More than 50 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) groups strutted their colorful and festive Carnival and Mardi Gras outfits during the Metro Manila Pride March in Makati City on Saturday afternoon.
Carrying rainbow-colored flags and banners, an estimated 1,000 participants joined the annual pride march “aimed [at highlighting] how the LGBT community makes a positive impact on society through their work and action.”
Anchored on the theme, “Sari-Sali: Pride in Action,” the march which started from the Makati City Hall Quadrangle was a celebration of inclusion and diversity, said Task Force Pride (TFP) spokesperson Tao Alves.
The celebration, according to the TFP web site, was held to coincide with Human Rights Consciousness Week and National Lesbian Day in the Philippines.
Alves said they decided to bring the pride celebration to Makati because it was one of the largest business centers in the metropolis and would also help the LGBT community engage a more mainstream audience.
“We also wanted to encourage participants to sign the petition to have an antidiscrimination ordinance in Makati,” said Alves, adding that only Quezon City and Cebu City have antidiscrimination policies so far.
The TFP spokesperson claimed that the LGBT sector was hoping that through a similar ordinance, there would be a national law on antidiscrimination which would also promote and safeguard the rights of LGBTs.
“The Pride March also calls for commitment from the local government units, the business sector and educational institutions to protect the rights of LGBTs through antidiscrimination ordinance and policies; as well as support and affirmation from the families and friends of LGBTs,” the TFP said in a statement.
The march, according to the TFP, also promoted “participation and inclusivity, not only from within the LGBT groups but also from non-LGBT allies who showed their support for gender equality.”
Alves said that after 18 years of celebrating the pride march, positive visibility for the LGBT community has improved.
“We have launched pride marches in some provinces in the country where we were able to voice out the issues and concerns of the LGBT sector,” she said.