, and be until everyone is able to be comfortable with who and what they are, without fear of discrimination or shame–for justice today and towards equality forever.

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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