Asia’s oldest Pride March to celebrate love in Luneta Park

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Asia’s oldest Pride March to celebrate love in Luneta Park
Join the #FightForLove, the 2015 Metro Manila Pride March

This is a press release from the Metro Manila Pride March.

MANILA, Philippines — In celebration of the 21st anniversary of the Metro Manila Pride March, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and allies are invited to come together and advance the call for gender equality on Saturday, June 27, at Luneta Park. 

Assembly begins at 3pm at the Lapu-Lapu Monument.

With this year’s theme, “Fight For Love: Iba-Iba. Sama-Sama,” the nation is reminded that the fight for LGBT rights is a fight for human rights. Advocates are calling on the Philippines to recognize the voices of  people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

How it began

First held in June 1994 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, the Metro Manila Pride March is the first of its kind in the whole of Asia.

Pride events in various countries are held annually in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, a significant moment in the modern LGBT social movement. 

The event was eventually moved to December in 2003 to coincide with other key dates in the LGBT calendar: World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), National Lesbian Day (Dec. 8), and International Human Rights Day (Dec. 10). The Pride March then became Pride Season, a 6-month long celebration of pride and diversity.  

In 2015, the Pride March returns to its roots, in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots in June 1969. 

While the rest of the developing world enjoys several laws granting equal protection of its LGBT citizens, the Philippines has been lagging behind, with its Anti-Discrimination Bill pending in Congress for years. 

“We understand that as individuals we can only do so much but with a united front, we believe we can help push our government to recognize us as part of its people, worthy of the same benefits and rights granted to our heterosexual counterparts,” said Loreen Ordoño, Task Force Pride PH 2015 Communications Head. 

Fight for love

The annual Metro Manila Pride March serves as an avenue for inspiring and empowering LGBTs. It also allows the advocates to amplify the various issues impacting LGBT lives.

“All these issues that impact our rights and daily lives require a response from all sectors,” said Red Macalalad, Head of Task Force Pride PH 2015.

This year, advocates would focus on:

  • Expanding the dialogue on LGBT rights 
  • Creating safe spaces for LGBTs in their local communities
  • Providing non-LGBT allies an avenue to voice their support for the LGBT community
  • Encouraging and highlighting local efforts in address discrimination among schools, communities, and businesses that implement anti-discrimination policies

Together in arms

Task Force Pride, the official convenor of the of the annual community-driven Metro Manila Pride Season, expects around 2,000 participants this year. 

The crowd will be a mix of LGBT individuals, organizations, students, CSO representatives, professionals, government officials, family, friends, and supporters.

Aside from the main Metro Manila Pride March, there will be a Pride Fest Street Fair, which features LGBT-owned, LGBT-themed, and LGBT-friendly businesses. To close the celebrations, there will be program for solidarity messages and performances.

LGBT rights are human rights, and human rights are everybody’s concern. Fight stigma, fight for equal rights, join the fight for love.– 

For more information on the Metro Manila Pride March, visit them on Facebook or Twitter.

Task Force Pride is the official convener of the annual community-driven Metro Manila Pride season. It is a volunteer-managed, non-partisan, and not-for-profit network of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups, individuals, and allies working towards a future that recognizes and respects the diverse expressions of responsible sexuality and the rights of LGBT persons to a dignified life without discrimination and prejudice.

June is #PrideMonth. Got stories to tell? Share them with us at Speak up on #GenderIssues! 

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