Celebrations for Pride Month were in full bloom this June as the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) community and its allies took steps toward promoting a diversified world.
June was chosen as Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots of June 28, 1969, spontaneous gatherings among the gay community to protest a police raid at Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York. This series of demonstrations led to the gay liberation movement.
We asked the Filipino youth: Why is there a need to celebrate Pride Month?
“The world can be unfair and people can be cruel but celebrating Pride Month is a way for us to show that we’ve slowly been taking steps forward to building a safer world with more acceptance, love and freedom. To show those who are afraid that there are millions of us who stand with them.” —Gabriella Roque, Miriam College
“There’s a lack of representation, especially legally, for that community, and we have to make not just judicial but also societal changes that are geared toward integrating that community.” —Ymmanuel Soriano, CIIT Philippines-College of Arts and Technology
“We continue to celebrate Pride Month, but it is so much more than the festivities and the marches. It shows the struggles we have faced and continue to face. It also shows us that we still have a long way to go in this fight for equality. We will continue to spread love and hope for everyone.” —Biyaya Mendoza, University of the Philippines Diliman
“We celebrate Pride Month as this is a chance for the community to be heard on subjects it would want to bring in this world. This is a moment when the community looks forward to being heard with no fear and no judgment.” —Kyle Lapus, La Salle Greenhills
“There’s nothing wrong with loving who you want to love. Especially in a country like ours where being gay is heavily stigmatized, we need to be able to stand proud and be there for one another.” —Roy Harding, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
“Pride Month is more than colorful parades and rainbow everything. It’s remembering the brave people of the Stonewall riots who fought against a society pushing them back into the closet and punishing them for who they really are. Don’t forget that Pride Month exists because of a black transwoman. Rest in peace, Marsha P. Johnson.” —Mikaila Franco, University of the Philippines Diliman
“Apart from raising awareness, we celebrate Pride Month for the years we couldn’t—the years we spent hiding, in denial, or still trying to make sense of our identities.” —Isabel Echavez, Silliman University
“The Pride March is a celebration filled with love, acceptance and queerness surrounded by people who fully understand you and your struggles. We should acknowledge LGBTQIA+ every day because as long as we, the members, are still looked down upon, our battle for equality and antidiscrimination will not be over.” —Elijah Mananghaya, The Seed Montessori School
“It is a way to tell the LGBTQIA+ people that they are not alone. It’s not bad to love someone, go be proud of who you are.” —Lorenzo Teodocio, University of Santo Tomas