UP Babaylan, the longest existing LGBTQ+ student organization in Asia and the Philippines, launched #PrideLetters, which lets you write an open letter to members of the LGBTQ+ community or their friends and family.
For this year’s Pride celebrations, the organization wanted to focus on the members of the queer community who are dealing with loneliness and isolation in quarantine. The initiative is also for those in difficult living situations, says Babaylan. “Some are in unsafe and abusive houses that aren’t homes. Some were thrown out by their families. Some do not have a place to live in. All live in a society that still doesn’t accept them.”
The organization even suggests sending an open letter to our government leaders in order to convince them to fast-track an anti-discrimination law. The SOGIE Equality Bill was originally filed in 2016. Although it has received a lot of public support, there have been a lot of government officials against the passing of this bill to law. Back in 2018, President Duterte even withdrew the bill’s classification as urgent. Not gonna lie, this is one of the first letters I will be sending.
In a statement that welcomed Pride Month, UP Babaylan touched on the worsening global situation that continues to oppress various cultural and racial minorities around the world. Their statement says that now is the perfect time to unite against systems that allow inequality, injustice and human rights violations to continue.
They also hope that even though we can’t physically come together for Pride, solidarity within the community and in support for other communities will still continue. “Rainbows cannot fill our streets, so let’s take our Pride elsewhere. Let’s reclaim our spaces in every home, institution and community until we live in a free, equal, just and humane society for all.”
If you can’t wait to send that letter—because hey, we can make writing letters a part of gay culture—you can get started by sending them here. You can also watch out for their other social initiative: Queer Media for Children on Jun. 23. This initiative will introduce child-friendly media that positively represents the LGBTQ+ community. You can act on these recommendations with the rest of your friends or family and enjoy a fun and wholesome Pride marathon.
Art by Dana Calvo
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