by Lea Regina Dulay and Rojean Grace Patumbon/UM Interns
THE LGBTQIA+ Davao City Coalition and Olympus Society of Davao Inc., in collaboration with AdDU-Samahan, spearheaded this month’s PrideFest 2023 with the theme “Looking Back and Moving Forward.”
A series of events simultaneously took place at Roxas Street and Rizal Park, such as the Pride Rise: Davao-wide Pride Flag Raising took place at the AdDU Roxas on June 7, and the Zumbakadyan: Davao Pride Zumba at Buhangin Gym on June 16.
A Pride march and a drag race are scheduled this June 24 as part of the Proud N’ Loud culmination.
Pride Month is not only an avenue to celebrate the existence of the LGBTQIA+ community but also a movement to promote and demand actions on the existing problems they face, particularly in the issue of discrimination and protection rights.
Since 2015, the community has fought to amend the city’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), particularly Ordinance No. 0417-12 or the “Anti-Discrimination Ordinance of Davao City.” But the attempts to gather the different sectors to convene the rules were turned down.
Instead, the community pushes for Senate Bill No. 689, or “Anti-Discrimination on the Bases of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression”, otherwise known as the SOGIE Equality Bill.
“The same chance that the LGBT community is asking from all of Davaoenos, from all of you. Imagine patong-patung yung…imagine pobre pa siya, LGBT pa siya at the same time may health pa na aspect so pano pa siya lalaban without your support (The same chance that the LGBT Community is asking from all of Davaoenos, from all of you. Imagine someone poor, who is also a member of the LGBT, and at the same time has health issues— their issues overlap. So, how will they be able to fight [for their rights] without your support), ” said Oscar Obenza Jr. the head of Olympus Society of Davao Inc.
According to Obenza, the Global Fund created the care program that would help provide lawyers for the LGBT community regarding SOGIE and gender-based discrimination.
The coalition partnered with AdDu-SAMAHAN (Samahan ng Mga Mag-Aaral ng Pamantasang Ateneo de Davao) through Chyna Legaspina, president of the organization, San Pedro College of Davao, and Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao for the celebration.
Pride March organizers urged everyone to participate.
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