In this day and age, most of us know that meeting someone who identifies themselves as part of the LGBTQ community is no longer a surprise. What we do not know is that most of the LGBTQ people continue to face real discrimination in all areas of life.
While most well-known LGBTQ figures are able to discuss their sexual orientation in public and there are advances made for the representation of the community in mainstream media, many still remain ignorant about the community’s struggle to achieve equal rights.
As the month of Pride is about love, acceptance, and celebration, we recognize the diversity and individuality of the people who continue to fight for LGBTQ equality.
BEA LUIGI GOMEZ, Bb. Cebu 2020
“I consider myself blessed for not having a dramatic coming out story. My family and friends have always been supportive about who I am but that doesn’t mean that I had a flawless relationship with everyone. Sometimes I have to summon up the courage to casually disclose being gay. It takes a lot of patience to make people understand. I honestly don’t like explaining myself all the time to those who frown upon the idea of being gay but I felt the need to do it because I feel that we need to constantly talk about it, to educate people because not everyone has the strength to stand up for themselves. Some of us experience rejection, depression, discrimination and worse, violence such as assault and bullying. It is disheartening that the LGBTQ Community have to fight for rights and equality when all of us as citizen of any nation should be receiving the same protection and treatment as everybody else. How hard is it to love your neighbours as you love yourself?”
“In this year’s Pride Month Celebration, I would like to ask every ally and LGBTQ advocate to help, not to fight but to make people understand the kind of love that we give out into this world so that society will have a more positive outlook on the LGBTQ as I truly wish to one day see a community that isn’t segregated or labelled differently because of preference, to see acceptance and equality regardless of how you want to live your life as a human being.”
REGAL OLIVA, City Treasurer at Mandaue City Government
“It is when you pursue your own breed of happiness without hurting anyone in the process or leaving one behind.
It is when you embrace your existence, conquering your fears, and spreading kindness to this world.
It is when you celebrate love in all forms, and love truly with pride.”
JIMI MARQUEZ, Singer / Theatre and TV Actor
“Individuality is expressing your truth. It is that one thing that makes who you are.. flaws and all. It sets you apart from others and that, to me, is rather beautiful. I celebrate individuality by being myself, nothing less.”
CHIME BELL OSABEL, Proprietor, Diet in a Box
“I rejoice that I’m not a replica, an appendage or a cog. Like each of you reading this, I’m completely specific, utterly unique, self-winding and inner-motivated one-of-a-kind. On a daily, I remind myself that no other human in our planet’s history was or is exactly like me or precisely like me, either. I am not someone’s robot. I will resist efforts to program me or collectivise me into something I’m not. If ever you catch me trying to program or collectivise someone, blow the whistle so I come to my senses.”
CARLO RIVERA, Communications Officer
“I celebrate individuality by taking that one road less taken. Away from others and establishing my brand. I tend to have different styles from the way I wear clothes to listening to various genres of music, and all of these differences should be valued.
I celebrate it by acknowledging that it’s OK to be different and not compare myself to my peers. I inculcate in my mind how boring the world could be if everyone’s the same. And to remember that the most fabulous and fascinating people are the ones who do their own thing and who dares to be different. I’ve learned the value of uniqueness, as it not only teach me how to love myself but also to truly accept others.”