IN PHOTOS: Why we're #HereTogether
MANILA, Philippines – Clad in colorful outfits, several groups and individuals attended the 2017 Metro Manila Pride March.
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community walked around Plaza de los Alcaldes in Marikina City on Saturday, June 24, to celebrate diversity and unity.
Know more about why they attended the march:
Why we're here
"I've been a part of the Pride March for a good 4 years and each time I make sure that I dress up for a message. I refuse to be bound by social norms that's why I'm all tied up right now. People are not to be labeled and people are not bound to follow social norms."
– Paolo Dumlao, performance artist. He's a pansexual who believes that personality is more important than what is between the legs.
"I'm a straight ally fighting for LGBT rights and feminism. I came here to show my support and love for diversity and unity."
– Ina Coronel, 18, student
"I'm here because I love gay people because they are friendly and I want to be with my friends and people who love each other.:
– Eidgpas Xavier, 28, from Brazil
"Earlier this month the Secretary (of State) affirmed the US' solidarity with human rights and defenders of civil society organizations around the world and that includes the freedoms of LGBTQI persons to live with dignity and freedom and that's why we're here."
– Griffin Lennor, Embassy of the United States of America in Manila
"I'm a devoted Christian, and all these people should repent for their sins lest they face God's wrath."
– John, 20, USA
"Lagi po nating tatandaan na ang Diyos ay laging nagmamahal. Mahal niya ang kaniyang mga nilikha dahil ito ay nanggaling sa kanya." (Let's always remember that God always loves. He loves his creations because they came from him.)
– John Kenneth Jacinto, 22, Iglesia Filipina Independiente
"Nandito kami para ipahayag ang katotohanan sapagkat ang katotohanan ang makapagpapalaya sa mga nandito ngayon. Ayaw ng Panginoon ng mga lesbian at homosexual dahil sinabi sa bibliya na walang lugar ang mga iyan sa kaharian ng Diyos."
(We are here to preach the truth because the truth sets free everyone who is here now. The Lord does not like lesbians and homosexuals because it was said in the bible that there is no place for them in the Kingdom of God.)
– Jay-R Arabaca (center), traveled 10 hours from Naga City to Marikina to speak the truth
"We're marching here to proclaim that LGBTQ people are also God's people."
– Noel Bordador, 53, Episcopal Church of the United States of America
When did you realize you were gay?
"It took me a long time to open myself to others. I realized I'm gay when I was in 3rd grade and came out only when I was in college."
– Rogelio Tulang Jr. (left), 24
"I realized that I'm gay when I was still young but it was hard because I was studying then in an all-boys Catholic school. Upon entering college, I realized that I should accept what I am and embrace myself."
– Micca Tria, 20, Ateneo Doll House
"When I was roughly 5 years old, I wasn't knowledgeable about gender identity but I knew deep inside that I was gay but denied it for several years. Then here I am, happy, (and) colorful. This is me."
– Yabamita, 25, Pampanga
"We knew we were gay since we were young. It's in our genes."
– Richard and Cassiopeia from Rizal
"Na-realize ko na bading ako noong Grade 1. Crush ko si Bobby na katabi ko na nangongopya sa akin. Nung college lang ako nag-out, nung nag-aral na ako sa Scotland."
(I realized that I was gay when I was in Grade 1. Bobby was my crush then. He was seated beside me and copied from me. I came out when I was in college, when I studied in Scotland.)
– Danton Remoto, 54, Chairman, Ang Ladlad