Marikina held the city’s first Pride march for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as an attempt to “paglalahad ng mga pangangailangan ng LGBT Marikeños (showcase the needs of LGBT people in Marikina),” said Regie Pasion, president of lgbtBUS, which helmed the organization of the gathering.
The gathering, said to be a “biyaheng pagkapantay-pantay (trip to equality)”, was done in partnership with the Metropolitan Community Church of Marikina, and the backing of the Marikina City Health Office and the city government.
“Sa pamamagitan into, nagawa naming ilahad ang aming mga pangangailangan bilang tao (Through this, we were able to tell people about our needs as human beings),” Pasion said. “Para sa amin, ang pag-martsa ay isang paraan na kung saan ay direkton naipaparating sa mga mamamayan ang isyu, problema o kahit anoman na may kinalaman sa ating pagkatao. Sa pamamagitan ng pagtitipong ito, sana’y mababago natin ang pagtinging sa atin, at naipararating natin ang mga dahilan kung bakit kailangan na makuha natin ang pagbabago tungkol sa pantay-pantay na pag-trato sa atin (For us, marching is a way to directly show people our issues, problems or whatever. Through the Marikina Pride march, we hope to have helped affect the way we are perceived, and we were able to tell people about the reasons why we need social changes that will give us equal rights),” Pasion said.
Beyond the Pride march, the local LGBT community is already eyeing to push for a local anti-discrimination ordinance, particularly – as Pasion stressed – the local government is currently supportive of LGBT causes.
Speaking at the march, Marikina mayor Marcy Teodoro said that even as he marks this year’s gathering as a milestone, he hopes for the same event to happen every year.
According to Bishop Richard Mickley, Ph.D., of the Order of Saint Aelred, a Pride-related gathering already happened in Marikina as early as 1995. He is unfamiliar, nonetheless, if this gathering was just a parade or a march that called for the protection of LGBT human rights in the city. (Outrage Magazine is trying to trace the Pride history in Marikina; but as of press time, is unable to collate needed views to back Mickley’s claim. This article may, therefore, be amended if/when the same are gathered – Ed)
Incidentally, the city of Marikina is widely known for being openly tolerant of members of the LGBT community, with annual gatherings for them taking place for decades already, including “SaGAYlahan” to celebrate Marian devotion every May; and the somewhat divisive Miss Gay Pangkalawakan, a pageant not necessarily celebrating beauty as much as poke fun at the candidates. This year’s Pride gathering is particularly different because of the growing political awareness of the LGBT community that now “wants and is willing to push for equal rights for all,” Pasion ended.