Connect with us

FEATURES

Dangerous lives: Being LGBT in Muslim Mindanao

As the world observes the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly, John Ryan Mendoza laments that there is still a long and torturous road for its full realization especially among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Muslim Mindanao, where extra-judicial killings and gender-based violence continue to be poorly reported, thereby not addressed.

PHOTO COURTESY OF IM GLAD COTABATO

Published

on

On this 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly, there is still a long and torturous road for its full realization especially among  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Mindanao. Extra-judicial killings and gender-based violence among LGBTs continue to be poorly reported, thereby not addressed particularly in Muslim Mindanao.

One only needs to look at the Islamic city of Marawi in Lanao del Sur, which Outrage Magazine visited to attempt to monitor crimes related against LGBT Filipinos.

Here, gay beauticians have been reportedly gunned down since last year – and at least some of the cases have been documented.

Members of the LGBT community try to find their place in an often hostile environment in Mindanao PHOTO COURTESY OF TUMBA LATA

Members of the LGBT community try to find their place in an often hostile environment in Mindanao.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TUMBA LATA

In a police report, Zuhawie Macud, 24, a hair dresser of Beauty and Beyond Salon and Spa was shot by an unidentified suspect armed with a 380 pistol in the evening of June 21, 2012. Initial police investigation revealed that the victim was working inside the salon when the unidentified suspect shot him, hitting the victim’s left cheek. The suspect immediately fled the scene towards an unknown direction. The victim, meanwhile, was immediately brought to Amai Pakpak Medical hospital. In an interview with the mother’s victim, it was disclosed that the suspect of the shooting was identified as a certain Lamualid Pamuan, a relative of the victim and the motive of the suspect was personal grudge. The victim was not willing to file a complaint against the said suspect. The case was, subsequently, closed, settled between the relatives of the alleged criminal and the victim.

Another beautician, Casan Ali Wahab, was reportedly shot on January 13, 2013.

And then there’s Cosary Racman, 44, another  beautician, who was shot by an unidentified suspect at Brgy. Banggolo, Marawi City in the evening of March 29, 2013. Recovered in the crime scene was one empty shell of calibre .45, with the victim sustaining two gunshot wounds in the body. He was taken to Amai Pakpak Medical Center for medical treatment. To date, the motive remains undetermined.

There are other cases, though these were not officially reported.  Locals of Marawi, nonetheless, remain aware of these cases.

There are those who buy into the widely released reasons for the crimes – that is, that sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE) has nothing to do with these crimes.

READ:  Dear Lea T

May kapatid ako na bakla. Sa Maranao, hindi lang basta-basta pinapatay ang mga bakla dahil bakla sila. Posible na konektado sa paglalako ng droga o prostitusyon ‘yung mga beautician kaya sila binaril (I have a brother who is gay. For Maranaos, gays are not simply killed  because they are gay. It may be possible that those beauticians were also connected in drug trade or prostitution),” Hannan Balindong, a  Maranao resident of Marawi city, said.

Being LGBT – by itself – makes one a target, nonetheless.

In the middle of 2012, students from the Mindanao State University reported the distribution of leaflets and the radio broadcasts from unidentified sources that allegedly warned gays to leave Marawi. These alleged public warnings against gays were also reported to have occurred in the provincial capital of Sulu island, Jolo.

Noong 2007, banned ang mga gays and lesbians sa Jolo. Galing ito sa isang local religious group (In 2007, gays and lesbians were banned in Jolo. This came from a local religious group),” said Jul-amin Hadil, a gay Tausug from Jolo.

For many LGBT Filipinos in southern Philippines, life continues to be an ongoing challenge. PHOTO COURTESY OF IM GLAD COTABATO

For many LGBT Filipinos in southern Philippines, life continues to be an ongoing challenge.
PHOTO COURTESY OF IM GLAD COTABATO

Jul-amin recalled that two of his gay friends were killed at that time.

Una si Jai. May sampung lalake ang pumasok sa kanyang kwarto at sinaksak siya ng maraming beses. Pagkatapos ng pitong araw, si Aya naman ay binaril sa bahay niya ng pitong lalake (Jai was first. Ten men barged in his room and stabbed him multiple times. After seven days, Aya was shot in his house by seven men),” he said.

