Community based organization (CBO) GAYON Albay Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Org. Inc. has announced that it is co-coordinating the Bicol leg of the HIV and sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) advocacy forum caravan of the ISEAN-Hivos Project of TLF SHARE Collective Inc. and Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare (PNGOC).
The gathering comes at the heels of recent cases of violence committed against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, many of them even resulting to death. The organization saw the need to engage further the local government unit (LGU), as well as other government agencies in addressing this immediate need, and – with the help of partner organization TLF SHARE Collective – it was able to mount this forum.
According to Angelo James F. Esperanzate, field coordinator of TLF SHARE Collective, the relevance of this event cannot be under-estimated. “It’s very timely that this event was planned so that (the local LGBT community) could revive the pursuit of having an anti-discrimination ordinance that would function as the run-to law that LGBT people can rely on when they have stigma and discrimination cases to report,” Esperanzate said.
Attendees for the Daraga event included representatives from the provincial and municipal Philippine National Police, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Commission on Human Rights, Albay AIDS Council, and other partner community based organizations in the city.