Sometime in April of 2012, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Bolinao, Pangasinan came together to form a group that – according to Alyssa Grandy Gale – aimed to “do what other LGBT groups also intend to do: to push for LGBT rights”.
That group, eventually named Bolinao Gay Association, was officially formed on April 20 of the same year, with the help of one Efren “Arian” Orozco. Alyssa Grandy Gale was elected as the founding president; and she continues to hold the position to this day.
Bolinao, by the way, is a third class municipality in the province of Pangasinan. The locality used to be a part of the province of Zambales from mid-18th century, but it was turned over to Pangasinan in 1903. ith a total land area of 76.15 square mile, Bolinao is populated by approximately 74,545 people (as of 2010 census).
In a gist, “we were formed, and we are here to help the other gays in our community,” Alyssa Grandy Gale.
The challenges that Bolinao Gay Association is encountering has to do with management. As the group grows, now with “hundreds of members – with more than half of the membership active in the group’s activities,” Alyssa Grandy Gale said, “(we are learning) how to handle a big group like ours.” But there, too, is the push to help increase LGBT presence so people accept LGBTs, particularly the group. Under her leadership as its president, Alyssa Grandy Gale said that they ensure that the group sustains its existence, and that “we show people that we have as much right in this world,” she said.
In the end, “I think we have the same aim as others – to be accepted,” Alyssa Grandy Gale said.
Among the activities held by the Bolinao Gay Association are the first gay congress in Bolinao, and a beauty pageant. The members of the group also continue to be present in rendering community services, such as in Red Cross, tree planting activities, local beautification efforts, helping in promoting local tourism, assisting solid waste management efforts of the local government, and hosting a concert with a cause.
As the group continues to grow, Alyssa Grandy Gale said that they are welcoming all LGBTs “willing to participate and render his/her services to support the group and its aims and objectives,” she said.
For more information on Bolinao Gay Association, visit the group’s Facebook page, or send SMS or call Alyssa Grandy Gale at (+63) 939 906 1160.