He also knows of other four cases of gays who were killed in Jolo, even if he could not remember their names.

Ang mga pagpatay na ito ay itinuturing na ‘Wajib’ o obligasyon ng mga Muslim.”  (These killings are considered as ‘Wajib or obligation for Muslims),” Jul-amin said.

During these times, no gays and lesbians were seen at all at their usual hang-out place, the Jolo town plaza.

He added that gay hairdressers also became usual targets for robberies.

Merilyn Jamad, a Tausug lesbian and the president of Tumba Lata, a Jolo-based lesbian organization, reported that in 2010, there was another declaration to ban gays and lesbians, now from local government  officials.

READ:  The impetus for organizing LGBTQI Pride in the Phl

Dadalhin daw ang mga tomboy sa probinsya para mag-training sa military at bibitayin ang mga bakla…yung mga pamilya na walang bakla o tomboy ang mga malakas na sumuporta dito  (Lesbians will be brought to the countryside for military training and gays will be hanged. Families who had no gay and lesbian members were very supportive of this),”  she said.

Not that law enforcers are helpful.

May baklang binitay sa Asturias. Walang imbestigasyon ang mga pulis. May mga kaso na nakita ang mga katawan na pugot na ang ulo o nawawala ang ibang parte ng katawan… Hindi ito nakasulat para hindi masira ang imahe ng Jolo (There was one gay guy who was hanged in Asturias. There was no investigation done by the police. There were other cases wherein bodies were found beheaded or missing body parts. These were not documented so as not to not tarnish the image of Jolo),” she added.

LGBT people are also allegedly specifically sought out to be discriminated.

Sa probinsya, may mga sundalo na naghahanap ng mga bakla sa mga checkpoints. Pinapaiwan nila sila para mag-training sa kanila. Kung hindi, papatayin din sila doon mismo (In the countryside, there were soldiers who would search gay individuals in checkpoints. Gays are asked to stay behind to do military training; if they don’t agree with the training, they will be killed right there and then),” Merilyn said.

And then there was a case wherein the parents surrendered their gay son for training to make him heterosexual.

Similarly noted were “corrective rapes” among lesbians in Jolo.

May isang tomboy na pina-rape ng kanyang tatay. Kasal na siya ngayon at may anim na anak pero lumlayo na siya sa amin. ‘Yung isa, tinangkaang ipa-rape. Dahil dito, nagbigti siya. Maraming mga lesbian ang lumayas sa kanilang mga pamilya at nakitira na lang sa mga kaibigan  (There was a lesbian whose rape was arranged by her father. She is now married and has six children, and she has isolated herself from her lesbian friends. Another lesbian was almost raped; this led to her committing suicide. Many lesbians have fled from their homes and now live with their friends),” Merilyn said.

READ:  Love Hurts?

In Zamboanga City, a transgender also reported getting raped.

Eugene Pendergat was 18 years old when she was gang raped.  “Galing ako sa trabaho at ala-una na ng umaga. May sasakyan na tumigil at may mga lalaking nakahubad sa loob at mukhang nakadroga. Pinilit nila ako sa sasakyan, tinalian at binlinfold, at dinala sa tingin ko ay motel (I came from work and it was already 1:00 AM. A car stopped and there were naked guys inside who looked like they were on drugs. They forced me in the car, tied and blindfolded me, and brought me to what I think is a motel),” Eugene recalled.  “Nagmakaawa ako na huwag nila akong patayin dahil ako bumubuhay sa pamilya ko. Mga 4:00 AM na nung iniwan nila ako sa tabi ng daan. Duguan, nakahanap ako ng tricycle at pumunta sa pinakamalapit na police station (I begged them not to kill me because I am the breadwinner of my family. It was 4:00 AM when they just dropped me at the roadside. Bleeding, I found a tricycle and went to the nearest police station).”

Although she reported the incident, she was only ridiculed by the policemen on duty. She remembered being told: “Di mo ba na-enjoy? Blessing ‘yan sa iyo! Ikaw pa nga siguro ang nagbigay ng motibo!  (Did you not enjoy it? That is a blessing for you! You may be the one who made the first move!)”

When she got home, she did not tell her family and just said she just fell in a ditch. She was traumatized for a while and sought professional help.

