Proud

Photo IMG_8258What a month! Organizing activities for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Pride Month while in the middle of an understaffed team, a Statistics subject for grad school, and renewed commitment for a volunteer group can take its toll on anyone’s body.

And for the past week, I’ve been feeling under the weather. But somehow, my body gets that I cannot afford to get sick so I soldiered on. It was difficult, but it was so worth it.

For the second year in a row, I have been heavily involved in my office’s Pride Month celebrations. And I couldn’t be any more grateful and proud to be helping celebrate this important month for the LGBTI community.

For this year, with partnership from local groups and establishment, our office has organized two activities to celebrate Pride Month. The first was a leadership workshop for self-identified LGBTI youth in Northern Luzon. It was inspiring to see such involved youth participants who all want to make a change in their communities.

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And on June 30, to cap off Pride Month, a special screening of the Emmy Award-winning documentary “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine” was held at Pineapple Lab. It was such an eye-opening film not only at how much the world has progressed in advancing LGBTI rights, but also at how far we are from truly protecting these rights. After the screening, people were wiping tears off their faces.

"Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" screening at Pineapple Lab

Guests from the Filipino LGBTI community, allies and friends gather for the special screening of "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine."
Guests from the Filipino LGBTI community, allies and friends gather for the special screening of “Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine.”

I will never be the face of the LGBTI rights activism in the Philippines. I’d rather stay behind the camera, helping organize events that hopefully make an impact in the community, no matter how small it is. But it feels great to know that I help make the world a better place for the LGBTI community–for a gay man like me–in any small way I can.

The fight for equal rights does not start and end every June. It is an everyday battle worth fighting for. And as long as there is one person afraid to show who he/she really is, the work does not stop for people like us who have the opportunity to do something. And we MUST do something.

 

Featured (top) photo from Pong Aureus

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