As a prelude to the upcoming Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) LGBT Pride Week, National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairperson Aiza Suegerra shared her personal experiences during his talk this afternoon at the Arrupe Hall.
Aiza encouraged the youth to promote gender sensitivity and the rights of the LGBT community as he narrated the difficulties of living as a transman, citing various incidents such as the struggles of coming out and the challenges he experience throughout his relationship with his wife, Liza Diño.
“Sinasabi nila, especially yung mga taong galit na galit sa amin, ‘may choice ka naman e, pwede ka namang magpakababae,” he shared. “Totoo ‘yon. May choice kami, pero sa totoo lang ito lang ang choice namin: to stay in the closet or live freely.”
He also talked about issues confronting the LGBT Community in the Philippines such as the same-sex marriage, which is still not legal in the country until now.
“Ni minsan, hindi namin [Liza] magpakasal sa simbahan. And hinihingi naming marriage equality ay sa estado,” he explained.
He recounted how he had to describe himself as ‘single’ in signing papers and how he cannot write his wife’s name in several documents. He was even saddened by the fact that he cannot be recognized as a father of their eight-year-old child.
“Hindi ako makakabyahe na ako lang ang kasama niya [child],” he said. “Isa lang akong guardian.”
Aiza challenged the youth to protect the LGBT rights and continue promoting a culture of love regardless of one’s gender. He also urged the members of the LGBT Community to ‘persevere’ as, in a country like Philippines, their lives could be difficult.
Campus Clubs Organization Chairperson Khryzza Pinzon expressed how grateful she was for having the NYC Chairperson.
“I feel so privileged because the NYC Chairperson himself give time for AdDU pride week prelude. Nagspeak gyud siya not just about NYC, not just about LGBT, but shared even the most personal experiences,” she said.
Pinzon also encouraged the students to join the first ever AdDU Pride Week on Sept. 26 to 30. There will be a talk show, a Pride March, and a film-viewing activity to celebrate and raise awareness about the LGBT community.