Jun 27, 2010

[Technicolor Musings] Happy Pride You Geeks!

Royal Rainbow Pride

Naturally, I need to start with one big HAPPY PRIDE EVERYONE!!!

I'm writing this post in advance since by the time this actually gets published, I'll probably be recovering from a night of wild partying and celebrating with the rest of the LGBT population of Manila. Odds are high that I won't even be conscious, given how I tend to handle excessive amounts of alcohol in my system.

Beyond that strange but not unrealistic image of your Geeky Guide (that being me), I wanted to make sure I devoted this week's Technicolor Musings to celebrating this little Gay Pride Weekend.

And yes, I know that some of you are going to try and play the "this wasn't Pride weekend, it was just the weekend of the White Party" card, but then despite the complicated history, I'll always look at the last weekend of June as being about Pride and not just about a silly party. The meaning of an event tends to be in the eyes of the beholder or something like that so I think I have a write to celebrate my personal views on pride on this blog.

SAN FRANCISCO - JUNE 29:  A reveler holds a ga...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
This years marks my 7th White Party and also my seventh year away from home and my seventh year as an out and proud gay man. I've been celebrating the White Party as Gay Pride for seven years now thanks to my previous partner and the diverse circle of friends that I've had the honor of getting to know over the years. My life as a gay man practically began with my very first White Party and so it's definitely something I hold dear on so many levels.

On an international level, June is always celebrated as Gay Pride Month because of history. June 28, 1969 marked the time of the Stonewall Riots in New York, which is largely remembered as the first time homosexuals stood up for gay rights in a massive protest action. While we aren't as belligerent today, we certainly still have a lot to fight for. Thus this is the reason that many LGBT groups around the world schedule their gay pride celebrations around this time and for a period so did we.

But June is also the rainy season in the Philippines and many attribute this annual complication to the need to move the Pride March to December instead. In the meantime, the Manila White Party remained as a fixture of the last weekend of June and so we end up celebrating our gay pride in two major events for the year. Frankly, I see no issues with this - in fact we should be able to celebrate Pride a heck of a lot more.

This year, I personally feel there's a lot to be celebrated. This past year marked the first time my partner got to celebrate Pride and it also marked the first time either of us had marched during the December Pride March with other members of the local LGBT community. This was also the year that Ang Ladlad managed to officially make it on the ballot despite efforts by the COMELEC to disqualify the LGBT partylist for being "immoral" in their eyes. In the international scene, there are now 5 US states along with the District of Columbia that now allow gay marriage plus transexuals can not openly declare their self-perceived gender on their US passports. Certainly all good news for the LGBT community at large.

But of course the struggle for equal rights is far from over. While the US is going state-by-state in its struggle to determine whether or not it will fully sanction gay marriage, our little country is eons away from even beginning to think about an anti-discrimination bill that would also protect LGBT rights. We're still not perceived as equal members of society and our signs of love and affection displayed in public are still frowned upon and are met with chuckles or condescending scoffs. And we continue to celebrate what makes us uniquely different and remain proud of who and what we really are.

Sure, for most folks it's just another party and another excuse to get drunk or whatever. But at least for me and may partner and all those who choose to share our sentiments, we'll take the time to remember all that has come before in order for things to get to this point. All the sacrifices made to achieve this weekend of open and honest celebration. The freedom to be able to dance in the street and be recognized as being a proud gay man or whichever segment of the LGBT community that you associate with.

That's Pride for me. And that's what I was celebrating last night. Hope you all had a good one you faggots!
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