On the UP Pride Week 2016 By UP SESC | September 13, 2016
The Philippines has been considered as tolerant of its LGBT citizens, but tolerance is not the same as true acceptance.
When anyone is denied full participation in society on the basis of their identities, their human rights are violated, thus having an effect on the country’s development and, perhaps more urgently, their everyday lives. In our country today, our fellow LGBT Filipinos have struggled for their place in society, and it is this struggle that opens our eyes to the predicament that our fellow Filipinos are facing.
Among the struggles that our LGBT community face include the rampant discrimination on the basis of gender, notably in employment opportunities, social benefits, and even in positions in government. It is these limitations that disable them from being productive members of the economy, and more so, as people who are unique and capable of greater things that society has boxed them in.
It is this equality that we continue to fight for today. In addition to the anti-discrimination ordinances passed in the local governments of the cities of Quezon, Angeles, Cebu, Bacolod, and Davao, similar ordinances have also been passed in the cities of Candon, Antipolo, Dagupan, the municipality of San Julian (Eastern Samar), and the provinces of Cavite and Agusan del Norte. The cities of Iligan City and Iloilo have also held their first ever pride events in show of solidarity with the LGBT community, with a pride march held in the former and a theatrical show in the latter. Moreover, Geraldine Roman, the first transgender politician to win a seat in Congress, vows to not only campaign for the passage of the anti-discrimination bill, but also to make changing gender legal.
However, it is important to realize that legislation is only as effective as the beliefs of the people who adhere to it. We too, have a role to play in the empowerment of our LGBT people. Our call for equality must extend in our education, in our interactions, our discourses and everyday lives.
In line with the plight of the LGBT community in the country, the UP School of Economics Student Council is one with the UP community in its celebration of this year’s UP Pride Week. The UP SESC is committed in empowering the LGBT community, that beyond tolerance, they must be accepted, they must be embraced, they must be loved. We recognize the need to live for love – a love that does not discriminate on the basis of gender or stereotypes, that looks at the LGBT community as equals.