Empowering LGBT Communities: Bisdak Pride Inc.
“Appearance blinds, whereas words reveal.”
Has anyone noticed the growing number of the LGBT society? There are a lot of them but their voice isn’t as loud and listened to as it should be. LGBT stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender/Trans-sexual. They are the small percentage of our society that’s not attracted to their respective opposite sexes. In our Philippine Society, they are looked down upon and they are seen as sick individuals that happen to be the very abominations plaguing our country. The Queer society of the Philippines has very limited rights. They are tolerated but not accepted.
While most gay men or ‘baklas’ and ‘bayots’ are generally acknowledged, Filipinos are very uneducated with the term Lesbian. When this word is said, Filipinos often think of a swaggering female with a bound chest and butch hair. This is the only image of Lesbian we know. Not to mention that most homosexual relationships in the Philippines adhere to gender roles: One person has to be the male counterpart and the other, female. This is due to the Spanish Colonial era’s influence and encouragement of Patriarchy, a kind of society that perceives the masculine gender as important and superior. It is rare, even, that a school approves an LGBT club to function in its campus.
The Philippines is a widely Catholic society and the church has been actively opposing LGBT rights. Some have even gone as far as saying that if the Queer society is accepted, “judgment” may befall the country.
There have been LGBT organizations popping up here and there, but Bisdak Pride Inc. has been one of the most active. Bisdak Pride Inc. is one of the LGBT groups in Cebu providing a voice and outlet to all homosexuals and LGBTs. It has been founded on 2005 and is perfectly active and functioning to provide a second home to the gay society of Cebu and all over Visayas.
Bisdak pride is a voluntary organization aiming to empower the LGBT community with monthly Educational Discussions on art, Literature and Religion. They have four scheme practices that they base most of their activities on: Queer Politics, in which they have Leadership Trainings and practices on how to do basic Project Proposals. Queer Theology where they counterattack moralists of the Church with the firm belief that God is love and that She/He does not discriminate. Queer Arts where they hold Film Festivals and Gay Poetry Contests and Queer Health where they focus on HIV prevention on the Human Rights Perspective. The Bisaya Pride Inc caters to the Bisaya-speaking populace. It is the only LGBT organization in Cebu that is a part of the NCCA – the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts.
Bisdak Pride has both “straight” and queer members and they also have several partner organizations that they collaborate with on various occasions. They also have Grassroots or organizations located in the Barangay level which they educate on sexuality, coming out and life skills. They encourage empowerment and integrity with an individual’s sexuality. Therefore, one should not be afraid to come out of the closet. They also do not participate in Gay Pride Marches since they believe that a true Pride March only happens when everyone who is in need like the women, farmers and queers and present to truly represent Pride.
Every Wednesday, Bisdak Pride Inc. holds a get-together for queers who want to share their experiences and have a support group where they feel at home at Handuraw in Lahug. On every first Wednesday of the month, they have an open discussion for Queers. On the second Wednesday, they have film showings and literature discussions. On the third Wednesday, they have a Gay Poetry Reading. On the last Wednesday, they have their Palangkawan. Anyone is welcome to go and join them for their weekly Wednesday meetings.
It is amazing how much willpower and time Bisdak Pride Inc. is inputting towards the betterment of the Bisdak LGBT society. Kudos to Bisdak Pride Inc.
Bisdak Pride can be contacted on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bisdak-Pride-Inc/423697407704579 . Their official e-mail is [email protected]. They are willing to collaborate with any organizations who want to conduct LGBT themed activities to schedule on one of their Wednesday meetings.