Bahaghari Kamaynilaan helmed a Pride march in Quezon City, with the event considered as “extraordinary” not only because it happened in the midst of COVID-19, but also preceding the 2022 elections when LGBTQIA Filipinos are hoped to elect pro-human rights politicians to replace the administration of Pre. Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
Co-organized by Metro Manila Pride, more aligned with Western-inspired Pride events, the gathering happened “sa kabila ng pandemya, sa kabila ng lahat ng panunupil… para ipaglaban ang trabaho, ayuda, at karapatan, na sa panahon ng lockdown ni Duterte ay labis ang pagkakait sa atin,” said Rey Valmores-Salinas, Bahaghari’s spokesperson.
This is the second Pride march held in Metro Manila this month, with an earlier event held on June 20. Both events are noteworthy, nonetheless, for forgoing the for-profit model of Pride that is more focused on optics that could be converted to profit than on rallying for political issues.
Valmores-Salinas – among those who were violently dispersed while holding a Pride march in Mendiola in the City of Manila last year – added that for this year’s gathering, “LGBTQIA community (members) made sure to assert their protest amid the celebrations.”
This is because, Valmores-Salinas said, the issues faced by LGBTQIA Filipinos remain pervasive. For instance, “Napakaraming mga LGBTQIA ang nawalan na trabaho, at dahil pa sa masidhing diskriminasyon, lalong inilayo sa pagkakataon na makapaghanapbuhay. Ni hindi man lang tayo mabigyan ng ayuda dahil hindi kinikilala bilang lehitimo ang pagmamahalan natin,” Salinas said. And “sasabihan pa tayong mag ‘stay at home’—eh paano makakapag-stay at home ang mga maralitang bakla kung winawasak na ang mga tahanan nila para lamang sa negosyo?”
As the Philippines eyes to hold elections next year, Valmores-Salinas hoped for LGBTQIA Filipinos to emerge to “pagwawakas sa mga ambisyon ng gahaman, uhaw, at hayok sa kapangyarihan.”