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Rainbow Radio Pilipinas: Rainbow Waves

R-Rights turns to mass media to produce a radio show by and for LGBTs. Set to encourage discourse within the community and with its allies, Rainbow Radio Pilipinas is a groundbreaking, weekly, one-hour radio show made possible by Global Fund for Women.

By Eva B. Gubat

Rainbow Rights Project (R-Rights), a law-based advocacy group of lesbian and gay lawyers and gender activists formed to eradicate violence and discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBTs), is at it again. Known in the circuit for its fora and seminars called Dyke Dialogues and Rainbow Exchange, R-Rights turns to mass media to produce a radio show by and for LGBTs.

Set to encourage discourse within the community and with its allies, Rainbow Radio Pilipinas is a groundbreaking, weekly, one-hour radio show made possible by Global Fund for Women, which, in its 2009 Annual Report, affirmed R-Rights as one of its highlights for its Asian projects for “promoting honest talk about sexual rights in the Philippines.”

“Rainbow Radio Pilipinas is a bold step to bringing advocacy on LGBT issues directly into homes, workplaces, and comfort zones of listeners. It has a farther reach than anything we have ever tried before. It sends a clear message that we can trust the public with handling what in the past were crucial issues media do not talk about,” says Angie Umbac, campaigns coordinator of Rainbow Rights Project.

R-Rights’ radio show is a fresh take on traditional media’s approach towards LGBT. This approach is seen whenever TV and radio shows with deeply rooted heterosexual contents and direction feature LGBT concerns just to serve as “fillers”, invite gays only to spice up shows, or simply to consult LGBT members. Rainbow Radio Pilipinas is a genuine forum to discuss LGBT issues and concerns straight from the very people who experience them. The show is also meant to make a difference through a medium with a wider reach.

The pioneering radio show will feature some high-profile LGBT members in discussing topics such as entertainment, love, legislation, gender identity, sexual orientation, and more. Listeners can also call or email for advice concerning relationship, work and family life. Music from LGBT artists, both international and local, will also be included in the jam-packed, one-hour weekly show.

Rainbow Radio Pilipinas began airing on November 21, 2009. The pilot episode ushered in the international observance of 16 days of activism against gender violence that begins on November 25 and ends on December 10. The show runs from 2:30 to 3:30 in the afternoon at DWBL-AM kHz 1242.

Since the group was formally registered in 2005, R-Rights has partnered with other groups and has held dialogues and workshops on LGBT concerns, such as family and parenting, relationships, discrimination and violence, and civil, criminal, and political rights. The radio show is the R-Rights’ latest endeavor to “advocate for LGBT rights in a fun, honest and fearless context. We have been bombarded by other voices over the radio. Now, it’s rainbow voices’ turn to be heard.”

For more information on Rainbow Radio Pilipinas and Rainbow Rights Project, visitwww.rainbowrightsproject.org. For inquiries, coordinate with Peach Natividad atpeach_rmn@hotmail.com and (+63) 9175392742; or Ani Diaz at musicrossroads@yahoo.com and (+63) 9063270288.

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