By JOHN AARON MARK MACARAEG
MANILA — “Makibeki! ‘Wag mashokot!”
Members and supporters of LGBTQIA+ community marched together from España to the front of Mendiola Peace Arch to celebrate pride, June 28, Friday.The event coincided with the 50th anniversary of the historic Stonewall Riots in New York City as well as the first pride in the country and Asia that happened 25 years ago.
Stonewall Riots are series of clashes between police and transgender activists that started in gay club Stonewall Inn in 1969 when it was still illegal in most states in the United States to be gay.
Bahaghari Chairperson Bernadette Neri said, “The way they [Stonewall activists] gallantly fought for their right remains as our inspiration for us to also fight for equality. We celebrate their victory by continuing their protest.”
They called on the government to enact a “genuine” anti-discrimination law that would give equal rights to all despite of gender, social class, and race, and for a civil right for marriage.
“Pride is a protest and it should always be,” Neri added.
Indeed, aside from tackling the issues that the LGBTQIA+ community, the participants also highlight labor contractualization, foreign threats to the nation’s sovereignty, and state-sponsored attacks against peasant communities.
Marky of LGBTQIA+ group Kasarianlan asserted that not until no one is being oppressed, the LGBTQIA+ community will be free. According to him, it is because every sector has a member of their community, be it on the peasants’ sector, fisherfolks, a contractual employee or a student.
The protest action was filled with chants inspired by Sexbomb’s iconic songs that have been popular to the gay community to address social issues such as China’s continuous intimidation to the country, TRAIN Law, and inflation rate. “Ang presyo’y, ibaba, ibaba nang ibaba, ang sweldo itaas, itaas nang itaas,” “US-CHINA get, get out,” and “Ay! Si bakla, matapang, lumaban!” reverberated in the streets of Manila.