LGBT pride celebrates decade of pride

MEMBERS of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community in Baguio City celebrated one decade of pride December 3 by parading at the main thoroughfares of the city with performances and solidarity speeches at Igorot Park.

LGBT members who joined include Rainbow Barracks, Metropolitan Community Church-Baguio, Amnesty International, Right and Concern Students, Akbayan Youth, Gabriela, Ladlad Philippines, Igorota and other groups.

Metro-Baguio Community Church administrator Myke Sotero said this is to show that they are one in supporting the LGBT community despite discrimination.

“This event is very relevant dahil one decade na nagmamartsa ang mga LGBTs sa Baguio and for the past one decade malapit nang maipasa ang anti-discrimination ordinance na matagal na naming hinihingi sa city government of Baguio. This is the decade which is all for love and pride,” Sotero said.

The group is expecting the anti-discrimination ordinance to be approved early next year by the members of the city council.

Through said ordinance, the LGBT community hopes to be protected against stigma and discrimination against individuals who do not understand them. The proposed ordinance will help some individuals to be more open by showing their real identity.

u201cSa ngayon, walang makakapagsabi kung ilan ang LGBT dahil sa stigma and discrimination kaya marami ang hindi nag-cocome out in the open, at sana hindi ibig sabihin na out in the open, dapat sila ay open din sa publiko,” Sotero added.

Sotero estimates around 35% individuals of the population in the Summer Capital are part of the LGBT community including those who are still concealing their identity.

During the event, there was also a mass HIV screening which was brought nearer to the public.

u201cJust celebrate who you are, be just true to yourself, to your true colors, despite the prejudice and discrimination all around us, let us show that we are warriors and let us continue to fight for our rights against LGBT discrimination, bullying and stigma,” Sotero ended.

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