Sherhan Espinosa, a gay Muslim from Zamboanga, also reported the same response of police authorities, usual when the victims are gays.

Mga five or six years ago, may mga kaso na hinahampas ng kadena sa ulo ang mga bakla na naglalakad sa daan ng mga nakamaskarang naka-motor. Target kami dahil sa tingin nila tayo ay mahina. Nanakawan din ako ng tatlong lalake at sa tingin ko ako ang nakita nilang pinakamadaling nakawan (Five or six years ago, there were cases where gays where hit by chains on the head by masked persons in a single motorcycle. We are targeted because they think we are weak. I was robbed by three men and I think they saw me as the easiest target),” Sherhan said.

Sherhan said that police reports have been filed but no action has ever been served.

And so, it is worth highlighting that much remains to be done to advance the human rights of LGBT Filipinos.

A registered nurse, John Ryan (or call him "Rye") Mendoza hails from Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao (where, no, it isn't always as "bloody", as the mainstream media claims it to be, he noted). He first moved to Metro Manila in 2010 (supposedly just to finish a health social science degree), but fell in love not necessarily with the (err, smoggy) place, but it's hustle and bustle. He now divides his time in Mindanao (where he still serves under-represented Indigenous Peoples), and elsewhere (Metro Manila included) to help push for equal rights for LGBT Filipinos. And, yes, he parties, too (see, activists need not be boring! - Ed).

FEATURES

Majority of Catholics call for church to change its damaging approach to LGBT people

Fifty-six percent of baptized Catholics believed that the current teachings of the church could cause a child/young person to feel that being LGBT was a misfortune or disappointment. Meanwhile, 65% of baptized Catholics believe that the church should reconsider its teaching re LGBT people.

Published

on

Photo by Jon Tyson from Unsplash.com

Majority of practicing Catholics in the world’s eight biggest Catholic countries want the Roman Catholic Church to adopt a more positive approach towards young people and to change their teaching on LGBT.

This is according to a poll carried out by YouGov for the Equal Future 2018 Campaign; the poll was conducted in Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Philippines, US, France, Spain and Italy. Collectively these countries comprise half of the world’s total population of baptized Catholics.

“These poll findings are a clarion call to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church from its members that it is time to change their approach to LGBT people. The people of the Catholic Church are leading the way on LGBT issues and it is time the upper management caught up with their flock,” said Tiernan Brady, campaign director of Equal Future 2018.

Asked whether they believed “It could be damaging to a child/young person’s mental health and well-being if they felt that being LGBT was a misfortune or disappointment, 51% of baptized Catholics agreed with the statement. Only 25% disagreed with this.

Fifty-six percent of baptized Catholics believed that the current teachings of the church could cause a child/young person to feel that being LGBT was a misfortune or disappointment.

Meanwhile, 65% of baptized Catholics believe that the church should reconsider its teaching re LGBT people.

“The figures clearly show that Catholic people across the globe believe that the current teaching and approach of the hierarchy towards LGBT people is now damaging to children and young people and the clear majority wants the Church to change its approach,” Brady ended.

READ:  Candon City passes anti-discrimination ordinance

Continue Reading

FEATURES

6 Ways Filipino Protestants are breaking the taboo on sexuality

Religious taboo on sex, gender and sexuality remains prevalent in the Philippines, representing a major challenge in HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health services for children and young people. But here are six ways Filipino Protestants are breaking this taboo.

Published

on

In the Philippines, the religious taboo on sex, gender and sexuality remains prevalent. This taboo represents a major challenge in HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health services for children and young people.

As a response, there are select efforts that help advance talks on sex, gender, and sexuality in faith-based contexts – e.g. in the case of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), there is now work on sex, gender and sexuality modules.

Here are six ways Filipino Protestants are breaking the taboo on sexuality.

1. Understanding how faith influences knowledge

Research demonstrates that faith-based organizations influence HIV knowledge in the youth.

In 2014, after engaging 213 teenage Pentecostal Botswana church members, Mpofu et al. found that the church youth “conceptually frame their HIV prevention from both faith-oriented and secular-oriented perspectives. They prioritize the faith-oriented concepts based on biblical teachings and future focus.”

