TRIBUTE is due to the 'special' sector of our society, the much-maligned LGBT or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender persons.

This acronym has since been expanded to LGBTQIA, to include Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Asexual/Agender and members of this community have mustered enough courage and bravado to perform things not openly being done some years back.

Today, they expect as exclusion, rejection, discrimination or even assault. They claim they contribute much to society as well as their "straight" counterparts. Same-sex marriages are no longer a novelty nowadays.

All told, the Philippines is one of the countries not openly embracing the 'antics' of this 'special' sector but many members are successful in their chosen field of endeavor or expertise.

They no longer are looked down as some sort of a menace; instead like the prominent entrepreneur Joel Cruz who specializes in scents and perfumes are held in awe and respect for being successful. Others before him like the late Fanny Serrano, Jun Encarnacion and Ben Farrales and Pitoy Moreno, have distinguished themselves in beauty care and fashion design.

And the list becomes longer as we remember those who have excelled in business enterprises and public service (remember Senator John Esmena?)

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Why the adulation for this queer group? Because despite their shortcomings, they have, in their own unique way, managed to bring about changes in our lifestyles and attitudes. They are human beings after all, or so we refuse to concede.

Others think their queer status has been imposed on them by our condescending attitude, or some others say, certain circumstances have influenced their way of life. Maybe it's in our genes.

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At least, our fathers have been honored by a day in June, in recognition of their being pillars of our homes. Cheers to all fathers of the world, including the controversial Vladimir Putin of Russia!