‘Colorful bravery’: LGBTQ+ people on what makes them proud of the community
MANILA, Philippines – Although the fight for equality is far from over, members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) community continue to celebrate and carry their identity with pride.
Rappler asked people under the rainbow spectrum one question, among many others, on Pride Month: what makes you glad to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community?
“Despite the challenges we face as a community, we remain resilient. You could see and feel the diverse and colorful bravery of each and every one from different sectors,” said queer filmmaker and Muslim activist Rhadem Morados. (READ: Beyond Pride march, advocates urge LGTBQ+ community to #ResistTogether)
According to him, what makes him prouder is knowing that “our strength depends on each other’s love.” (READ: 'Celebration, freedom, and equality:' Netizens speak up about pride)
Openly gay civil servant Marc Angelo Martinez echoed Morados, saying those who are strong and passionate in fighting for the rights of the community make him really proud.
“There are a lot of LGBTQ+ members out there who are strong, passionate, and free… They know how to assess and give solutions to their problems. They support developing platforms in support for equality...I share this vision with them and it is truly admirable,” he said.
‘Community that is a family’
For queer copywriter Xanti Xavier Gonzales, the openness of people with talking about issues at hand makes him glad to be a part of a “community” he referred to as “family.”
“I’m most proud to be part of a community that is also a family… People support each other, inspire each other, and look out for each other. And it all comes from a place of love,” he said.
Meanwhile, queer human rights worker Manu Gaspar is proud of the "brave queer souls" who came before him and who paved the way for "queer visibility and acceptance."
Fight for equality, raising awareness
As the Congress failed to pass the Anti-Discrimination Bill, the Filipino LGBTQ+ community’s struggle for genuine equality and acceptance remains far from over. (READ: 'Tolerated, but not accepted': Filipino LGBTQ+ speak up vs discrimination)
According to pansexual graphic artist Mcdo Manansala, he’s proud that he’s able to educate, not only his fellow members in the community, but other people, about lessons on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.
“[It makes me really proud] to see the continuous growth of every member as we widely spread awareness about safe spaces and respect to all is truly paying the effort we did,” he said.
For student Gerard Galang, his experiences of being bullied, discriminated, and stigmatized as a gay man strengthened his character, and helped him become more empathetic and open-minded to other people's struggles.
"Nang maging part ako ng LGBTQ+ community, naging mas malawak 'yung pag-iisip ko, mas naging open ako sa mga tao...Walang mali sa pagiging bakla, walang mali sa pagiging member ng LGBTQ+," he said.
(When I joined the LGBTQ+ community, I became more open-minded...There's nothing wrong with being gay. There's nothing wrong with being a member of the LGBTQ+.)
According to gay student Gervic Espinar, he's proudest of how members of the community continue to surpass the daily challenges of being LGBTQ+.
“It’s on how we courageously live in a judgmental world – having the courage to face all the unequal treatments and such. The LGBTQ+ community is dauntless,” he said.
Meanwhile, bisexual freelance photographer Precious Cabacungan described how her coming out story helped her be true to herself. This led her to meeting individuals dedicated to fighting for gender equality.
“In coming out, it reaffirms my self importance and that each and everyone of us has an important role in our society,” she said.
In these changing times, courage and clarity become even more important.
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