Manila: Members of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community conducted a colorful catwalk event at a popular Manila landmark to raise awareness against discrimination, hate crimes, problems they face regarding HIV and healthcare and corruption.
The LGBT group Kapederasyon staged “Rampaglilitis” (a combination of the Filipino words “rampa,” which translates to walking and strutting one’s stuff, and “paglilitis,” or trial) at the iconic Bonifacio Shrine beside the Manila City Hall July 24.
Eight models parading in their colorful costumes were onstage while holding placards that bore their grievances against the government, according to newsinfo.inquirer.net.
The issues the group raised revolve around discrimination, hate crimes, HIV and healthcare and soaring prices of basic goods.
A female model wore an all-black long-sleeve shirt and slacks with her shirt littered with discriminatory insults. A man holding a large syringe and wearing white shirts and pants littered with red ribbons was made to represent HIV and healthcare.
“We are now breaking our silence as President Aquino remains silent and is doing nothing to improve the lives of our fellow LGBTs nationwide,” said Edward Peralta, Kapederasyon spokesman.
“We are further coming ‘out’ to hold Aquino accountable to the various issues hounding his presidency,” he told newsinfo.inquirer.net.
The LGBT community in the Philippines is presently in the forefront of a protest seeking the mandatory HIV testing proposal being discussed by the country’s Department of Health.
The proposed testing was made because of fears that AIDS in the Philippines has risen further than expected, and the popular but largely unsubstantiated notion that it was sexually active gay and transgender men and women that were responsible for the spread of HIV.
A UN-sponsored study has confirmed that gay people in the Philippines continue to face discrimination despite pockets of increased tolerance for the LGBT community by Filipino society.
Several of the larger cities in the Philippines have passed ordinances banning LGBT discrimination, but efforts to pass a national law continues to be blocked and that hate crimes against the LGBT community remain a distressing threat, the study said.
The Bonifacio Shrine was built to remember Andrés Bonifacio y de Castro (1863 –1897), a Filipino revolutionary leader and one of the main rebel leaders of the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial rule. He is regarded as one of the most influential national heroes of his country.