TV personality Boy Abunda launched the 1st Boy Abunda LGBT Awards (BALA) as an attempt to “inspire younger generation of LGBT people to keep up with the fight no matter how burdensome, challenging and impossible (it may seem).”
Outrage Magazine was awarded for “being a brave and trustworthy… source of LGBT stories, editorials and opinions in the Philippines, becoming a repository of various narratives… and standing up to issues that matter to the LGBT community. For being the leading mouthpiece of the LGBT people and its struggles… publishing personal stories, political and social commentaries through its publications.”
As the only LGBT publication in the Philippines, Outrage Magazine also wrote for UNDP and USAID the “Being LGBT in Asia: Philippines Country Report”, a précis of the state of being LGBT in the country; and the only LGBT media reference guide in the Philippines to help mainstream media better deal with
For Michael David dela Cruz Tan, publishing editor of Outrage Magazine, “every recognition is a testament of the hard work that the people behind the only LGBT publication in the Philippines give to ensure that we continue telling relevant LGBT stories,” he said. But beyond this, “recognitions also highlight that while we are making some mark, resting on our laurels is not an option since there continues a lot that needs to be done.”
According to Bemz Benedito, who is with Boy Abunda’s Make Your Nanay Proud (MYNP) Foundation, BALA is “a great reminder to all LGBT people that there are individuals, organizations and allies who work so tirelessly, passionately and devotedly in a very thankless and unprofitable job and advocacy.”
Already, as continuation of its efforts to push for equal rights for LGBT people particularly in the Philippines, Outrage Magazine has lined up various activities to “ensure that we reach particularly those who are at the fringes even of our LGBT community”, including the holding/hosting of Deaf Talks, an ongoing series of for a that deals with the issues of Deaf LGBT Filipinos; Pink Ink, an ongoing training workshop for student leaders on how best to deal with LGBT issues particularly in educational institutions; and Bahaghari Media Awards, which gives recognition to media practitioners that support and promote LGBT human rights.
Outrage Magazine is also co-hosting with Bisdak Pride Inc. the 4th LGBT National Conference this December 1-3 in Cebu City, the first time that the gathering will be held outside of Luzon to “ensure that representation of LGBT people not in metropolitan areas is not just lip service”.
With Outrage Magazine, other BALA awardees include: Venir Cuyco, founder of UP Babaylan, the first LGBT student organization in the Philippines; writer and academician J. Neil Garcia; campus influencer Christian Bryle Leano; Kristine Madrigal, co-founder of Transpinay of Antipolo Organization; Danton Remoto, who established Ang Ladlad as the first and only LGBT partylist in the world; development worker and poet Aida Santos; writer cum blogger John L. Silva; celebrity Jose Marie Viceral (a.k.a. Vice Ganda); artist cum activist Monique Wilson; the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay Philippines); gay lifestyle magazine TEAM; corporate giant Nike; and the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA).
The future plan is to do BALA on a yearly basis, recognizing the “many faces and voices in the LGBT community not just in key cities but also in the regions, who are all working in the cause with sheer determination and bravery.”
“We want to create a positive impact where we can at least inspire and pay tribute to many LGBT people who are doing their share in the advancement of LGBT rights tremendously,” Benedito said. “Ang pagkilala ay nararapat ng sa ganun ay hindi mawalan ng pag-asa ang maraming Pinoy LGBTs at ng hindi na lang nila tatanggapin na nakasanayan ang diskriminayon at galit sa ating hanay.”