“Our being LGBTQIA doesn’t only happen in June,” said Det Neri, Chairperson, Bahaghari-Metro Manila. “Everyday, Every day, our sexuality does not disappear from our identity. This is similar to how our other identities also do not disappear – e.g. if an LGBTQIA person is also teacher of a public school, or an LGBTQIA person who also works in a factory, or an LGBTQIA person who is also a farmer, or an LGBTQIA person who is also part of the Indigenous Peoples. And so the fight for the rights of LGBTQIA people doesn’t end (in June).”
This more holistic way of looking at Pride is important, said Neri, because of intersectionalities.
“If we really want to for LGBTQIA people to be free, they should also experience this freedom as members of sectors that are also marginalized,” she said. This is why – even if it is important to show the strengthening voice of the LGBTQIA community – “we shouldn’t be fighting alone.” Instead, LGBTQIA people should be fighting with the ranks of those who continue to fight against oppression.
This is also why, according to UMC Pastor Carleen Nomorosa, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) is one with the struggle in the creation of safe spaces for minority sectors including LGBTQIA people – e.g. Filipino families are not necessarily safe in their own homes because of the war on drugs, farmers are not safe in their own country because of the continuing increasing prices of goods. The aim is to help “create a society that free and safe for everyone.”
Nomorosa believes that Pride should be celebrated; but that people should be reminded that “this is (also) a protest, for us to unite because a united voice of the people, of LGBT people will give more hope to uplift the Filipino people.”
And to those who continue not to be accepting of LGBTQIA people, Neri said that “people should accept others as equals… We should always treat others as equals.”