To tackle issues and to inform students about the struggles of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the university, a talk show entitled #LunarAsks was held at the Arrupe Hall, last Sept. 26.
Guest speakers included students Jirah Lynn Baliwan, Janna Magbanua, Nico Veneracion, and JC Alquizar. The event did not only feature students from the LGBT community, but also an LGBT faculty member. In the latter part of the program, Professor Anthony Aguelo joined the said show.
The show covered questions like how the speakers determined their gender, their process of coming out, their struggles as members of the LGBT, and their impressions toward the Catholic Church.
Audiences also participated in asking questions about the LGBT.
Fourth year Education student Reil Benedict Obinque asked the speakers about their impressions regarding the new all-gender comfort rooms in the university.
To answer Obinque’s query, JC Alquizar emphasized why the all-gender bathrooms were proposed.
“I suggested the creation of the genderless bathrooms because prior to this, I still have to wait for the [men’s] bathroom to be empty before I use it. I am afraid to be bullied or discriminated inside the bathrooms,” Alquizar said.
Also, Nico Veneracion said that he thinks the all-gender comfort room is beneficial for members of the LGBT.
“It’s a big milestone for the LGBT community here in the Ateneo de Davao to have an all-gender CR. Not all of us are very comfortable using the usual male-female CR because of the discrimination that might arise from it,” said Veneracion to answer Obinque’s query.
Students and some faculty members participated in the said event.
Fifth year Architecture student Micolle Catayas, who identified herself as a member of the LGBT, said the event was an eye-opener for those who needed it.
“I think [this] event would somehow be an eye opener for everyone, especially [since] this is the first LGBT Pride Week. This would open more doors for the empowerment of the LGBT, and [for the] equality of everyone,” she said.
Campus Clubs Organization (CCO), Pinag-isang Lakas ng Samahan ng mga Progresibong Atenista (Piglasapat), Buklurang Atenista (Buklat), Bahaghari, AIESEC, Young Entrepreneur’s Society (YES), Junior Social Workers Association of the Philippines (JSWAP), Ateneo Film Circle (AFC), Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral ng Agham Pampulitika (SAMAPULA), Nature Watch Club (NWC), Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral ng Sikolohiyang Filipino (SAMASIKOFIL), and the Atenews organized the said event.
The talk show officially commenced the university’s first LGBT Pride Week. Students are encouraged to wear white on Sept. 28 for the Pride March. On Sept. 30, the LGBT in Cinema will feature films about the LGBT to be held at the Audio-Visual Room (AVR).