01487: Why We March

I know me and the boys (now in the correct order of colors) have been really pushing hard to help promote the Metro Manila Pride March this Saturday at Makati City Hall, but admittedly I feel very strongly about this particular event.

Ever since I first started marching back in 2009, something just clicked for me. There's something about being a part of something bigger - truly feeling like you're a part of the greater LGBT community at large that really empowers you. And while I admit I'm rather jaded about most political matters, the annual LGBT Pride March always stands out for me as being significantly important. It's not a question of whether we're going to join or not - as long as we're physically able to, we're definitely going to be there. And there's the all important question of what we might wear for the day.

All the other events in the pink calendar don't come close to how important and significant the Pride March is to me. Sure, the street parties like the White Party in June and the Black Party around Halloween are fun in their own right, but for the most part they' rather hollow and sometimes even shallow parties that are just there for partying sake. And while I do respect the "circuit scene" part of gay culture (if you think that the 'circuit' term even applies to events here), they simply pale in comparison with respect to the March itself.

The LGBT Pride March will always be the time of the year when we get to stand up and truly be counted as part of something far greater than any of us as individuals. It is clearly showing the rest of Metro Manila that we exist and that there is far greater support for LGBT rights than the conservatives would like folks to believe. The march is about giving a face to those who are part of the LGBT community and to those who support their LGBT friends.

The fight for gay rights will never be won by gay people alone - nor is it being fought in that manner either. This struggle is one that requires the support of far more people than that, people who recognize that this is not about giving special privileges to a small segment of the population. This is about ensuring that we all have equal rights as human beings and are respected for who we are.

We have the right not to be discriminated against whether in the workplace or just on the streets. We have the right to remain free to love whomever we choose to and not to be persecuted for it. We have to marry our partners and gain the full benefits that such partners gain under the law including hospital visitation rights, tax breaks and inheritance privileges. We have the right to start families of our own - to freely adopt children or have them and for them to be able to be proud of being part of this vibrant segment of the community.

To march is to be counted. To march is to be proud of who you are. To march is to remind the country and even the world that we matter and that we deserve a heck of a lot more than what we're getting right now.

And that's a pretty damn important fight to participate in, if you don't mind me saying so.
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