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Ibaan’s rainbow community celebrated; but more efforts needed for real inclusion, says local LGBTQIA leader

To celebrate Ibaan’s LGBTQIA community, three pedestrian lanes were painted with the colors of the rainbow in the Second Class municipality in the province of Batangas. But local LGBTQIA organization, LGBTQIA+ Community Ibaan Chapter, is cognizant of the many issues they still face.

Photos courtesy of LGBTQIA+ Community Ibaan Chapter

“Together, we fly high!”

To celebrate Ibaan’s LGBTQIA community, three pedestrian lanes were painted with the colors of the rainbow in the Second Class municipality in the province of Batangas. The local government unit (LGU), helmed by Mayor Joy Salvame, worked with a local LGBTQIA organization, the LGBTQIA+ Community Ibaan Chapter, for this.

LGBTQIA+ Ibaan Chapter president Jo Art Anuran

Though the paints are temporary, to last only until the paints fade, LGBTQIA+ Ibaan Chapter president Jo Art Anuran told Outrage Magazine that the pedestrians highlighted the local government unit’s (LGU) recognition of the contributions of the local LGBTQIA people, and that “the LGBTQIA community belongs in the society.”

Ang efforts na ginawa ng pamahalaang bayan ng Ibaan ay isang buhay na patunay na ang pedestrian rainbow lanes ay siyang simbolo ng tulay at daan patungo sa pagkakaisa at pagtanggap sa makulay na komunidad mayroon tayo,” Anuran added.

(“These pedestrian rainbow lanes symbolize the way to unity, and to the acceptance of our colorful community.”)

The three rainbow pedestrian lanes were located within Ibaan town proper – i.e. one is placed in front of the Municipal Hall, the second in front of the Saint James the Greater Parish Church, and the third at the public market of Ibaan. 

Anuran is cognizant, nonetheless, of the many issues faced by members of the local LGBTQIA community. This is why the current president of the local LGBTQIA organizations hopes for the development of a “more inclusive environment.”

Even now, “a deeper understanding and respect for the members of the LGBTQIA community (should be taught in Ibaan),” Anuran said, asking that it would be helpful if the LGU “strengthened its support by immersing itself deeper into the LGBTQIA community.” Eventually and hopefully, the LGU could help “provide the LGBTQIA community of Ibaan a place they can call a safe space.”

Already, LGBTQIA+ Ibaan Chapter, which was established in 2018, is eyeing to implement other – and more lasting – projects, including establishing a feeding program to help indigent LGBTQIA members of their municipality, and providing free haircuts to children from far-flung areas. 

For Anuran, these efforts will hopefully show that “hindi lang kami basta tao sa isang lipunan, na kami ay may pakinabang at silbi sa bawat buhay ng isang pamayanan.”

(“We don’t just exist in society; we’re also useful members of our communities.”)

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