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Negros hoists rainbow flag as LGBT community marks 3rd Pride celebration

LGBT people in the island of Negros celebrated Pride with a march that eyed to continue highlighting the plight of LGBT Filipinos. As stated by Carlos Montecarlo, chairman for social responsibility and outreach program of the Federation of Negros LGBT, organizer of the annual gathering, “Pride (events continue to be) relevant because they promote awareness, they educate people and let people understand that LGBT has a significant role in society.” More importantly, “Pride empowers other (LGBT people) by helping address the stigma and discrimination, even within the community itself.”

In an effort to continue highlighting the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the island of Negros, a Pride march was held that eyed to “let people understand the significant role that LGBT people play in society,” said Carlos Montecarlo, chairman for social responsibility and outreach program of the Federation of Negros LGBT, organizer of the annual gathering.

The march – held from Bacolod City’s Capitol Lagoon, before heading to the Bay Center – focused on coming out and celebrating being LGBT, even as it also called for “uniting as one.”

“Pride (events continue to be) relevant because they promote awareness, they educate people and let people understand that LGBT has a significant role in society,” Montecarlo said. More importantly, though, “Pride empowers other (LGBT people) by helping address the stigma and discrimination, even within the community itself.”

Montecarlo said that even as many LGBT people in Negros are starting to realize their merits, “a lot still needs to be done.” In fact, holding the Pride event itself continues to be challenging because “of an (intolerant) culture that gives birth to the fear of coming out.” Inadvertently, “there is still lack of empowerment.”

Even so, the Federation of Negros LGBT – among others – aims to continue “raising LGBT issues”.

“LGBT people should unite for the common goal of addressing the issues of our community, that our existence matters in the society,” Montecarlo said.

The Federation of Negros LGBT, the organization behind the annual Negros-wide LGBT Pride events, is composed of various LGBT organization, clans and groups within Bacolod and Negros. It is headed by Carmelo Jalandoon, the chairman for culture and arts; Luigi, chairman for human rights; and Montecarlo.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF JRIK VILLA AND BENCENT GOHING OF HAPI, AND CARLOS MONTECARLO OF THE FEDERATION OF NEGROS LGBT
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