The NCCP notes the effects on the youth of the church’s silence on sexuality.

“Sometimes young people feel the need to talk about sexuality. But because the church as a whole is not talking about it; they feel that it is not worth talking about inside the church,” said Ms. Arceli Bile, acting program secretary of the Program Unit on Ecumenical Education and Nurture of the NCCP.

2. Breaking the silence

“We find it unfortunate that issues on sexuality are not discussed in the open due to a wrong perception that sex talk is indecent talk,” said Bile.

READ:  LGBTQI Filipinos lament uphill battle for passage of ADB in Senate

Thus, in 2015, the NCCP General Convention approved a statement on creating safe spaces for discussing human sexuality. “We offered this to member churches and associate members. We need to provide material that would help the discussions,” Bile added.

Giving sex education is mandated by the Reproductive Health Law signed in 2010 by then-President Benigno Aquino III. Specifically, comprehensive sexual education is to be incorporated into science, health, English, and physical education courses. This education begins in grade 5 and extends through grade 12. However, opposition by the Roman Catholic Church continues. They believe that sex education encourages the young to engage in sex outside marriage earlier.

As of July 2016, the Department of Education has yet to develop the minimum standards of sex education. Once developed, schools and other learning facilities should comply with the standards.

3. Knowing that the youth are most harmed

The low level of knowledge and awareness in the youth on sex-related matters – including on HIV – has increased vulnerability. Risks are higher among key affected populations, particularly in young women, gay, bisexual, other males who have sex with males, and transgender people.

A 2013 survey by the University of the Philippines Population Institute showed that one out of 3 Filipino youths (aged 15–24) has had pre-marital sex. More alarming than this is the fact that 78% of those who had pre-marital sex for the first time in this age bracket did not use any protection against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections.

READ:  Candon City passes anti-discrimination ordinance

Not surprising then is the significant rise in the incidence of HIV among the same age group as well as a rise in teenage pregnancy noted from 2014 to 2018. In 2016, 14% of all the AIDS-related deaths reported in the country were in youth aged 15–24 years old.

4. Making churches come together

In 2015, NCCP conducted a study on HIV-related efforts among its member churches. It revealed that member churches strongly support comprehensive sex and sexuality education. The study also described existing efforts by the churches on sex and sexuality education to children and youth. These efforts are often integrated in existing church initiatives. These efforts included discussions of human sexuality in Christian education in schools, youth gatherings (usually for those aged 12 and up), sex education classes, and youth camps.

However, not specified in the study were the age brackets of the young people reached and the types of sex and sexuality education offered. In addition, none of the education efforts included sex and sexuality issues of LGBT youth.

As a response, the NCCP, in partnership with the Church of Sweden, gathered theologians and academics in 2016. They worked on a framework that comprised objectives and key concepts in providing discussions on sex, gender, and sexuality.

“We had our study sessions and reflections on how this can be embraced by the churches or not. Especially on issues on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression,” said Bile. “We discussed this thoroughly because the writers still have a lot of confusion. Especially on how we can use more inclusive terms in dealing with younger children. Sometimes we consider whether they really need to know these concepts at such an early age.”

READ:  PLHIVs ask PhilHealth to reconsider HIV response

5. Valuing the local context

“In localizing this educational material in the Philippines, we need to understand these concepts in our context. This understanding would result in experiential activities. We should provide something that they can relate to, instead of getting some ideas from elsewhere,” said Bile.

The material will cater to nursery and kindergarten students, up to senior high school.

“We hope this material could be of help in providing safe spaces for discussion, then, we will conduct pilot tests to check if this is appropriate. We are thinking of holding training on how to facilitate this as well as check for revisions and modifications,” added Bile.

6. Transforming theologies

Bile anticipates some resistance from the churches but remains hopeful.

“The theological understanding of the body may be one of the controversies in accepting this kind of material. What we hope is that we are also producing a theology that is more inclusive and non-discriminatory,” she said. “This material would promote a theology that challenges the churches to be more compassionate and open, as well as, one that reaches out especially those who are discriminated.”

Continue Reading

FEATURES

Metro Manila’s LGBT gathering breaks attendance records, highlights ubiquity of LGBT people if not causes

Showing growing widespread popularity of everything LGBT-related in the Philippines, Metro Manila’s annual LGBT gathering was attended by an estimated 25,000 people. Moving forward, the challenge is how to leverage this growing number of parade participants to actually push for policies promoting their human rights.

