𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐏𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐞: Waving the Flag for Pride 2021
It is a human right to freely express and present yourself to the world. To be the best version of yourself is to be who you truly are. And with June being the Pride Month, there is no better time to step into the spotlight and come out to the world.
The Pride Month, also known as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month, is a worldwide annual celebration of the LGBT community that occurs throughout the whole month of June. The whole month is dedicated to honoring the rich history of the LGBT, their voices, and the struggles they encountered and have overcome to fight for their rights. Pride Month allows LGBT people of all walks of life to gather together to march and be festive in their freedom.
Originated in New York, the celebration of Pride Month was a way to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising that occurred on June 28, 1969. It was previously known as simply the “Gay Pride Day,” and has now extended into a whole month of celebration. The uprising was a response to a police invasion in a gay bar in Manhattan that resulted into a six-day riot. The revolt was considered to have been the push needed for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The practice of honoring the rights and voices of the LGBT community has long since spread and is now celebrated by most countries.
In the Philippines, the first Pride March had been in 1996 in Metro Manila and became a way for all the Filipino LGBT activists to unite and present themselves to the whole country. It had been organized by the Progressive Organization of Gays (PROGAY) and the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), and had a total of 50 people marching from Quezon Boulevard to the Quezon Memorial Circle.
Source: Outrage Magazine
Two years after the initial celebration, the next march was then held on 1998. However, there have been debates in the community on which Pride March was actually the first one, as the 1998 was the first march in which the whole LGBT community had come together to celebrate. Although, a member of the Babaylan Archive Project, Teilhard Paradela, mentioned that without the previous march and the confidence and support it provided for the community, the people may not have been brave enough to congregate for the 1998 march.
Consequently, the emergence of Pride in the Philippines has led to numerous LGBT positive occurrences. An example of this is the formation of the Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network Philippines (Lagablab) in 1998. The organization has advocated for the rights and safety of the queer Filipinos.
Another example would be the first Filipino LGBTQ+ political party known as Ang Ladlad in 2003. And like Lagablab, the party worked for the welfare and betterment of LGBT community in the Philippines.
Unfortunately, last year’s march had been disrupted by the ongoing pandemic to ensure safety for all that would have been involved in the festivities and was instead held online. This year, through the help of Metro Manila Pride (MMP), the Pride celebration will again be held online and is set for June 26, 2021. MMP has set online based activities that would be held in each Friday of the month, like last Friday’s activity called “Hangout Sessions: On Conversations.”
The LGBT community in the Philippines has met years on end of hardships and discrimination, and sad to say, there’s still more up ahead. But future for the community seems a little brighter each day. Filipinos are slowly starting to see the people around them as equals and accepting that other people being different is normal. They are realizing that things are not just black and white, everyone needs a little rainbow in their life every now and then. Soon, maybe everyone will get to enjoy festivities, all equals, reveling in their own Filipino Pride.