Guide to Pride Month with the Cebu Pride movement

Guide to Pride Month with the Cebu Pride movement

With ongoing discussions about the best way to celebrate Pride Month, it’s understandable to feel unsure about the right approach. To tackle this, a multidisciplinary collective in Cebu has scaled up their group, Cebu Pride Movement (CPM), to be the pillar of this celebration.

Amid the scattered events for Cebu’s Pride, CPM stands out with a powerful mission: to unify communities through strategic partnerships and collaborations.

“We partner and we guide brands and people who want to do Pride gimmicks or activities and marketing and at the same time put purpose,” said Matthew Basabe of CPM.

Many brands fall short in truly supporting the LGBTQ community by merely branding themselves as allies without actively integrating support into their core operations. This nearly empty approach commodifies Pride Month without creating meaningful change. In light of this, the CPM collective does not discourage brands from joining the celebration but promises to be accessible, providing guidance and support for a genuine, impactful celebration of Pride that goes beyond surface-level gestures.

Festival

CPM brings together Pride groups and individuals from various sectors in Cebu, including public and private institutions and academia, to promote unity and inclusivity. The core team comprises professionals, entrepreneurs and community builders dedicated to organizing activities that celebrate diversity, raise awareness about inclusion and support LoveYourself Cebu’s efforts in the community.

This non-government organization aims for a more organized and standardized second year for the Cebu Pride Festival. CPM is kicking things off with an official calendar to keep everyone in the loop for the month-long celebration.

June 1, 2024 marks the official start of Cebu Pride Month with an Opening Night House Party, followed by the Quest Hotel Pride Month Kick-off on June 7. On June 15, there will be participation and activation for the Mandaue Pride March. June 22 features the “Embrace Ko All” symposium, promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, alongside the “Yaku Ta Yads” Pride Flea Market. The festivities culminate on June 29 with the Cebu Pride Festival 2024 Grand Party, promising a vibrant celebration of love and equality.

“We receive hundreds of messages asking about Pride, so that is why part of our mission is not just to organize events to create solidarity in the community and their causes but also to create the official Cebu Pride Festival calendar,” said Matthew.

A total of 58 groups from government sectors, entertainment, fashion, media, private institutions and more will be represented at the opening event. CPM is excited to announce that the festival is growing bigger and better, promising an even more vibrant celebration for Cebu. Partnerships are still open, and organizations can reach out to CPM through its Facebook page.

Beneficiary

Pride Month celebrations and marches are vital for LGBTQ+ acceptance and equality. CPM Collective ensures the cause continues by supporting LoveYourself Cebu. The organization is dedicated to fighting the ongoing battle against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the Philippines.

In Cebu, Regi Nam of LoveYourself Cebu, a four-year-old group, ensures access to passionate volunteers working to reduce the number of cases. Every day, 35 new cases are recorded, mostly from the LGBTQ community, with victims becoming increasingly younger.

“We want to make sure that our volunteers know what self-love is. That’s why we partnered with CPM because we know the impact that we can yield in terms of helping not just the LGBTQIA to be proud of who they are but also start loving who they are by taking care of themselves,” said Regi.

Attendees can expect greater visibility of HIV test kits, safe sex supplies and an educational safe sex space throughout the celebration.

Impact

Pride festivals often lead to the creation or strengthening of local ordinances that promote inclusivity and non-discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. This can include protections in employment, housing and public accommodations.

“In 2019, there was an ordinance passed by Councilor Dizon for safe spaces in Cebu to require establishments to provide gender-neutral restrooms,” said Enrique San Juan of CPM.

In 2020, the SK Guadalupe Council joined forces with LoveYourself Cebu to host a successful caravan during the pandemic, known as “Quaranteen Session - A SOGIE Bill & HIV Caravan.” This initiative, along with other advocacy empowerment camps, focused on SOGIE, HIV, and mental health.

Regi also added that the importance of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama signing the SOGIE ordinance is a significant step that CPM deeply appreciates and plans to build upon.

Now in its second year, the Cebu Pride Festival continues to be a powerful force, mobilizing the community to strengthen ordinances and policies. This festival is a vital step towards fostering positive change and acceptance for the LGBTQ community.

“For collectives like us, since the first big leap has been given, the question is how can we follow that through. We have the freedom to pursue causes beyond what we see the horizon can be. That’s why every year, the best thing that has changed is that they now see us,” said Matthew.

Support

It’s not enough to just slap a rainbow on your logo and call it a day. Real support means understanding and honoring the challenges and successes of the LGBTQ community, adopting inclusive policies, and genuinely fostering a culture of acceptance and equality in your company.

“What might be the smartest thing for each company is don’t pretend anymore. Just be true to the observation of how you create safe space for everyone that is part of your organization. Start with that, bringing in diverse people from the company always brings a good output. There’s so much talent out there,” said Enrique.

A truly inclusive workplace culture goes beyond mere tolerance; it embraces and celebrates diversity.

“We really wanted more companies to support pride and use it as a marketing tool. But the question is how do they translate it internally? Because for you to exude the radiance of inclusivity, equity, and diversity as a value of your brand, you will have to walk the talk,” said Matthew.

At the end of the day, CPM strives to bridge the gap between corporate intentions and authentic support, ensuring that every action taken during Pride Month leaves a lasting, positive impact on the LGBTQ+ community. S

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