In celebration of the Pride Month, SAMAHAN Moderator Lunar Fayloga encouraged the students to “continue to challenge the Catholic Church” and push for a more integrative dialogue through “listening, reasoning, and proposing.”
“We need to constantly engage the church in dialogue… We hope to engage how the Catholic Church can go and extend herself,” he said yesterday during the launching of Malaya: The AdDU Pride Week 2019 at the Arrupe Hall.
Inspired by a Vatican document, Sir Fayloga centered his speech on “Dialogue and not ideology: Understanding gender fluidity,” highlighting the importance of being open to other people’s narratives without sacrificing one’s own position.
“Where should we start our dialogue? I believe not in terms of ideology but from where we are,” he added, stressing that the strides taken by the AdDU community in support of the LGBTQIA+ community like the establishment of all-gender restrooms were prompted not by an ideology “but real, painful experiences of the members” of the community.
He also told the student that more than being politically correct and socially aware, “one should be able to show compassion” and say sorry to those he or she hurt.
“The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines is creating Catholic standards of a higher education and we see it that one part of the standard and benchmark is a campus that is non-discriminatory and sensitive to gender,” he said.
He also stated that the “SAMAHAN Central Board, the Libulan, and the Theology department will come together” to discuss “Male and Female He created them,” a 30-page controversial document released by the Church on the congregation of education, in a more multi-disciplinary approach.
On the other hand, Ateneo Libulan Circle Moderator Ms. Efren John Sabado revealed that she felt proud that the Ateneo provides safe spaces for the members of the LGBTQIA+ and recognizes their rights amidst being a Catholic university.
“Catholic universities are stereotyped as very conservative universities but Ateneo is very inclusive and very open. In fact, it encourages conversations, dialogues about the needs, concerns the welfare of LGBTQIA+ communities, including the allies,” she said.
Libulan President Vench Monroe Octobre stated that the event’s theme Malaya means that “everyone is free to express who they are” as the event becomes “a window of opportunity for them to be heard.”
“The Ateneo de Davao University is an institution known for its consideration for the diversity and uniqueness of each person. It is grounded upon the belief that equality can be achieved through various forms of sensitivity,” he said.
After the launching of the AdDU Pride Week, the event will also encompass the annual flag launching and a forum on the key points of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE).
“We always hear about LGBT as a jargon referring to the community but rarely do we hear about the SOGIE,” Ms. Sabado said and referred to a pending bill in the Congress called the SOGIE Bill.
The Ateneo Libulan Circle is the second recognized LGBTQIA+ organization in the country, after University of the Philippines’ Babaylan. This year will be the third year of AdDU to participate in the Pride Week.