How You Can Support LGBTQIA+ Individuals and Communities During Pride Month and Beyond
The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered the queer community vulnerable and at risk
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers of the annual Pride March and Festival have decided to cancel this year’s event, originally scheduled for June 27, and shift to online activities instead. The pandemic has also rendered many members of the queer community economically, mentally, and physically vulnerable—especially those who, pre-pandemic, were earning daily wages.
With all that’s transpiring across the world and the Philippines, it’s important to remember that Pride has always been a protest—and a protest against police brutality, no less—so it’s important to celebrate it that way. Pride has always been more than just rainbows on a shirt, or a gimmick from a brand. Pride wasn’t even about the legalization of marriage.
Pride has always been about liberation and resisting persecution. Pride has always been about overthrowing oppressive institutions of power. One of the most prominent figures of the Stonewall Riots—the very same uprising that would give LGBTQ+ individuals our much-awaited Pride March—is a black drag queen and activist named Marsha P. Johnson. In celebrating Pride, especially on its 50th year, it matters to honor queer individuals: those you know, those who are, and those who came before them.
Yesterday afternoon, the social networking app Blued held a talk for the benefit of three important organizations that support LGBTQIA+ individuals: Home for the Golden Gays, the AIDS Society of the Philippines, and the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP). Together with BJ Pascual and Vince Uy, the community gathered for a discussion about the most pressing issues queer individuals face today, especially with the pandemic happening.
If events around the world have started weighing down on you, making your heart a tad heavier than usual, channel your frustrations into concrete action. There are a million ways to do this: through donating, through speaking up, through shedding light on important issues, through educating yourself. The world is changing and moving forward—don’t get left behind.
Home for the Golden Gays is a non-profit organization that provides support and care facilities for elderly LGBTQ+ individuals. This pandemic has hit them particularly hard as many of them are performers and beauticians, and depend on daily wages. The AIDS Society of the Philippines has been campaigning for the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS through various events, activities, and volunteer assistance. STRAP, on the other hand, advocates for the rights of transpinays (transgender/transexual Filipinas) and helps combat stigma and discrimination against them.
If you have access to the internet, you have access to resources that can help you educate yourself in various matters, from LGBTQIA+ issues to the realities of police brutality all over the world. With the entire world experiencing a particularly impassioned moment right now, take this time to keep yourself informed and educated. It’s also important that you educate other people: your friends, your family, people in your networks. Remember that it is not the obligation of marginalized and vulnerable communities and individuals to educate you—learn on your own and alongside others.
For information on how you can donate, see the organizations’ bank details below.
Home for the Golden Gays
BPI Family Savings: 5626 7647 05
The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP)
AIDS Society of the Philippines
BPI: 3159 1487 17
GCash: 0915 456 6987
Lead photo from Unsplash