Members and allies of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) community gathered for the Pride Parade to show solidarity and celebrate the annual pride month on Saturday, June 22 at around Bacolod City Hall.
This is dubbed “The Return Of Pride” to Bacolod City after having a 4-year hiatus and was organized by Tribu Duag, an LGBTQ+ organization led by various youth leaders with the coordination of Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI), Negrosanon Youth Leaders Institute (NYLI) and Rekindle Ph. There were also representatives from different groups such as Akbayan Citizen Party, GABRIELA and Kabataan Partylist.
To kick off the event, a short program was orchestrated in the Old City Hall grounds decorated with rainbow flags. The people expressed themselves in their colorful, unique attires dancing to the loud music.
Justice was called for the countless victims of hate crimes. They condemned the killing of Ryan Hubila, human rights activist and the tragic murder of Jennifer Laude, a transwoman. Speakers also called out to support the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Bill.
Charisse Erinn Flores, a representative of Akbayan Party, reminded everyone how they are all beautiful in their own way and how nice it is to have a pride parade in the city while holding a sign that says, “Don’t hide, walk with pride,” that got the crowd cheering.
With the crowd pumped up by energetic speakers during the program, they started the parade waving their rainbow flags and holding their statement signs. Gay anthems can be heard blaring through the speakers on a truck that led the people in the streets. The parade concluded at Tippy’s Bistro at Lacson Street where performances from local drag queens entertained the mass.
Junuis Dale Capus, a HAPI Junior, said that this year’s pride parade is not only a celebration but also a way to call for the lawmakers to pass the SOGIE Bill, Same Sex Civil Union, and successfully implement and execute other laws regarding equality. He also added, “Last 22nd of June is the evidence that LGBTQ+ community is united and supported in the city with hundreds parading with us in the streets. Tribu Duag and various organizations are grateful because the return of pride in the city is a success. We are looking forward to next year’s pride celebration. Together with LGBTQ+ community and allies, we will make it louder and more colorful.”