Davao City – the hometown of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, and the first local government unit in southern Philippines to have an anti-discrimination ordinance that protects the rights of minority groups including LGBT people – is scheduled to have its first Pride March within the city proper this June 1.
The event is being helmed by Dakila Davao, which is acting as the “uniting group” that coordinates with the other local LGBT organizations, including Davao Rainbow League, Ateneo Center of Psychological Extension and Research Services (COPERS), UP Mentefuwaley, OGASH, Integrated Gender And Development Division (IGDD), PILIPINA Legal Resources Center (PLRC), and the United Lesbians of Davao, among others.
“At first, we just wanted it to be a small (event) that will be an introductory event for the Pride month this coming June; we planned for the Pride march to be just held inside the People’s Park. However, with the support of our partners, we decided to bring it to the streets. And so, with the permission of the city government of Davao, we will be marching from Freedom Park to People’s Park with our heads held high and our stilettos on point,” said Melissa Claire Barrera, education director of Dakila Davao.
Barrera is cognizant of the fact that this is not the first Pride gathering in Davao City, with an earlier Pride event held in UP Mindanao. “We drew a lot of inspiration from UP Mindanao’s Pride march, and UP Mentefuwaley should be commended as a catalyst (for this),” Barrera said.
However, she added that “there are so many things to celebrate about the LGBTQI community, and we said to ourselves, ‘Why don’t we make the Pride march closer to the city?’ This way, it becomes more accessible to the people, and a lot will be exposed to the victories of our community and also the pressing issues that still need to be addressed.”
This year’s gathering will call for the anti-discrimination bill to finally be passed.
Get updates on the Pride plans HERE. Or contact 0925 8241803 (Jessica Madrazo) for more information.