On UP Pride Week 2017 By UP SESC | September 12, 2017
The LGBTQ community (sometimes also referred to as the GLBTQ community, the gay community, and many other variations) is a community that houses lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and LGBTQ-supportive individuals. The community also extends to various organizations united under the same social movement.
According to Dr. Morris of George Washington University, this community first showed signs of existence way back in ancient times, with many of these ancient civilizations, particularly in Africa, the Americas, and ancient China, among others, showing records that speak of male-male and female-female relationships. The existence of LGBTQ individuals also appears in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period, where discrimination of said individuals rose.
While it may not be as extensive or widespread as it was in the past, forms of discrimination are still prevalent in society today. These acts of discrimination have always led to the inability of the LGBTQ community to achieve their individual potentials, with them living in fear of being singled out for simply being themselves. Moreover, 10 regimes are currently implementing the death penalty for being homosexual. Despite the community’s steadfast and significant social movements, there are still world leaders who refuse to relieve stringent anti-LGBTQ laws. This paves the way for the continuous existence of bigotry and intolerance towards those members of this collective.
The fact that they are deprived of certain humans rights as well as being subject to various prejudices causes them to feel deprived. Forms of these unjust treatments can range from bullying to the outright criminalization, with some even escalating towards the use of violence. As a result of prejudice, discrimination also occurs in the workplace which hinders them from achieving their potential to becoming productive citizens of society. Various forms of discrimination still exist and with these kinds of unjust policies and unfair treatment, the fight for equality still continues.
In the modern day, the LGBTQ community has taken strides towards acceptance and equality, and the support for this community has never wavered. Among the advocacies that they fight for include marriage rights, the end of LGBTQ violence, and the end of workplace discrimination. The movement for same-sex marriage gave birth to the hashtag #LoveWins, propagating the idea that love is love, no matter who it is you love. According to Pew Research Center, two dozen countries have legally recognized same-sex marriage, with the Netherlands being the first to do so back in 2000. In the local context, the Filipino LGBTQ community is currently championing House Bill 4982 or the Anti-Discrimination Bill, also known as the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression) Equality Bill, in the hopes to end discrimination and for their rights to be recognized. So far, it has passed its third reading in Congress. It is these steps that show that the goal is within our grasp, and we must continue our call for acceptance and equality.
Equality is neither a reward nor a presented honor. It is not given, it is assumed. It has taken years for this idea to be inherent. Recently, however, we have learned to not only accept the LGBTQ community, but also to embrace them as equals and as members of society. We truly have taken strides into accepting the LGBTQ community, from having openly gay celebrities to legally allowing same-sex marriage, but with discrimination still prevailing and unjust treatments still the norm, the fight for equality does not stop there and continues to this day. While steps have been taken legally, it is important that, beyond these legalities, our call for equality must extend to our everyday lives.
The ongoing celebration of Pride Week is one of the many steps towards the recognition of the rights of the LGBTQ community. The School of Economics Student Council supports the LGBTQ community and is one with them with their ongoing campaign for equality, that rather than being treated differently or being singled out, they must be given the same recognition and rights as everyone does. Moreover, we continue to support the fight for the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill, for the rights of the LGBTQ community to be institutionalized and recognized, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity expression. We recognize the need to accept them for who they are, to look at them as equals, and to remind ourselves that at the end of the day, we are all humans.