All colors of the rainbow found home once again as the LGBTQ+ community of Metro Manila celebrated Pride on June 30th of 2018 at the Marikina Sports Complex. With 25,000 attendees and over 200 participating organizations, groups and companies, this year’s Metro Manila Pride saw a 225% increase in attendance from 2017.
Children of Kids Nutrition Campaign, and volunteer teachers of Secular Humanist Advocacy Development & Education (SHADE) of Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) turned out to celebrate 24 years of Philippine Pride activism, and to express support for the passage of an anti-discrimination bill that champions the LGBTQ+ people’s sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE).
An afternoon program saw performances of acapella group The Bearytones, ethnic jazz singer Ja Quintana, and drag queen Dee Dee Marie Holiday. Speeches from special guests followed, including Marikina chief executive Marcelino Teodoro and representatives of organizations under the Lagablab Network.
As the parade started, anti-LGBTQ+ protesters expressed their disgust by flashing signs that cite the Bible. Unperturbed, the marchers went on to enjoy what seemed to be the proudest parade ever. The downpour gave the protesters a deserved downtime, but it did not stop the rainbow flags and their bearers from shining even brighter.
A jump-off from 2017 Pride’s message of coming together, this year’s celebration was about rising up together. “Rising up” means doing more for the community such as pushing for policies that take into consideration the contributions and rights of LGBTQ+ people, and becoming an empathetic human being.