United under the rainbow in Northern Mindanao.
LGBTQIA people in Northern Mindanao are scheduled to march for Pride on June 25, starting at 3:00PM at the Plaza Divisoria Amphitheater.
Themed “We. Take. Pride.”, the gathering hopes to “bring together LGBTQIA community members from these parts of the country,” said Stephen Christian Quilacio, Outrage Magazine‘s Northern Mindanao correspondent and concurrent executive director of the Center for HIV and AIDS Responses (CARE), as he helped to convene NorMin Pride, the organizer of this event. “Even now, and even if various Mindanao localities rightfully already mark Pride, we recognize that proper LGBTQIA representation coming from these parts of the Philippines continue to be lacking. And so we hope to highlight that we take pride – not just as LGBTQIA people, but also as people from Northern Mindanao. We need to be seen, to be heard. And part of that is taking over Pride here.”
Cagayan de Oro actually already has an anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO), protecting the human rights of members of minority sectors.
Nonetheless, LGBTQIA-related events have remained scanty there.
This is not the first Pride gathering held in the city; prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, newly-formed Mindanao Pride (MP) used the city as the location of a Pride parade. But no MP-helmed follow-up event took place in Cagayan de Oro afterwards.
“It is only right for us to celebrate Pride,” said Quilacio, noting the “many milestones need to be marked… such as the passage of the anti-discrimination ordinance in the city.”
But for Quilacio, so much still needs to be done, “from developing and IRR (implementing rules and regulations) of various ADOs, to ensuring grassroots LGBTQIA people actually know of the ADO, to dealing with still prevalent discrimination encountered by LGBTQIA people, and so on. We are not ‘there’ yet; we still need to do more. And part of this is becoming visible, so – to start – they know we’re here. And so observing Pride matters.”
For Ms Shane Quigao, co-organizer of NorMin Pride, there is still “a need to recognize the impacts that LGBTQIA individuals have had on society. Here, Pride helps highlight this celebration of diversity and equality.”
Of course, she added, “there is also still a need to spread awareness about the importance of LGBTQIA rights, and the need to unite as one in fighting hate crimes, stigma and discrimination for those belonging to marginalized groups.”
For more information on – or to join – NorMin Pride 2022, contact:
Ms Shane Quigao
Executive Director, Kagayan Plus, Inc.
Stephen Christian P. Quilacio
Executive Director, Center for HIV and AIDS Responses (CARE)
Northern Mindanao Correspondent, Outrage Magazine