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In Focus: 5 Fab Facts To Know About Pride March In The Philippines

In Focus: 5 Fab Facts To Know About Pride March In The Philippines

 

Once again, Pride March is back anew to pave the way to celebrate and spark awareness for the LGBTQ+ community in the Philippines. This 2019, it's taking the theme #ResistTogether which is meant to get more people, despite the differences in colors, united to act and fight back for one common goal.

Since its beginnings in the early '90s, the Metro Manila Pride March and Festival plays a crucial part in empowering the community and fighting for their rights. To think that its year-to-year attendance continues to grow says a lot about the movement's impact in history. And aside from the fact that everyone's welcome to join the celebration-slash-protest, here are other things you should know about the march before you go:

It's a volunteer-managed rally to educate and empower gender equality.

Metro Manila Pride March is a not-for-profit work made possible by volunteers who aim for a future that recognizes and respects the diverse expressions of responsible sexuality and the rights of growing LGBTQIA+ persons to a dignified life without discrimination and prejudice.

 
 
 
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It doesn't last for only a month.

June might be the peak of Pride celebrations, but that doesn't mean the journey ends with it when it passes the calendar. The movement keeps its advocacy through online conversations, dialogues, live music performances, and gigs featuring various kind of artists.

 
 
 
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2019 marks its 25th year anniversary.

It's been a full 25-year-long fight for the community already since it was first held in the Philippines in 1994—thanks to its founder Father Richard Mickley, a pastor from America who went to the country after learning that his fellow gays are being oppressed here. Compared to the thousands of attendees in the most recent Pride March, Fr. Mickley only had around 50 advocates with him that time.

 
 
 
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Pride March in the Philippines is the first in Asia and the Pacific.

Not only is it meaningful, but it's also historical in its nature. The annual mass action takes inspiration from Stonewall Uprising that happened in New York in June 1969 where police forcefully raid a gay club, sparking solidarity among LGBT people to go after their deserved rights. Never did an Asia Pacific country followed suit not only we came up with our own "Stonewall Manila."

 
 
 
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It's also a stand against other social issues.

Pride March is bigger than you think. Other than the LGBTQ-related advocacies, it also a cry versus other unwanted social policies such as the Value Added Tax (VAT,) lack of employment opportunities, low-wage jobs, tuition hikes, and more that could threaten our safe space in the society and ability to survive.

 
 
 
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Pride March is for all of us: for those who started it all, those forced to shut up and stay in the closet, those who fought hard 'til their last breath, those who are still on the run, and those who are going to be in the future which we hope will not have to wait another 25 years to get live their lives the way they deserve to. On June 29 at the Marikina Sports Center, perhaps? See you there!

ALSO READ: In Focus: What I Learned After Attending A Pride March For The First Time

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