While Pride can be a celebration, we need to highlight the fact that Pride is first and foremost a protest and an opportunity to raise the concerns and issues of LGBTQIAP+ people. If we are to celebrate anything in this context, it is that we are here again, standing up and rising together to amplify our voices and raise awareness of our cause.
The Red Whistle's theme for Pride this year, which coincides with our tenth anniversary, is “Tayô Tayo—Stand Up and Rise Together.” We recognize that the challenges of the last year has knocked us down, we learn from that experience, but we stand up again and move forward with wisdom and strength.
This year, as with previous years, the most urgent issue that we are fighting for is the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill. The SOGIE Equality Bill, if enacted, will operationalize by law the equal protection that is guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution. As it stands, LGBTQIAP+ individuals still experience discrimination at home, in schools, workplaces, and communities based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and/or sex characteristics.
Discrimination is stigma in action. And stigma is rooted in fear. Fear is based on lack of awareness and knowledge. When ignorance and apathy is left unchecked, it can lead to discriminatory acts that harm people who only choose to live their truth.
As part of our advocacy for the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill, we believe that it is urgent and important to raise knowledge and awareness of SOGIESC concepts through education and information dissemination. Hence, we commit to include in our program of work discussions on SOGIESC in schools, workplaces, and communities to raise grassroots support for equality.
Educate, don't hate. End the discrimination, start the education. Let's do it together. Tayô tayo! #TayôTayo