MANILA, Philippines – Even the coronavirus pandemic won’t dull the colors of Pride.
Straying away from a usually extravagant Pride march due to quarantine restrictions, the Filipino LGBTQ+ community continues to celebrate Pride month through various activities online.
Although different from previous years, Metro Manila Pride maintained the celebration of Pride has always been a protest championing LGBTQ rights, as well as the rights of the marginalized.
A prime example is the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the series of protests against the police repression of a popular gay bar in New York City, which became the predecessor of the Pride tradition.
“Hindi man pisikal na magkakasama-sama upang mag-martsa, maigting pa rin tayong nagkakaisa sa ating mga panawagan (We may not be physically together to march but we are still one in our call),” Metro Manila Pride said.
Pushing the theme #SulongWagPatinag, Metro Manila Pride asserts that the fight for equal rights continues even during the pandemic.
Metro Manila Pride, Bahaghari, UPLB Babaylan, and Benilde Hive are among the LGBTQ+ groups that have spearheaded activities anyone can join to show their support for the community during Pride month.
Here’s a list of events that you may join to celebrate Pride from your homes:
Through their online exhibit titled “Out of the Closet, ”Asia Pacific College’s (APC) Bahaghari will be featuring artworks and stories of discrimination to emphasize the need for safe and inclusive spaces for everyone starting June 5.
APC Bahaghari will also tackle different topics involving the LGBTQ+ community and Pride celebration through Zoom sessions entitled “Chika and Chill.” These chikahan sessions will happen every Friday from 4pm to 6pm starting June 12. Here’s a list of topics that the Chika and Chill will tackle:
- June 12, 2020: An online chikahan on the basics of SOGIESC
- June 19, 2020: An online chikahan on students’ well-being in times of pandemic
- June 26, 2020: An online chikahan on the essence of Pride
Stay tuned to APC Bahaghari’s Facebook page for instructions on how to join their Zoom sessions.
Benilde Hive, an LGBTQ+ organization from De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde, will be celebrating Pride month with tons of activities.
Alluding to the colors of the rainbow in the LGBTQ+ flag, Benilde Hive will leading an online art exhibit entitled “Spectrum” from June 8 to 15 featuring students’ digital art, traditional art, and photos anchored on the theme “Experiencing love in diversity.”
The exhibit aims to be “a place to recognize and encourage authenticity and beauty through art.”
Benilde Hive also wants to inspire self-expression as well as celebrate those who are active in putting forward the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Visit their Facebook page to check out the artworks.
Prism: A Spoken word Night
Aside from the art exhibit, Benilde Hive is accepting submissions for Prism, their online event featuring music and spoken word performances on June 16.
Those who want to perform in the event have until June 10 to submit their works. Here’s how you can be part of Prism: A Spoken Word Night:
- English and/or Filipino spoken word entries can be submitted in the form of text, audio and/or video recording
- The artist’s visual appearance is optional. Song entries may submitted as audio recordings; a visual appearance of the artists involved is not required
Entries must be submitted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready, Set, Drag!
Benilde Hive will also stage a talk titled “Ready, Set Drag!” tackling the history and roots of drag performances on June 20. Tune in to Benilde Hive’s Facebook page for updates on their Pride month activities.
MapBeks is staging a free mapping party to locate LGBTQ+ safe spaces in the Philippines. Through the mapping party, participants can learn to understand the need for safe spaces and meet other LGBTQ+ organizations from all over the Philippines. They will also be able to learn how to use the new LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces Map by MapBeks, and map other safe space spaces using different platforms.
It will happen on June 10 from 2 pm to 3:30 pm via Zoom.
Metro Manila Pride
For all Saturdays of the month of June, Metro Manila (MM) Pride will be tackling different issues related to the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community and their fight for human rights through a webinar series titled “Pride Speaks.”
Pride Speaks Hangouts is series of weekend discussion groups done in partnership with LGBTQIA+ human rights organizations. These activities are led by the MMPride Human Rights, Research, and Education Working Group together with the MMPride March and Festival Team.
This event is part of the 2020 Metro Manila Pride March and Festival calendar of activities.
