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From the Editor

When Pride is taken over by moralists, opportunists, profiteers, gatekeepers, et al

When Pride was “hard work”, only a handful of people willingly took part in it. Now that it’s popular, everyone wants to be part of it… even if controlled by moralists, opportunists, profiteers and gatekeepers.

Tayo mismo ang sumisira sa (We, ourselves, destroy) LGBTQIA Pride.

Ganito kasi yan (It’s like this):

When Pride was “hard work” – literally – only a handful of people willingly took part in it.

Locally, check Pride in Metro Manila as an example. Until the early part of the 2010s, it was led by Task Force Pride (TFP), a network of LGBTQIA organizations; every year, one of these organizations took over the TFP leadership to organize the march, ensuring wider decision-making participation on the direction of the local “Pride”. It wasn’t ideal, but Pride was made to happen with just around ₱25,000.00 (seriously!).

But then – let’s be blunt here – without community consultation, TFP was taken over and overhauled. And so you now have a profit-conscious Pride that – annually – is facing existential threats because it has a hard time raising hundreds of thousands of pesos to hold a “festival”. This new “approach” to Pride was patterned after the commercialization of being LGBTQIA in Western countries, where “Pride” has already been linked to buying and selling of goods packaged as “support” for LGBTQIA human rights.

As FYI: Aside from this “model” giving power to profiteers, it also strengthened the gatekeepers, or those na binabakuran ang konsepto ng Pride para yung ideya lamang nila ang paniniwalaang totoo ng iba (who gatekeep the very concept of Pride so that only their ideas are believed to be true by others). They now have the money (thanks, sponsors), so they can control the narratives.

Sa Pride sa (in Pride in) Metro Manila, as an example, if you’re Yellow-linked or Leni-supportive, you’re welcome to the party; but if you have other political leanings, you’re not exactly wanted. Diverse beliefs are not tolerated; only the beliefs of the gatekeepers (promoted through their speakers, guests, et cetera) are “valid”. Fuck “unity in diversity” in Pride is the message.

But also exactly because Pride is “in” now, it’s “fashionable”, even non-LGBTQIA people see fit to use it to advance personal causes.

Earlier, the local government unit of the City of Manila also held its Pride festival… sans local LGBTQIA communities knowing about it. Pride “support” has become this badge for politicians. And yeah, before defending this event, know we’re based in the City of Manila, so yeah…

Duaw Davao’s (Visit Davao) Pride Parade on June 23 – a project of the City Tourism Operations Office – also comes to mind.

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Ito yung (This is the) exemplification of: “We support you, as long as you act the way we want you to act”.

In truth: Wala pang batas na poprotekta sa karapatang pantao ng bawat LGBTQIA Filipino. Andami pa rin estudyante ang di makapasok, o tinatanggal ng mga paaralan dahil LGBTQIA sila. Andami pa ring kinukutya sa mga kalye kahit sa mga siyudad na may anti-discrimination ordinance. May mga pinapatay pa rin dahil sila’y LGBTQIA (There’s still no law protecting the human rights of every LGBTQIA Filipino. Many students are not allowed to enrol, or are removed by schools because they’re LGBTQIA. Many eople are still harassed in streets even in places with anti-discrimination ordinances. There are still many LGBTQIA people killed for being LGBTQIA).

Kaya (And so) reconfigure your concept of Pride.

Dahil hindi Pride ang pinagpipilitang bersyon ng mga oportunista, profiteers, at mga moralista (Because the version promoted by opportunists, profiteers and moralists is bogus). Their version only makes us stupid, turns us complacent to do as they will. And seriously, that’s not Pride, and there’s no real pride there.

The founder of Outrage Magazine, Michael David dela Cruz Tan completed BA Communication Studies from University of Newcastle in NSW, Australia; and Master of Development Communication from the University of the Philippines-Open University. Conversant in Filipino Sign Language, Mick can: photograph, do artworks with mixed media, write (DUH!), shoot flicks, community organize, facilitate, lecture, and research (with pioneering studies under his belt). He authored "Being LGBT in Asia: Philippines Country Report", and "Red Lives" that creatively retells stories from the local HIV community. Among others, Mick received the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 2006 for Best Investigative Journalism, and Art that Matters - Literature from Amnesty Int'l Philippines in 2020. Cross his path is the dare (guarantee: It won't be boring).

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