Kapedersasyon LGBT Sectoral Organization honored the 20th anniversary of the first Pride March in the Philippines, also dubbed as “Stonewall Manila”, that was led by the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay Philippines) in 1994. The first Pride March was held to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the historic “Stonewall Uprising” in New York in the US in June 1969.
“Most significantly, that pivotal LGBT mass action 20 ago remains symbolic in the conduct of annual Pride marches in the ensuing years not just in the Philippines but in other Asian countries and key cities, such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand,” Kapederasyon said in a statement.
Twenty years ago, the participants in Stonewall Manila marched from EDSA to the Quezon City Memorial Circle not only to protest discrimination and social intolerance of LGBT people, but also other social issues.
“That day and through the years that followed, we also decried tyrannical social impositions such as VAT, low wages, scarcity of employment and income opportunities, demolition of homes, tuition hikes, the national ID system, corruption in government, and numerous other oppressive state policies and issuances that doubly jeopardized our human existence and sexuality,” Kapedersayon said.
Kapederasyon laments that 20 years after that first LGBT mass action ever in all of Asia, not a bit has improved.
“On the contrary, the political and economic crises continually deepen, making life harder for the Filipino people and doubly harsher to the Filipino LGBT people. The unjust social structures that prevailed two decades ago persist and, as if to add insult to injury, also evolved into newer forms of afflictions or gave birth to heavier burdens for the Filipino LGBT people to carry on their shoulders,” Kapederasyon said.
The group cites the DOH issuance on mandatory HIV-testing, the slow progress of the ratification of the Anti- Discrimination Bill, and the PDAF scam as burning issues that affect Filipino LGBT people.
“These persist, so still do the painful compulsions that took 20 long years to remain unabated… As such, we remain marginalized,” Kapederasyon said.
Kapederasyon vows to carry the militant LGBT struggle for the respect for human dignity regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, equal rights and against discrimination.
“With the same battlecry 20 years ago, we the Filipino LGBT, honed by years of relentlessness and perseverance, sharpened by double standard and deceit, now stronger as a sector and more resilient to newer forms of oppression and homophobia, collectively with other oppressed and marginalized sectors,” Kapederasyon ended.