The Metro Manila Pride organization announced on Facebook on Thursday that this year’s Metro Manila Pride March will be held on June 30, Saturday as part of June’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) Pride Month festivities.
The pride march has come a long way since the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the event it aims to commemorate where members of the gay community fought back against oppressors through protests in New York City.
Ever since then, gay pride celebrations have been held around the globe on the month of June, including ones organized by the Metro Manila Pride organization that is now in its 24th year.
Ahead of the pride march, Coconuts Manila spoke with some Filipino millennials who identify as LGBTQIA+ about why they think the event is important.
Here’s what they have to say:
“I’m from the organization Bahaghari Metro Manila which is a militant, progressive group. I march not only for myself, but to fight for equality. And of course, when members from the Bahaghari Metro Manila march, we fight against a variety of discriminations the LGBTQIA+ community experience.
“I also march to celebrate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Because of those riots, the Pride March started.”
“I want to be part of a community where I know I’m fully accepted. My first march happened in Luneta [in Manila] and I felt exactly that. I felt super safe and it’s just exhilarating knowing that, while enjoying, I’m also standing up for what I believe in and what I know is right.
“I march because I want to be involved in making a difference for the LGBTQ+ community. I aim to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Pride March is the only event that makes me feel that I am not judged for who and what I am. It’s the only event wherein I feel at home being surrounded by a lot of people who share the same goal as mine — to be accepted as who we are.”
While the Philippines has been called a gay-friendly country, many still experience forms of discrimination. Last year, a Human Rights Watch study found that LGBT students in Philippine high schools are often bullied by their classmates.
Being a predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines also has not legalized same-sex marriage, something clergy from the local Catholic Church has spoken out against.
The 2018 Metro Manila Pride March and Festival will be held on June 30, Saturday at the Marikina Sports Center. The event starts at 12nn but the march will begin at 4pm.