Whether one is a spectator from the sidelines or an assimilated and acclimated stakeholder of the community, pride will reveal itself to be more than just a mere manifestation of singularity. While the personal is very important, as it does form the backbone of everything from preferences, privilege, and points-of-view, the full effect of pride becomes clearer and more effective when people come together towards a common goal. Aside from it being a show of numbers to the grotesquely large chunk of the world that still needs educating, this unity of individuals, who are at a given point in time bound by difference and circumstance, is a progressive standpoint that is both a celebration and a protest.
Rooted in resistance, pride is a community in action. It isn’t just a parade of colors and personalities; it is a vocal and visual demonstration that puts forth, among many things, advocacy and equality. From the first brick thrown at Stonewall in 1969 to the fiercely discussed first pride march in the Philippines in 1994 (which saw the pioneering figure of Fr. Richard Mickley already on the frontlines of movement), the message has been clear: the LGBTQIA+ will no longer stand to be relegated at the sidelines of society.
For the past few years, there has been a stronger call for unity from the local LGBTQIA+ community, with the pride march increasingly growing in numbers over the years. Last year alone, the Pride Movement has charted around 25,000 participants at the Metro Manila Pride March aptly themed: #RiseUpTogether.
A collective of communities, associations, and individuals, as represented in the photographs by the leaders through the years of various LGBTQIA+ human rights movements, the Pride Movement is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization that “creates safe, affirming, informative, educational, and empowering spaces for LGBTQIA+ people in Metro Manila.” Meaning, the scope of their service extends its reach beyond the culmination of pride month at a spectacular, emotional, and inspiring march at the end of June. The organization also necessitates SOGIE discourse and conversations, as well as continues the fight well after the euphoria of the march settles to equilibrium.
This year, Metro Manila Pride is hard at work with the pride march (dubbed: #ResistTogether), which is set to be held at the Marikina Sports Center on June 29. Rousing as it is, they know that there is much work to be done, which is why they are ensuring that this year’s pride march compels greater compliance to the cause, and not just it being a one-time thing. While there are many, many miles to go before tolerance becomes acceptance, and alliance matures to actual equality, we cannot be swayed by this apparent dismay, but rather, use it as a driving force to further optimize the plight and movement, especially here in the Philippines. By gathering together once again, it is the goal of the Pride Movement that we get to show the world that we are not just loud and proud, but that we aren’t going anywhere, because we are human beings, too, and we deserve a life replete of protest and resistance.
Through these efforts, as well as the revolutions sparked by valiant and brave Filipinos before us, the hope still lies that the LGBTQIA+ community no longer has to march. In its stead, the dream is to be able to walk freely without fear, just as the of the country and the world are accorded such liberties. But until it actually gets better, we will keep on marching.—Angelo Ramirez de Cartagena