QUEZON MEMORIAL CIRCLE, QUEZON CITY – Highlighting that “the agenda for equality still hasn’t been delivered”, Quezon City hosted its biggest Pride gathering yet, with the estimated number of participants reaching over 100,000 to easily obliterate its own record when over 205,000 attended last year’s gathering.
During the event – which was organized by the Quezon City government as part of its mandate under its anti-discrimination ordinance – Mayor Joy Belmonte lamented the non-passage of the SOGIESC Equality Bill in both Houses of Congress. “Kung maiintindihan lang sana nila kung anong ipinaglalaban nito, matagal na sana itong naipasa. Dahil isa lang naman ang sinisiguro ng SOGIE Bill, ang magkaroon ng patas na karapatan ang lahat ng Pilipino,” she said, urging everyone to march together until acceptance happens. “Sama-sama tayong magma-martsa hanggang sa dulo ng bahaghari at hanggang sa wala na kayong takot ipaglaban ang inyong mga nararamdaman at isigaw ang inyong mga minamahal.“
For Magdalena Robinson, executive director of transgender-led organization CURLS, “we still need Pride because we really have to champion equality. The agenda for equality still has not been delivered.”
Quezon City was actually where the first Pride in the Philippines – and in Asia – happened, when in 1984, a small group of LGBTQIA people commemorated the Stonewall Uprising that is largely promoted as the “start of the modern LGBTQIA movement”.
For their part, Floyd Scott Tiogangco, communications director of DAKILA, reiterated that “we have yet to attain the rights we should be given. So Pride is a protest. Celebrate later. Protest now.”
Quezon City’s “Love Laban” Pride festival was held at the same time as Metro Manila Pride, which hijacked the annual gathering from the community-led Task Force Pride in 2015. The latter was held in Makati City, which – to date – still has no anti-discrimination ordinance to protect the human rights of its LGBTQIA constituents.