The rainbow divided?
No one in particular – and yet everyone in general – owns “Pride”, so anyone can organize events related to it. But respect of those who’ve been doing it for 15 years ought to be recognized, instead of being ignored particularly by non-locals wanting to take over Pride organizing.
This is part of the message of a statement released by the Amianan Pride Council (APC), a network of LGBTQIA organizations in the Cordilleras, that has been organizing Pride in that part of the country at first via its predecessor since June 26, 2006.
This statement was released after a newer group – called Northern Luzon Pride (NLP), which is backed by the likes of Metro Manila-centric PRIDE PH, LoveYourself Inc., and Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., among others – announced that it is holding Pride events leading to a parade on June 25.
Most of the members of APC – meaning, the grassroots LGBTQIA organizations there – were, apparently, not consulted regarding this “new Pride”; they only knew of the event when they were invited to participate as if as an afterthought.
“We welcome initiatives from (others),” part of the APC statement said, even as it added that these should be bound by “mutual respect and common understanding, and not create factions within the community that we, together with those who came before us, had worked hard to unite through the decades.”
The LGBTQIA movement in the northern part of the Philippines – particularly Baguio City – is traced to the participation of members of the Lesbians for National Democracy (LESBOND) and Amaranth (a group of gay students and professionals) in the commemoration of the Stonewall uprising at the St. Elizabeth Hall in the EDNCP compound in 1996. It took 10 years for the Baguio LGBTQIA community to hold its first Pride, when on June 26, 2006, a march was helmed by LESBOND and ProGay Baguio to protest a spate of political killings at that time. By 2008, both LESBOND and ProGay Baguio established the Baguio Pride Network as a network of LGBTQIA organizations. This network soon came to be known as the Amianan Pride Council.