01611: White (Party) Noise

Given how many White Parties were scheduled for this year, it's only natural that there's some confusion in the pink community about which party is what or when or where. But more recent social media exchanges seem a bit too focused on the different organizers arguing over whose event is the "official" event and silly things of that nature. And while they argue about whose White Party carries the legacy of all the past White Parties, I think they miss the point entirely and thus prove that none of them remember what this event is truly for.

In the Philippines, the White Party marks the "traditional" LGBT Pride celebrations in Manila. Scheduled for the last weekend of June, it was mapped out to coincide around the same time as the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Back in the day the White Party was just another event in a larger celebration that included the LGBT Pride March here in Manila. But one thing led to another and the March opted to move to December while the White Party remained in June.

Some argue that the White Party is just an event - a cash cow designed to move the Pink Peso as much as possible. Others hold firm that it's truly an event meant to celebrate LGBT diversity and rally more to the cause of fighting for LGBT rights in the country. And it's hard to figure out which one is which.

As you all know, I already feel that Malate is dead given how most of the bars have moved on. The White Party is more than the venue - it's about the spirit of solidarity within the LGBT community and the common struggle we all have aiming for better representation, recognition and respect. And the in-fighting and bickering over social media just demonstrates how far these events have strayed. And don't get me started on how much they're charging for entrance fees for these events.

I suppose this is why Tobie and I are sticking to familiar. We're naturally biased towards O Bar since the bar is like a second home to us and the various drag queens, poi dancers and other staff practically feel like family already. But beyond that personal affinity, I'm glad that O Bar continues to attempt to stay out of the politicking and gutter fighting by focusing the event on the celebration of LGBT Pride. It's not a White Party - it's a Pride Party. But I suppose due to some devotion to "tradition", Tobie and I are bound to wear white.

The point of all this - stop trying to figure out which party is best or claiming it to be the "original" one or the "official" one. No matter which party you go to or even if you stay at home this weekend, try to remember what we're all celebrating to begin with. This is about LGBT Pride. Let's celebrate the diversity of our community and let's renew our commitment to stand up for the rights and freedoms that we fully deserve.

Happy LGBT Pride everyone. And NO DRAMA!
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