Published

on

ALL PHOTOS BY MICHAEL DAVID C. TAN

There but not there.

Perhaps showing growing widespread popularity of everything LGBT-related in the Philippines, Metro Manila’s annual LGBT gathering patterned after Western Pride celebration/s was attended by an estimated 25,000 people. Even if figures are wrong, this still easily topped last year’s 8,000 participants in the event that was held in Marikina City for two years now.

While the number is impressive as a show of force and as advertising magnet for those targeting the pink market, it – nonetheless – does not necessarily equate to promotion of LGBT causes in the Philippines.

Addressing the crowd, Nicky Castillo – again co-head of the organizing team – stressed the much-repeated call to see Pride not just as a one-day/month-long event, particularly since many members of the LGBT community continue to face hardships. This is particularly true to those whose SOGIE is interconnected with their being also members of other minority sectors, including Indigenous Peoples, persons with disability, religious minorities, et cetera.

Speaking to Outrage Magazine, Det Neri – chairperson of Bahaghari-Metro Manila – a multisectoral militant and nationalist LGBT organization based in Metro Manila – said that LGBT people encounter discrimination not only because of their SOGIE but also because they belong to “kinabibilangang uri”.

Lupa para sa mga magsasaka, pagwawakas ng contractualization, regularisasyon ng mga manggagawa kabilang na ang mga LGBT na manggagawa, edukasyon para sa kabataan kabilang ang LGBT na kabataan, self-determination para sa mga katutubo at mga Moro (Land for LGBT people who are also farmers, ending contractualization, regularization of workers including LGBT workers, education for the youth including LGBT youth, self determination of Indigenous Peoples and Muslims),” Neri said. “Ang punto: Ang laban ng LGBT ay laban ng mamamayan; ang laban ng mamamayan ay laban ng LGBT (The gist: The fight of LGBT people is the fight for people’s rights; and the fight for people’s rights is also the fight of LGBT people).”

READ:  'Deaf Talks 2' slated on July 19, to focus on Deaf LBT concerns

In a statement, Deaf transpinay Disney Aguila – president of Pinoy Deaf Rainbow and founder of TransDeaf Philippines – added that “joining a parade, hosting LGBT-related events, or even passing an anti-discrimination bill are good. But those are not enough. Real Pride happens when we’ve changed mindsets so that people of different SOGIE can take pride in their identity… including in their different abilities/disabilities.”

Moving forward, the challenge not just for Pride’s organizers but the Filipino LGBTQI community as a whole is how to leverage this growing number of parade participants to actually push for policies promoting their human rights. – WITH INTERVIEWS BY MICHAEL DAVID C. TAN

Continue Reading

FEATURES

The impetus for organizing LGBTQI Pride in the Phl

All year round, various parts of the Philippines host LGBTQI Pride marches/parades/events. But the very first one happened in Metro Manila, which Outrage Magazine revisits to see how the annual LGBTQI gathering continues to evolve.

Published

on

It was in 1994 when the very first Pride March was held in the Philippines (and in Asia). The Philippines was actually the pioneer in the region.

“There was no interference or harassment along the way, but a lot of noise and shouting in the ranks of the 50 or so marchers,” recalled Fr. Richard Mickley, who used to head Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in the Philippines. MCC held a mass during that first Pride March in the Philippines.

Aside from Mickley, Oscar Atadero – then with ProGay Philippines – helped make the event happen, along with the likes of Murphy Red, et al.

Incidentally, 1994 also marked the 25th year since the “modern” lesbian and gay movement “started”, thanks to the Stonewall Inn Riot in New York.

“We recognized that we now had open, not closeted, organizations. But the movement was still quiet or unknown. We felt we needed a (local) Stonewall,” Mickley continued.

So the date was set.

The route was planned.

As the small group of LGBT organizations marched along Quezon Avenue to Quezon Memorial Circle, they were confronted by the park police and was asked, “Where are you are you going?”

“We had no assembly permit. We sat by the roadside until the activists of ProGay ironed out the stumbling block. (After it was settled), we made our way to an assembly area with a stage,” Mickley said.

