Cebu City, Lapu conclude Pride Month with marches

Cebu City, Lapu conclude Pride Month with marches
PRIDE MARCH. A member of the LGBTQIA+ community dances under a Rainbow Flag during the Pride March in Cebu City on Saturday, June 29, 2024. / JOHN PAUL RYAN SEBLOS

THE cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu held separate Pride marches, marking the end of Pride Month, which celebrates LGBTQIA+ rights.

In Cebu City, a large parade took place. It started on P. Del Rosario St. and ended at Plaza Independencia. Many people carried rainbow flags and signs supporting the rights of people who belong to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Mae Anne Aguipo, president of the Cebu City LGBTQIA+ Federation, said the event helps promote equality. The acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual. The plus sign represents other sexual orientations and gender identities not included in the acronym, acknowledging the diversity within the community.

“This moment boosts the morale of members of the LGBTQIA+ community because for the past decades we were not recognized by the government. It was just last year that the support of our government was in full force,” said Aguipo in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Aguipo said the City Government now supports their community more than before.

This year, over 80 barangays and private groups joined the march. This was more than last year’s 45 groups.

In Lapu-Lapu City, Mayor Junard Chan led a Pride Walk. He said these events help people understand and accept each other.

March participant Christine Inot said their government is working to protect LGBTQIA+ rights. She wants stricter rules and more programs to help members of their community.

Godfrey Petallar, who attended the march for the first time, said the march felt safe and welcoming. He hopes for a new law to protect LGBTQIA+ rights.

“I have seen many young people being freely allowed to express who they are, and I think it was a safe space for us. I love how the event was so peaceful, it was full of respect, and the atmosphere is just so warm and welcoming,” said Petallar. / DPC

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