Kadaiyahan Festival 2018 to highlight inclusivity for LGBT community in Mindanao
CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Mindanao Pride, an emerging social movement that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) rights and welfare in the island’s regions, will be celebrating the first Kadaiyahan Festival in Cagayan de Oro city this December 5 to 10.
Set to take place with 4 primary activities over 5 days, the festival aims to spread awareness about issues and concerns regarding individuals whose gender identity and sexual orientation transcend socially constructed norms. LGBTQ+ organizations from all over Mindanao will gather for the event and unite to express their pride.
Although this isn’t the first festival that celebrates diversity in Mindanao and in the Philippines, Kadaiyahan will highlight the possible inclusivity that can be shared by identified LGBTQ+ members and straight allies who support their cause. It took its name from the literal Bisaya translation for diversity.
Exploring LGBT issues
The festival will include campaigns that reflect the aspirations of the LGBTQ+ community and educate participants about the discrimination, harassment, and prejudice they face.
“We believe this is the time for Mindanao to shine when it comes to this initiative,” documentary filmmaker and rights activist Rhadem Morados said in an interview.
Known for his stance and support for the LGBTQ+ community in Mindanao, Morados will be one of the speakers for the 3-day lecture series, one of the festival’s primary activities.
The lecture series, dubbed as “#LGBTMindaNOW”, will involve discussions about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other STDs and their prevention; legal cases that can be addressed by the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill; and the situation of LGBTQ+ individuals under the Bangsamoro Organic Law. Each topic is slated for one day from December 6 to 8 at local venues.
“There are many unreported and unrecorded cases of abuse towards LGBT,” Morados said. “Most of the time these aren’t properly addressed because we don’t know where to go and how to use the law on our side.”
Morados hopes for the festival to change the public’s views about the LGBTQ+.
Besides the lectures, selected student leaders from schools in the city will be provided with a training workshop to familiarize with the SOGIE Equality Bill and its advantages to combat gender-related bullying. This will take place from December 6 to 8.
To lead the way towards these discussions, the festival will open with a film screening of Cinema One Originals finalist “Mamu; And a Mother Too” directed by Rod Singh at one of the cinemas of SM CDO Downtown Premiere. The film recently made headlines after its lead, Iya Minah, became the first transgender to win Best Actress in the film competition.
The festival will also pave the way for the pride march which will culminate on the last day. This will be participated by various movements and groups that advance the LGBTQ+ cause.
Mindanao Pride co-founder Hamilcar Chanjueco emphasized the relevance of Kadaiyahan’s pride march. He pointed out that the march is not just for the sake of what’s trending, but that it will take place because of what it means to the community. Part of the march’s route will take place along the city’s downtown and historic Plaza Divisoria where a program will follow.
“We need to recognize the LGBTs who are in the margins of society,” he said, referring to individuals who may be identified as such but are facing risks by being differently abled or or are being harassed by their religion and culture.
“We are fighting because we know that there are gaps in our society that we need to highlight,” he added.
The pride march may be inspired by similar LGBTQ+ movements from around the world, but what makes it unique is the reality that all Mindanaoans, not just the LGBTQ+ community, share – a common home despite diversity in religion, traditions, and languages.
Kadaiyahan will also lift barriers between the LGBTQ+ community and straight allies to underscore inclusivity despite differences.
“This is everybody’s event,” Morados remarked. “The [LGBTQ+] community contributes to the progress of Mindanao, and we need to empower everyone.”
“With this, we can reach our utmost potential as one Mindanao,” he added. – Rappler.com