CAGAYAN de Oro City will soon witness an array of colors and diversity as Mindanao Pride, an emerging social movement that advocates for the rights and welfare of LGBTQ-identified individuals, will pave the way for the city’s anticipated pride march this December.
Following the tradition of LGBTQ communities across the globe, the pride march aims to empower, validate, and celebrate the existence and aspirations of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer individuals - most of whom had been marginalized and discriminated against in society for their uniqueness in sexuality and identity.
“The dream that started last 2017 is now becoming a reality,” stated Mindanao Pride co-founder and current president Hamilcar Chanjueco. This statement was echoed by the Mindanao Pride’s official Twitter handle.
The Dream Lives
Consonant to CDO’s identity as the city of golden friendship, the upcoming pride march will unify LGBTQ movements across Mindanao. These will be represented by their various members and allies.
The pride march is part of Kadaiyahan (diversity) Festival. Centered on LGBTQ empowerment, the festival aims to unite all LGBTQ movements across Mindanao. This is set to take place within this city from December 5 to 10.
With the support and partnership of the City Government of Cagayan de Oro, Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran (SPARK - a non-government organization that advances women’s rights and welfare), the Embassy of Netherlands, and the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), the festival will comprise a variety of activities centered on LGBTQ issues.
Albeit tentative, planned activities include a free film screening during the opening program at Ayala Centrio Mall, a series of lectures and discussions that will reflect the reality of LGBTQ situations across the region and the Philippines, and a training-seminar at the CDO City Hall for local youth leaders that aim to address issues concerning the LGBTQ community and to empower individuals with their identities.
The festival will conclude with the anticipated pride march which, according to Mindanao Pride, will “paint CDO with the colors of the rainbow.”
Organizers of the festival and the pride march also hope for the community within CDO to improve on their perceptions about LGBTQ individuals and to eliminate discrimination and prejudice. To pursue this aim, every step is necessary for the march and the movement to take place.