“RESIST TOGETHER!” This was the theme and call of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) and their supporters in their rally last June 28 in Manila. The mobilization was mounted in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969 and the first Pride March in the country which was organized by the Progay organization in 1994.
The protest was spearheaded by Bahaghari and was participated in by peasant and religious groups, among others. Their primarily demanded for equal rights, regardless of class, gender and race, and for their civil right to marriage. The also called an end to contractualization, attacks of peasants in the countryside, and for national sovereignty.
Bahaghari was inspired by the uprising of activists in Stonewall. After the riots, new gay organizations were founded and these condemned not only gender discrimination but also racism. These organization actively supported national liberation movements in semicolonies.
The annual march is not only a celebration of the LGBT community’s past victories but is also a continuation of their protest. The rainbow flag is a symbol of the LGBT community.
Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, in a statement, expressed his solidarity to Pride March participants. He said that the theme which highlights the importance of the collective action of LGBTs, is timely and appropriate inasmuch as the people are confronted by an anti-gay and misogynist regime.
It is important to recognize the collective struggle of the LGBT for their rights as a community and as part of the oppressed classes. This is to resist the exploitation of the power of LGBTs by oppressive governments and states.
In the past, it is noticable that such celebrations were exploited for commercial purposes.