LGBT Filipinos Dare, Care and March with Pride in 2009
Once again, the Filipino Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community along with their friends, families, allies and supporters, will come together in one massive and colorful parade at the 2009 Manila Pride March. On the first Saturday of December, right in time for Human Rights week, LGBT Filipinos will come out in full-force not only to show their pride but also to stake their claim on their right to participate fully in civil, political, economic, cultural and social life in the Philippines and beyond.
The theme of this year’s Pride Parade is “We Dare. We Care” to signify the LGBT community’s proactive stance in addressing the human rights problems affecting their sector. “We shall no longer be complacent. We dare to remind the Philippine government and the rest of society that we have an obligation under international human rights law to promote and protect the rights and well-being of all people, including LGBT Filipinos, who are being threatened by the looming economic crisis, natural disasters, armed conflict, religious intolerance and lack of political will of some government officials,” according to Great Ancheta, Head Coordinator of Task Force Pride (TFP) Philippines 2009.
“The LGBT community will march to show their indignation and concern over the lack of human rights protections for LGBT Filipinos as shown in the recent decision of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) not to accredit Ang Ladlad, a partylist group for LGBT Filipinos, the non-passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill and the increasing incidence of violence and discrimination committed against them in large-scale because of their sexual orientation and gender identity,” adds Great.
“The 2009 Pride March is the Filipino LGBT community’s expression of solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have braved the streets of Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London and other parts of the world to fight discrimination, homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia at the national and international levels,” according to Naomi Fontanos also of TFP. Worldwide, pride marches have served as a platform of solidarity, consciousness- raising and empowerment for the LGBT community.
Prominent human rights actors in the Southeast Asian Region have expressed their support for TFP. In its statement, Forum-Asia, an international human rights organization, stated that “the Pride March is an excellent platform for the LGBT groups and individuals to forge further solidarity and network to express themselves on the various ongoing issues that affect the community not only in the Philippines but the rest of the world.”
Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree, the Thai representative to the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights, said in her solidarity message, “the rights of everyone [have] to be guaranteed and the space has to be equally created without which the building of ASEAN Community could not be fully realized.”
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Philippines also endorsed the 2009 Manila Pride March. According to CHR Chair, Atty. Leila De Lima in their message of solidarity, “We laud TFP Philippines for organizing this annual Pride March, and we recognize the courage of those who choose to participate in it. The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines stands ready to offer whatever support it can, not only in relation to this event, but also in order to generally advance respect for, and the protection of, the human rights of the LGBT community.”
The Pride March will take place on 5 December 2009, Saturday and will pass by designated streets in historic Malate after the assembly at the Remedios Circle at 3 pm. It will begin with a grand parade, followed by a magnificent program, an extraordinary pageant and culminate in an unforgettable night of partying.
The 2009 Manila Pride March is organized by Task Force Pride (TFP) Philippines, a network of LGBT and LGBT-supportive groups and individuals who seek to promote positive visibility for the LGBT community including Bed Malate, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual Advocates for Youth (GABAY), Lesbian Advocates Philippines (LeAP), Metropolitan Community Church Quezon City (MCCQC), Outragemag.com, Single Guys Online (SGO) PH, and Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP). Founded in 1999, it is the official organizing network of the annual LGBT Pride Parade in Manila.
This year’s Pride March partners and sponsors are EZ Lubricating Jelly, Frenzy Condoms, Absolut, Andrew Christian, Archion Architects, BED, Beverly Hills 6750, Gabriela Women’s Party, Crobar, Gay and Lesbian Activist Network for Gender Equality (GALANG), Sen. Loren Legarda, Great Ancheta, Lookal, O Bar, Pride Exchange, Rainbow Bloggers Philippines, Rainbow Radio Pilipinas, MyFemme Magazine, Silya and The Library.
For more information, please contact any of the following members of the TFP 2009 Executive Committee: Great Ancheta (0920.926.4322), Naomi Fontanos (0920.269.7607).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: taskforcepride.blogspot.com.