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LGBTQI people experience layers of discrimination, says Bahaghari Metro Manila’s Neri

For Bahaghari Metro Manila’s Det Neri, fighting for Pride needs to be holistic. In the end, “the fight of LGBT people is the fight for people’s rights; and the fight for people’s rights is also the fight of LGBT people.”

Pride needs to be holistic.

This is the core message of Det Neri, chairperson of Bahaghari-Metro Manila, a multisectoral militant and nationalist LGBTQI organization based in Metro Manila. Speaking to Outrage Magazine, Neri said that this is because LGBTQI people encounter discrimination “not only because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) but also because they belong to kinabibilangang uri”.

For Neri, issues of the people are not – or aptly, should not be – separated from the issues of LGBTQI people.

Lupa para sa mga magsasaka, pagwawakas ng contractualization, regularisasyon ng mga manggagawa kabilang na ang mga LGBT na manggagawa, edukasyon para sa kabataan kabilang ang LGBT na kabataan, self-determination para sa mga katutubo at mga Moro (Land for LGBT people who are also farmers, ending contractualization, regularization of workers including LGBT workers, education for the youth including LGBT youth, self determination of Indigenous Peoples and Muslims),” Neri said.

The LGBTQI community continues to be divided on differing approaches to promote its issues, though bigger attention is usually given to the celebratory part of it (e.g. Pride parades), same-sex marriage, and in the Philippines in some way, the continuing failure to pass the anti-discrimination bill, this time in the Senate.

For Det Neri, LGBTQI people encounter discrimination “not only because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) but also because they belong to kinabibilangang uri”.

Ang punto: Ang laban ng LGBT ay laban ng mamamayan; ang laban ng mamamayan ay laban ng LGBT (The gist: The fight of LGBT people is the fight for people’s rights; and the fight for people’s rights is also the fight of LGBT people),” Neri ended.

The founder of Outrage Magazine, Michael David dela Cruz Tan completed BA Communication Studies from University of Newcastle in NSW, Australia; and Master of Development Communication from the University of the Philippines-Open University. He grew up in Mindanao (particularly Kidapawan and Cotabato City), but he "really came out in Sydney" so that "I sort of know what it's like to be gay in a developing, and a developed world". Conversant in Filipino Sign Language, Mick can: photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write (DUH!), shoot flicks, community organize, facilitate, lecture, and research (with pioneering studies under his belt). He authored "Being LGBT in Asia: Philippines Country Report", and "Red Lives" that creatively retells stories from the local HIV community. Among others, Mick received the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 2006 for Best Investigative Journalism, and Art that Matters - Literature from Amnesty Int'l Philippines in 2020. Cross his path is the dare (guarantee: It won't be boring).

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