Baguio LGBT Pride Parade in Philippines goes ahead in a cyclone

Participants in the 7th annual Baguio City Pride Parade marched despite rain and cyclonic weather

Marchers in the 2013 Baguio City Pride March

Not even a cyclone put the dampers on participants in the annual Baguio City Pride Parade.

Participants march despite rain being dumped on the city by a weather event termed Severe Tropical Storm Gorio by Filipino meteorologists on Sunday.

Around 100 people marched to called on the Aquino government to respond to their demands for more human rights protections.

Dressed up in huge headdresses made from tiger grass, the leaders of the Baguio Pride Network (BPN) danced through the city’s tourist promenades along Session Road carrying protest signs and wearing colored wigs to mark the 44th anniversary of the New York City Stonewall Riots.

This year’s theme was ‘Building a world that is free and equal’ was a reference to recent LGBT rights victories such as the end of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in the US and the re-legalization of same-sex marriage in California.

‘The rainbow tambo headdress we wear symbolize the need to come together like stalks on a broomstick, because we can only be strong and effective when collectivized,’ ProGay Metro Baguio spokesman Clyde Pumihic said in a statement.

‘Like brooms, we wish to sweep away the hate, the homophobia and violence that plague our communities.’

BPN convenor Caro Galvez said that despite victories overseas, violence and discrimination continue to make lives a hell for millions of LGBTs in 76 countries including the Philippines.

‘Here in Baguio City, our lesbian sister Manny was a victim of corrective rape, committed by homophobic men who cannot tolerate our rights to our own sexual orientation and gender identity,’ Galvez said.

Participants also marched to call for the passing of anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBTs and improved funding for schools and hospitals to improve LGBT access to health and education.

LGBT issues have been firmly in the spotlight recently in the Philippines with new hit soap opera screening about a woman who’s husband is having an affair with another man.

by Andrew Potts
Source – Gay Star News