June 26, 2023 (12:24 PM)

4 min read


OUT AND PROUD. Religious protesters flocked outside Rizal Park while LGBTQ+ members remained unfazed and continued to march head-on to attend the Pride Month culmination on March 24, 2023. Photo by Toni Anne Albarico

With the help of different local and LGBTQIA+ organizations from Davao City, Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) celebrates Pride Month through the Proud N’ Loud: PrideFest 2023, taking place throughout the month of June.

Proud N’ Loud: PrideFest 2023 is an initiative by the SAMAHAN Department of Campaigns and Advocacies (DCA) and the Ateneo Libulan Circle (ALC), the university’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, and Asexual (LGBTQIA++) organization. With that, SOGIESC is part of SAMAHAN’s six priority advocacies, or AdvocaSIX, prompting the DCA to spearhead the university’s Pride Month celebration every month of June.

“The SAMAHAN DCA wanted to take significant strides toward fostering acceptance, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for LGBTQ+ individuals, hence why we came up with PrideFest,” SOGIESC AdvocaSIX Head Sean Kendrick Tan told Atenews.

Activities during the PrideFest include the Davao-wide pride flag raising, Zumbakadyan, Pride Month social media initiatives, and the Pride Month culmination through the citywide Pride March.

DCA Director Juven Bacusmo said that the planning of the event was difficult, especially since it was done during the summer break. However, the event was still made possible through the support and empowerment of different external organizations, such as the Davao City Tourism Office and the LGBT Davao City Coalition (LGBTDDC).

“The main goal of this year’s PrideFest is to empower the LGBTDCCI community – to embrace their stories and transform them to greater movements. This mission and goals are achieved and will be achieved through the solidifying partnership and cooperation between SAMAHAN DCA, ALC, and other AdDU organization partners,” Bacusmo said.

DCA also tapped small businesses in Davao City to help support their cause, which was a feat the department is thankful for. 

Importance of pride in the university

“This year’s PrideFest is a celebration and a protest for every LGBTQIA+ individual’s right,” the DCA Director emphasized.

In the wake of the Stonewall uprising in 1969, Pride Month has become a worldwide celebration every month of June, which aims to raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ education and to push for advocacies that protect the rights of  LGBTQIA+ individuals.

According to ALC President Archie Barroga, the Pride Month celebration provides LGBTQIA+ visibility that is not just exclusive to Ateneans, but to every individual outside the campus.

“With Pride Marches and Pride Months in general, it serves as a reminder really of our vibrant community and the strength that we have in numbers. And other than that, I guess it also serves as a reminder for people that there are still so many things that we have to fight for and we have to push forward, and we have to ensure that our future generation benefits from,” Barroga said.

Barroga acknowledges that the situation of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the university is so much different than what’s happening outside the campus, but he believes that something can be done.

“There really has to be a commitment on education and knowledge building for LGBTQ members that exist outside of the university, and that advocacy has to really be pushed forward by us.”

The SAMAHAN and ALC are working together to create various projects and plans that are aligned with the LGBTQIA+ and SOGIESC advocacies of both organizations.

“PrideFest is only the start., There are future engagements with our external partners as they are willing to continue the collaboration in implementing events that focuses on SOGIESC and LGBTQIA+ Community’s right,” Bacusmo shared with Atenews.

With the implementation of these projects, the ALC President hopes to demonstrate the university’s progressiveness outside of the campus when it comes to SOGIESC.

“The fight does not end kasi sa loob [ng campus], so what we have here in the university has to be shared to the rest of the country, and hopefully, through advocacies, events, and projects that we have, we can somehow enlighten people.”

End the silence of the gagged!

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