For their first session, they tackled the impacts of the anti-terror bill on human rights defenders and the LGBTQ+ community. People may watch out for more announcements involving future Pride Speaks Hangouts on Metro Manila Pride’s Facebook page.
While there won’t be a physical Pride March and Festival, Metro Manila Pride will be taking their protest online due to the existing coronavirus threat.
It will happen on June 27 and will feature performances from LGBTQ+ artists, as well as solidarity messages from partner organizations.
For updates on what will happen in the online event, check this out.
Hoping to support other LGBTQ+ organizations in the region, particularly during Pride month, Mindanao Pride will be launching an online fundraising concert on June 20 at 8 pm.
The concert aims to raise funds for Mindanao-based LGBTQ+ organizations helping fellow members in the community and responding to the COVID-19 crisis in the region such as Kagay-an PLUS, LCI-Ladlad Caraga Incorporated, Mujer-LGBT Organization Incorporated, and Olympus Society of Davao. These organizations are responding to the COVID-19 crisis in the region and helps their fellow members in the LGBTQ+ community.
Check out their Facebook page for announcements and more information.
In celebration of Pride Month, the Philippine Anti-Discrimination Alliance of Youth Leaders (PANTAY) and the Youth for Mental Health Coalition (Y4MH) are organizing the “Queerantine Sessions,” an online support group for young LGBTQ+ Filipinos during the quarantine period.
The session will happen on Thursday, June 11, from 4 to 5 pm via Zoom. People may register for free here.
The Philippine Normal University (PNU) – Manila’s premiere LGBTQ+ organization PNU Katalonan’s Pride activities revolve around the theme “Fight against the struggle.”
Through talks and rallies, PNU Katalonan hopes they will be a platform that will encourage everyone to speak out as “we fight to achieve equality, have safe spaces, to be treated justly and fair, and to be loved and accepted by everybody in our society.”
They will be leading a web series titled “ALAB” which will zero in on the basics of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sexual characteristics.
The web series aims to enlighten Filipinos about the importance of knowing one’s self better, as well as debunk misconceptions and stereotypes regarding one’s sexuality. This will be posted on Katalonan’s Facebook page every Wednesday of the month of June.
They’ll also hold LIYAB, a twitter rally talking about the significance of the Stonewall Riots in the fight for gender equality, on June 28 from 8 pm to 9 pm.
Asia’s oldest student-led LGBTQ+ organization, University of the Philippines Babaylan, is leading #PrideLetters, an avenue where LGBTQ+ members can write open letters addressed to the community, their friends or family.
The open letter initiative seeks to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ members, who may still feel unaccepted in their social circles and homes.
Those who want to share their thoughts and experiences through #PrideLetters can submit here: tinyurl.com/PrideLetters2020.
UP Los Baños Babaylan, meanwhile, is organizning an online art exhibit entitled “Pride Series 4: Queer Spaces.” The exhibit features artworks that highlight the community’s “varied experiences during quarantine with hopes to remind them that they are not alone in these trying times.”
It will run for the whole month of June. Check out the artworks on UPLB Babaylan’s Facebook page.
Sinagtala Philippines is leading “Banyuhay: Bagong Anyo ng Buhay,” an online pride event for Filipino youth. Banyuhay will feature daily webinars that will discuss issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community. Among the topics that will be tackled are the recognition and debunking of LGBTQ+ stereotypes, and discussing the challenges that LGBTQ+ community faces in the workplace and at home.
The daily webinar, which will run from June 25 to 27, will also feature personalities from the LGBTQ+ community. For its first day, Banyuhay will gather Kael Mata, Amber Gonzales Quiban, Yani, and Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman to discuss topics relating to the acceptance of one’s sexuality.
The webinar will go live on Facebook and Zoom every 7 pm, followed by breakout sessions on Zoom.
On June 28, 7 pm, “SINAG ng Lampara | Ningning ng TALA” will be aired on Sinagtala’s Facebook page and Zoom. The event will feature storytelling and informal discussions, as well as recorded performances of spoken word poetry, dancing, and singing.
You may sign up to the free and open-to-all event here.