Aside from Fr. Richard Mickley, Oscar Atadero – then of ProGay Philippines – helped make the first LGBT Pride March in the Philippines happen, along with the likes of Murphy Red, et al.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FR. RICHARD MICKLEY

But in the end, “the first Pride March brought a publicity breakthrough. The purpose of the Pride March was realized – (to show) that the gay and lesbian people of the Philippines are real people, and they are not freaks in a closet,” Mickley added.

READ:  The impetus for organizing LGBTQI Pride in the Phl

CONTINUING PRIDE

In 1996,  several LGBT organizations formed the Task Force Pride (TFP), a community-driven organization that was to be in-charge of organizing the annual Pride March in Metro Manila.

“One of the highlights of the early years was that of 1998. The Pride March was part of the contingent of the National Centennial Parade, as the Philippines celebrated 100 years of independence. Let that sink in. We marched in front of two presidents at the Quirino Grandstand, just before the transition from Fidel Ramos to Joseph Estrada,” Mickley said.

Ten years later, the LGBT movement in the Philippines grew bigger and stronger. And the fight for equal rights was – finally – in everyone’s consciousness.

Metro Manila Pride March in 2011, when the annual gathering was still political.

TFP continued to organize the annual march – at least the one in Metropolitan Manila. As a network, it was headed by different members of the LGBT community, representing different organizations. Every decision, every move was derived from consultations by/from the participating groups and members.

“More than the celebration, what was really memorable was that despite the community coming from all walks of life and various agendas, sub agendas, locations, et al., it was great to see everyone working as one, for just one moment in a year,” Great Ancheta, one of the organizers of the 2004 and 2005 Pride celebrations, said.

There were years when Pride almost did not happen.

In 2013, Quezon City was supposed to host the annual Pride March, but the supposed organizer (the local government unit/LGU) opted to cancel the event to donate the funds collected to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

“I was rattled with the idea that there will be no Pride March that year. I had to call all possible LGBT advocates that could help me organize Pride in two weeks time,” Raffy Aquino, one of the organizers of the 2013 Pride celebrations, said.

The Pride march almost did not happen in 2013; but REAL community effort – with approximately P5,000 – still made it happen.

Aquino – with the likes of GANDA Filipinas, Outrage Magazine and Rainbow Rights Project – reached out to different organizations and establishments in Malate (at that time still thriving as the LGBT capital of the country).

READ:  TAO: Friends in advocacy

“We had more or less P5,000 in funds, which came from the previous TFP organizers. I even waited until six or seven in the evening in Manila City Hall, the day before the event, for the permit to be released,” Aquino added.

But the 2013 Pride March happened.

And then came 2014, when “a super typhoon hit the country at the same time when Pride was scheduled, and we nearly had to cancel. Despite that, people still attended. (And) understandably, it had the lowest turnout in years. But it still showed that for many people, celebrating Pride is still important,” Jade Tamboon, one of the organizers of the 2012 and 2013 Pride celebrations, said.

PRIDE HURDLES

Organizing an event like the Pride March is not an easy feat, with organizers needing to deal with different factors – both internal and external to the LGBT community.

Pride in 2015 remained political; even if the march also started to become as just a parade.

“Working with the local government was one of our challenges (during our) time. Securing permits was also hard. And of course, rallying up sponsors,” Ancheta said.

Since the LGBT community in the Philippines is (still) only tolerated and not widely accepted, getting supporters that could help the event happen has been the most common problem year after year.

“Financing Pride has always been a major challenge, then and now. People don’t realize how expensive it is to mount Pride. But there’s also the logistics – the sourcing of materials, permits and vendors – that’s another thing people rarely see when they go to a Pride celebration,” Tamboon said.

READ:  Lucky Lastimosa Maglalang: An interest in helping out

He added, “this has been a perennial problem of the Pride organizers: early fund-raising. It may be because organizers have not come up with a solution, rather than raising funds so close to the event date.”

YOUNG PRIDE

Today, organizing Pride marches – or aptly, parades – is mostly dominated by the young members of the LGBT community. And – whatever their stands/positions may be on LGBT human rights – this is as should be/bound to happen, with the passing of the baton inevitable.

