As the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and ally (LGBTQIA) community in the Philippines marks the 22nd Pride celebrations in the country, allies in the media were given recognition via the Bahaghari Media Awards 2016 in an event hosted by Outrage Magazine and Rainbow Rights Project Inc. (R-Rights) on June 24, a day before the Metro Manila Pride 2016.
The Bahaghari Awards – with the Bahaghari Media Awards being part of this – was developed by Bahaghari Center for SOGIE Research, Education and Advocacy, Inc. (Bahaghari Center) with Outrage Magazine in 2013.
The Bahaghari Media Awards, in particular, recognizes the important role that media plays in informing/educating the public about LGBTQIA-related issues, thereby aiding in bettering the plight of LGBTQIA people particularly in the Philippines.
“The Bahaghari Media Awards spotlights media heroes who provide an inclusive, equal and non-discriminatory platform for reporting on LGBTQIA issues, and who – against the odds – continue to inspire others in their profession to positively feature the diversity of the LGBTQIA community,” said Angie Umbac of R-Rights. “It is high time for us to celebrate the advancements and best practices in media reporting that will go a long way in shaping societal norms, and ending violence and discrimination committed against LGBT Filipinos.”
Given recognition were: Cheche Lazaro; Dr. Margarita Go-Singco Holmes; Lea Salonga; Jessica Soho; Prof. Solita “Winnie” Monsod; Maria Salvacion “Inday” Espina Varona-Mendiola; Sylvia Estrada Claudio, M.D., Ph.D; Karen Davila; Vicky Morales; Kara David; and radio program Psych O’clock Habit (Jay Yacat, Apryl Mae Parcon, Eric Julian Manalastas and Jose Antonio Clemente).
Bahaghari Media Awards winners are selected based on their inclusive representation/s of the diversity of the LGBTQIA community in the reporting; daring, originality and consistency in pushing for LGBTQIA rights in the Philippines; and the impact – perceived or actual – of their media-related effort/s in the promotion of LGBTQIA rights in the Philippines.
Former members of the Board of Judges of Bahaghari Media Awards included LGBTQIA community leaders: Henry Perey, Pinoy Deaf Rainbow, Inc.; Philip Castro, (former) Communications Team Leader/Programme Officer for HIV and AIDS of the United Nations Development Programme Philippines; Roxanne Omega Doron, executive director of Bisdak Pride Inc.; Bemz Benedito, former first Congressional nominee of Ladlad; and Red Tani, president of Filipino Freethinkers.
This year’s members of the Board of Judges who decided the winners included: Pastor Kakay Pamaran of the Metropolitan Community Church-Quezon City, Ico Rodulfo of The Red Ribbon Project Foundation, Chase Tolentino of TEAM Cebu, Wilfredo “Pidot” Villocino, and Jaya Jaud of Mujer Zamboanga.
“The media continues to get flak for not properly providing coverage to LGBTQIA issues, there are actually already numerous best practices. And even as we continue to find ways for LGBTQIA people to be better represented by the media, the existing efforts that help better LGBT people’s lives shouldn’t be forgotten,” Michael David C. Tan, editor of Outrage Magazine, said.
Bahaghari Media Awards 2016 was supported by the US Embassy-Manila.