“We” in diversity.
The LGBTQIA community of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa in the City of Manila stressed the importance of “real diversity” as it celebrated its 4th Pride.
Themed “Putting we in diversity”, the gathering that was helmed by Kasarianlan, the only LGBTQIA organization in PUP, this year’s gathering “eyed to emphasize that we can’t truly claim pride if this is not inclusive of all of us,” said Jan Melchor Rosellon, the student organization’s current inang reyna/head. “Our theme for this year’s PUP Pride was ‘Putting we in diversity’ because albeit our differences, we want to find our commonalities in being part of the LGBTQIA community. We acknowledge our individuality though look at this through (the lens of) diversity and inclusion.”
The hosting of Pride in PUP has actually been inconsistent, with the first one held in the 1990s, and only followed by the second one in 2015. It was only in the last two years when Pride was held consistently.
Rosellon said that despite being a progressive and political university, “PUP is not yet accepting of the LGBTQIA community, but rather (just) tolerant of it.” He alleged that “there are still cases of discrimination, public humiliation and harassment (done against) members of the LGBTQIA community by the students, and even by professors and staff.”
So for Rosellon, PUP Pride “provides an avenue for the LGBTQIA community to freely express and be themselves. We will still continue the pursuit for equality; and hopefully through this event, unjust laws and bigotry would soon be thrown in the void.”
Kasarianlan eyes to regularize hosting PUP’s Pride, since – as Rosellon said – “events such as this promotes freedom and acceptance which we think are imperative. Pride acknowledges our visibility… that we are a legitimate community and we also deserve what others are given: their human rights.”
For more information on Kasarianlan, visit https://www.facebook.com/PUPKasarianlan/.