By 2017, the annual Pride has followed the Western format, with private companies supporting the parade, and some even co-opting the LGBTQI struggle.

But the younger generation have it somewhat easier. As Ancheta said, “Pride celebrations are not limited now to the Pride marches/parades or events, with support for Pride now coming from various companies as evidenced in social networking posts.”

There are now also numerous Pride-related events – whether in the form of marches or parades – in various parts of the Philippines, from Baguio City to Cebu City, Davao City to Iloilo City, Iligan City to the Province of Batangas, among others. Even within Metro Manila, other cities already started their own (separate) Pride marches/parades, finally “devolving” the so-called Metro Manila Pride parade (nee “march”).

But even if the expressions of Pride (now) vary, that sense of solidarity – and raising awareness via that solidarity – remains…

“The increased interest and participation during the recent years, especially among the younger people, is a success in itself. More and more people are unafraid to be out and to showcase their (so-called) Pride,” Tamboon added.

“The recent Pride celebrations are successful in terms of numbers; they were able to target a bigger audience and wider corporate supporters. The younger organizers are also creative and well-versed in branding and marketing. They were able to utilize social media and digital marketing,” Aquino stressed.

STRUGGLE NEEDS TO CONTINUE

But for Aquino, everyone needs to remember that “Pride is not just a one day event.”

“The LGBT community of the Philippines is no longer hidden, closeted or unknown. We are here; we are everywhere – with our heads held high,” Mickley said. “We are on the way, (but) we are (still) seeking equality in the human family,” Mickley said.

*Interview requests were also sent to other past Pride organizers, but – as of press time – Outrage Magazine did not receive any response from them.

Continue Reading

Editor's Picks

Iloilo City passes anti-discrimination ordinance on final reading

The city of Iloilo has joined the ranks of local government units (LGUs) with LGBTQI anti-discrimination ordinances (ADOs), with the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) unanimously approving its ADO mandating non-discrimination of members of minority sectors including the LGBTQIA community.

Published

on

IMAGE DETAIL FROM jahcordova FROM PIXABAY.COM

Pride comes to the “City of Love”.

The city of Iloilo has joined the ranks of local government units (LGUs) with LGBTQI anti-discrimination ordinances (ADOs), with the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) unanimously approving its ADO mandating non-discrimination of members of minority sectors including the LGBTQI community.

The ADO was sponsored by Councilor Liezl Joy Zulueta-Salazar, chair of the SP Committee on Women and Family Relations. Councilor Love Baronda helped with the content/provisions of the ordinance.

“Everyone deserves equal protection under the law. This local legislation reinforces the Constitutional rights and the inalienable human rights of everyone to be treated equally,” Zulueta-Salazar said to Outrage Magazine. “It has always been a question of equality versus equity. Your government is a duty-bearer to protect everyone under the law. Moreso those who have time and again, been victims of injustice borne out from bigotry and indifference. That has to change now. Discrimination has no place in the ‘City of Love’.”

The ADO defines acts of discrimination to include: refusal of employment, refusal of admission in schools, refusal of entry in places open to general public, deprivation of abode or quarters, deprivation of the provision of goods and services, subjecting one to ridicule or insult, and doing acts that demeans the dignity and self-respect or a person because of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, descent, ethnic origin, and religious beliefs.

Penalties range from P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense and imprisonment of not more than 10 days at the discretion of the court, and P3,000 and 15 days imprisonment on the third offense.

READ:  Love Hurts?

The ADO also mandates the creation of the anti-discrimination mediation and conciliation board headed by the mayor. This board will initiate the filing of cases against violators.

“Discrimination… violates basic human rights thus making it our duty as public servants to protect our citizens from unwarranted and unfair treatment coming from their fellow citizens, or worse from their own government. We respect and give emphasis to the right of every person because what matters is for us to be humane and to do everything in love,” Baronda said to Outrage Magazine.

Zulueta-Salazar added that “having worked with the marginalized sectors of our society through non-government organizations like the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines Iloilo Chapter and the different barangay local governments in Iloilo City, we have seen how the struggles of the LGBTQI, of the urban poor, of the religious minorities including the Indigenous Peoples displaced in the city. This ordinance is for them, not for special or preferential treatment from their government, but to give them what they truly deserve: a more just and equitable treatment by providing an enabling environment for them to be equally productive members of the society.”

