Updated: an hour ago
It was such a coincidence that this year's pride march fell on the exact date of my 22nd birthday. So instead of having a wild night out again with my friends, I just decided to march with my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters at the Marikina Sports Center last June 29, 2019.
I've Come Out. Now, it's Time to March!
This was the first year I felt like I could join. I still couldn't believe that I actually live in a reality where my parents actually accept, support and love me for who I am.
After long years of keeping my voice soft, and the endless paranoia about how my parents would react if I did come out, I finally feel at peace. The inner battle for acceptance of myself was finished. It was now time to stand alongside my people and use my words and my voice to fight for our rights in this country, louder than ever.
I went with my best friend Trish, the first person I ever came out to and her very wonderful cousins. I went bananas with my outfit, like literally, because we didn't have anything with rainbow prints. I mean, aside from rainbow colors, what else says "gay" than a bunch of random bananas, right? Hahaha.
Hang on, We're Coming!
The traffic going to Marikina sports center was insane and from BGC, it took over 2 hours to get to the venue. The roads weren't moving at all and we decided to step out of the car and walk the rest of the way to the event.
We caught the first sights of the parade with lots of floats of different designs, from rainbows to unicorns and ones with drag queens looking like gorgeous goddesses. Also, there were so many people, like we were a bit surprised. We were barely near the venue and we can already see so many heads stretching to as far as the eyes can see. They were all waving their pride flags up in the air and cheering louder than the heavy rain that was falling from the sky.
It wasn't a perfect experience especially right at the start. We spent most of our time in line and of course, there were complaints because of the rain and the unexpected turnout of people coming. There was chaos and a few hiccups along the way, but that really didn't mean that the event was unsuccessful. It needs improvement sure. But, this is also a call for more people to volunteer and help out, especially for next year.
The Land of Love, Rainbows and Free Hugs
Our shoes muddy and our clothes wet from the rain, we went through the open field smiling at all of the happy faces of people from all ages. There were a lot going around with rainbow flags taking pictures for their Instagram. Groups of guys and girl were holding up signs with "Free Hugs" written on them, and they were giving out free hugs to random strangers like they were family. We also saw a little kid holding a sign saying that she's proud to be raised by two mommies.
There was so much love everywhere with couples freely expressing their affections to their partners and friends having a blast dancing to the incredible line up of musicians they had in the concert. There was even a portion in the program where they paired two single gay guys and one had his very first kiss in front of a thousands of thousands of people.
It was magical to be surrounded by so much expression and support for one another. There were so many of us. More than 77,000 people showed up to the the pride march despite the rain that didn't stop pouring all day.
There were so many people, that I didn't get to see any of the twitter and IG gay influencers I really wanted to take pictures with. There were also friends of mine from high school and college who were there and I didn't even know it. We haven't seen each other in years and we were already in the same place, but still didn't get meet face to face because of how massive the crowd was.
The important thing though is that we were there. We were all there. And even to all of our other brothers and sisters, friends and allies out there who didn't get to march with us, you are still part of the fight.
The Pride March is a Protest
We want to inspire Filipinos to not be ashamed of who they are. We want Filipino families to stop tossing out their children to the streets. We want to stop the bullying of our children in schools, the discrimination of employees in the workplace and the violence in our streets. We want same-sex marriage and the legal right to adopt children. LGBTQ+ rights are human rights and our people should be treated with equality and respect like everyone else.
As long as we keep the fight going, we can save more lives and assure a future that things will get better for our Filipino people.
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This is another milestone event that we Filipinos should be proud of. We are one as a nation
Wow sobrang dami ng sumu-support sa LGBTQA+ this time. and nakaka-proud yung mga taong lakas loob pinaglalaban ang rights nila. :) Syempre I really support this din. <3 kaso di ako naka-attent last time. huhu
It's great to see the Pride Month being supported by many Filipinos. May it continue to be celebrated in many years to come.
Kathleene Grace Mascariata
I love your umbrella! I was looking for one for my prenup shoot almost five years ago and I didn't find any!
I love the colors and I love LGBTQA community! Too bad I was not able to join, how I wish the weather was good that time. Rad 77,000+ LGBTQA Filipino attendees on the Pride March?! Wow, that's a lot! I think that sexism is becoming less and less all over the country. People are more accepting now. :)