June has been designated as the month that we celebrate our beloved rainbow people — les-bian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals and their impact to our society. That is why it is both an honor and privilege as a proud LGBTQ ally to devote this week’s column to raise awareness about Pride Month.
What makes June so special that it was picked to be Pride Month? To answer this question, we would need a crash course in history. It was in June of 1969 that gay liberation swept the US and, consequently, the world. A lot of people did not think it will ever happen given a time when gays and lesbians were discriminated against and were even arrested just because they were just being themselves. Police raids targeting gays and lesbians were common but the patrons of Stonewall Inn in Manhattan decided to stand up to the injustice. Pretty soon, crowds converged in the small inn as a sign of solidarity. This dissent paved the way for more organized protests demanding the right of gays and lesbians to be open about their sexual orientation without fear of being arrested. These collective protests brought about gay liberation in the US and it spread like wild fire throughout the world.
It is interesting to note that the Philippines is ranked as one of the most gayfriendly nations in Asia. In fact, in a survey called The Global Divide on Homosexuality commissioned in 2013, we ranked 10th among 39 countries that generally accept homosexuality. However, such rosy stats do not ensure total eradication of discrimination of members of the LGBTQ. The term “bayot”, for example, seems to connote weakness in colloquial Cebuano. There are some of us who make fun of actuations that can be attributed to gays and lesbians. I have friends who are really out with us but have chosen to keep their identity secret from their family for fear of rejection. Elsewhere, it is not too positive either. There are still so many instances of isolation, bullying, and rejection. There is a silver lining to all this. While yes, we can still do so much to encourage respect and acceptance of our LGBTQ family and friends, 92% of LGBTQ adults who have lived through tough times due to their sexuality say that the society had become more accepting of them in the past 10 years.
Let us show solidarity for our LGBTQ community as we celebrate their special month. To concretize our solidarity, why don’t we volunteer or participate in any of these activities organized by 6200 Pride specifically for Pride Month 2018? Here are some of them:
- Drag Show featuring Kendra Heart, Maningning, and Sole| Hayahay | June 16| 7:30pm
- When I Came Out: A Panel on Coming Out Stories featuring Kristofer Menchavez, Jade Dawn Amore, Arian Tejano, and Himig Adviento | Silliman Library | June 22 | 6:00pm
- A Talk on HIV and a PopUp Clinic June 23 | 10:00am
- EcoPride Fun Run and Hike from Hypermart to Valencia Public Plaza | June 24 | 5:30am
- The 2018 Pride Panel featuring Michele Joan Valbuena, Golda Benjamin, Ian Rosales Casocot, and JMarie Maxino | Silliman Library | June 25 |10:00am
- LGBTQ Zine and Book Fest | Silliman Library | June 25 | 10:00am
- Pride Poetry and Music | Silliman Library | June 25 | 4:00pm
- Why Queer Faith matters | Magdamo Hall Room 1 | June 25 | 2:00pm
- Showing of Tale of the Lost Boys | City Mall | June 25 | 7:00pm
- The 5th Dumaguete Pride Parade | June 20 | 3:00pm