For Zulueta-Salazar, the salient points in the Iloilo ADP may be the same as the other ADOs across the country, “but the one we have here in Iloilo City is a product of hard fought struggle for equality not just for one sector of the society, but generally as a statement that the ‘City of Love’ does not discriminate based on gender, age, race or religion. That in the ‘City of Love’, truly it can be said now that love wins.”

READ:  The impetus for organizing LGBTQI Pride in the Phl

For Iloilo City-based Rev. Alfred Candid Jaropillo, who heads the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), the ADO “is a step for the ‘City of Love’ in creating a community where the rights of all its constituents are respected and protected. As a clergy of the UCCP, I commend our government officials for passing the said ordinance (to show that) Iloilo is indeed a safe city for our sisters and brothers coming from the LGBTQI community.”

The Iloilo City Legal Office has 60 days from approval to promulgate the implementing rules and regulations (IRR), while the Public Information Office shall conduct an information drive 30 days from approval. The ordinance takes effect 10 days after its publication in a local newspaper.

Continue Reading

Editor's Picks

Mandaluyong City passes LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance

With the continuing absence of a national law that will protect the human rights of LGBTQI Filipinos, the city of Mandaluyng passed Ordinance 698, S-2018, which seeks to “uphold the rights of all Filipinos especially those discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE).”

Published

on

IMAGE DETAIL FROM JUDGE FLORENTINO FLORO FROM WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

With the continuing absence of a national law that will protect the human rights of LGBTQI Filipinos (largely – at least for this year – because of a weak political support from the Philippine Senate via the non-leadership on this issue by Senate Pres. Vicente Sotto III and Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri), localized anti-discrimination efforts are again in focus. This time around, the city of Mandaluyng passed Ordinance 698, S-2018, which seeks to “uphold the rights of all Filipinos especially those discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE).”

With this, it is now “the policy of the Mandaluyong City government to afford equal protection to LGBTQI people as guaranteed by our Constitution and to craft legal legislative measures in support of this aim.”

According to Dindi Tan, secretary general of LGBT Pilipinas, which helped push for the passage of this anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO), said that “the tactic now is to shift from a national lobby to local lobby, which is more pragmatic and feasible given the prevailing political environment in Congress.”

The Mandaluyong City ADO is specific to he LGBTQI community. Other ADOs in other localities lump the LGBTQI community with other minority sectors, including persons with disability (PWDs), seniors, cultural minorities, et cetera. But this city ordinance is specific to LGBTQI people, focusing on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

“We continue to relentlessly lobby for the passage of local ADOs and similar policies such as this one from the Tiger City of Mandaluyong pending the enactment of a national law made for (this) purpose,” Tan said. “We can’t afford to wait forever for the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB) to pass in the Senate and the bicam while our LGBTQI sisters and brothers on the ground continue to be the targets of gender-based violence and discrimination.”

READ:  LGBTQI Filipinos lament uphill battle for passage of ADB in Senate

Mandaluyong City’s ADO specifically prohibits such discriminatory acts as: denying or limiting employment-related access; denying access to public programs or services; refusing admission, expelling or dismissing a person from educational institutions due to their SOGIE; subjecting a person to verbal or written abuse; unjust detention/involuntary confinement; denying access to facilities; and illegalizing formation of groups that incite SOGIE-related discrimination.

For the city to attain its goals, activities lined-up include: incorporating LGBTQI activities in Women’t Month celebrations; hosting of seminars in private and public spaces; and month-long Pride celebration in November, culminating on World AIDS Day on December 1.

The ADO also “strongly” encourages the Mandaluyong City Police District “to handle the specific concerns relating to SOGIE through existing Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) desk in all police stations in Mandaluying City.”

A Mandaluyong City Pride Council will also be established to oversee the implementation of the ordinance.

Any person held liable under the ADO may be penalized with imprisonment for 60 days to one year and/or penalized with P1,000 to P5,000, depending on the discretion of the court.

Pushed by Sangguniang Panglungsod councilor China S. Celeste, Mandaluyong City Mayor Carmencita A. Abalos signed the ADO on May 17.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Most Popular