Pinoy Deaf Rainbow Inc. (PDR), the pioneering organization for the Deaf lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Philippines, has elected its new set of officers.
Henry “Bibo” Perey II, who founded PDR, remains the president. MJ Cenidoza is the vice president; Disney Aguila is the secretary; while Arvin Benzon is the treasurer.
PDR’s board members are: Reymond Ilagan (bisexual representative); Erika Allosa (transgender representative); and Amita Hannah Estrella (lesbian representative).
PDR was established in December 2010. Initially called the Deaf Pink Club (DPC), it was the response of Deaf LGBT Filipinos to the “apparent lack of any LGBT organization for Deaf Filipinos. There were no representations done for us, by us,” said Perey in an earlier interview.
It has members from all over the country, with chapters in northern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
With the election of the new officers, representation is provided for members outside Metropolitan Manila through: Edronell Caluza who is the Northern Luzon representative; Mariah Agbay is Visayas representative; Riche Mulig is Northern Mindanao representative; while Primidel Truya is Southern Mindanao representative.
The PDR adviser is Raphael Domingo.
According to Perey, “as PDR grows, so do its activities for its members. We have lined up various activities that we hope will empower Deaf LGBT Filipinos,” he said.
PDR is already partnering with various LGBT organizations, including Outrage Magazine, Rainbow Rights Inc. (R-Rights), and Gay and Lesbian Activist Network for Gender Equality Inc. (GALANG) to achieve its intention to empower its members. Activities lined up include HIV awareness programs for Deaf LGBTs, particularly Deaf MSM; women’s rights seminar for Deaf lesbians; and hosting a summer PDR festival in 2014.
“In the end, we hope to continue to be relevant to Deaf LGBT Filipinos,” Perey ended.