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Eastern Visayas eyes LGBTQI youth empowerment as it celebrates 3rd Pride

Eastern Visayas marked its 3rd Pride celebration. Themed “Building Bridges, Tearing Down Walls”, this year’s gathering eyed to particularly “help the youth realize how important it is to carry the LGBT advocacy even as they mature”.

The rainbow cometh.

Eastern Visayas marked its 3rd Pride celebration, helmed by the LGBT psychology class of the Division of Social Sciences in University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College (UPVTC). Themed “Building Bridges, Tearing Down Walls”, this year’s gathering eyed to particularly “help the youth realize how important it is to carry the LGBT advocacy even as they mature,” said Pierce S. Docena, assistant professor and chair of the Division of Social Sciences of the UPVTC.

This is the first Eastern Visayas Pride that gained the support of government agencies, including the Provincial Government of Leyte, the City Government of Tacloban, An Waray Partylist, and the local government unit of Lapinig in Northern Samar.

Pride celebrations are going mainstream, but for Docena, “I still believe that it is important to hold Pride activities in campuses (yes, even in UP which is known for its openness to supporting the rights and well-being of LGBTQI people) because students will eventually become leaders in various spheres once they go out of the campus. It is my hope that their participation in Pride activities while they are still students will help them realize how important it is to carry our advocacy for the LGBTQI community even after graduation,” Docena said.

Activities lined up all aimed to “raise awareness about the lives and issues of LGBT people, uphold the rights and well-being of LGBTQI Filipinos, and celebrate human diversity through inclusive and meaningful events.”

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF UP LENTE

The intention, said Docena, is always to “continue to come up with meaningful activities beyond the Pride week.” And so there are already discussions to hold LGBTI-related events in establishments outside of the UP campus “and we hope this will come to fruition because Tacloban is in dire need of more inclusive spaces for the LGBTQI community.”

As the core organizer, UPVTC partnered with the Gender and Development Program Office of the UPVTC. The lined-up activities were also done via partnerships with UPVTC Psych Circle, UP Lente, UP Ideopraxist, UP Halcyon, UP Runggiyan, UP Triskelions, UP Iolaus, UPVTC Student Council, National Union of Students of the Philippines, Pulso han Mag-aaram, League of Filipino Students, KALAYAAN-Lihok Mag-aaram, UP Orsicup, UP Dormers’ Association, and UP Hingyap. Other supporters also included: Al Vileo Photography, N8Ventures, Yellow Doors Hostel, Pugon, 8HAVEN, Lamrag Creatives, Sinerangan, and 8 Magazine.

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF UP LENTE

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