Queer Tams on 2024 Pride: ‘We march for those who have marched before us’

FEU Advocate
June 22, 2024 22:37

By Maxine Alessandra B. Turiano

Far Eastern University (FEU) students, led by the FEU Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), echoed calls in recognition of past queer generations’ legacies as they marched in the ‘Love Laban 2 Everyone’ Pride PH Festival 2024 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle earlier today, June 22. 

According to FEU SAGA, around 70 Tamaraws signed up for the event through the organization, although more may have participated without registering.

In an interview with FEU Advocate, FEU SAGA President Fiona Loren Maglaya emphasized the significance of the march as a way to honor queer folks beyond their generation.

“We march not just to represent FEU SAGA, we march for those who have marched before us, for those who represented not just me as a lesbian, or not just the lesbian community, but the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole,” she stated. 

Bearing calls for SOGIE equality and human rights, marchers at the Laban Pride March route began at Kalayaan Avenue towards East Avenue and concluded at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

Meanwhile, the Love Pride March route spanned from Timog Avenue, along Quezon Avenue, before converging with the Laban route at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

Moreover, fourth-year FEU Institute of Technology Multimedia Arts student and Kabataan Partylist FEU Chairperson Maya Ferrer recognized the tight-knit queer community in FEU, but pointed out that the University is deeply intertwined with the broader policies and attitudes of Philippine society.

“However, it's far from perfect because the FEU as a university, it's really not separate from the whole Philippine state of as we go inside our schools, we still don't have those rights, we still don't have the rights to marry, to have love, to be really safe from all sorts discrimination,” Ferrer said.

Further, Ferrer highlighted the need for solidarity in broader Philippine issues within the FEU community.

“This isn't my first pride, but what made me join really is the how–is the fact that we need to fight back as Filipinos and as [a] broad Tamaraw community. As the youth, we need to stand, we need to fight back,” the chairperson explained.

Bahaghari Secretary-General and National Spokesperson Arri Samsico also encouraged more youth and student participation in national mobilizations during a separate interview.

“We have to take part hindi lang sa mga pride marches but different mobilizations because tayo… [‘yung] future natin ang nakasalalay bilang mga kabataan. Bilang mga susunod na maghahawak sa susunod na henerasyon. Dapat tayong mag-take over, dapat tayong mag-claim ng space, dapat tayong lumaban kasi kung hindi tayo lalaban, kung mananahimik tayo, wala nang kinabukasan para sa mga kabataan (We have to take part not only in pride marches but in different mobilizations because our future as youth is at stake. As the next generation who will hold the future, we should take over, claim space, and fight, because if we don't fight, if we remain silent, there will be no future for the youth),” Samsico shared.

Several youth and student groups marched alongside other groups, including human rights organizations, health institutions, and faith-based networks in a 200,000-strong rally for LGBTQIA+ rights.

This marks a nearly double increase in attendees compared to last year’s crowd of 110,000.

Various artists and influencers were part of a lineup of performances, with notable FEU alumni, such as Vice Ganda and drag queens Brigiding and Maria Christina headlining the event.

Pride PH also invited policymakers and professionals to further educate pride-goers in lobbying the SOGIE Equality Bill forward.

The Quezon City local government and Pride PH made the choice to cancel the Pride Night concert past 8 p.m. due to heavy rain affecting various electrical and sound equipment, citing safety concerns for both performers and attendees.

- With Reports from Eunhice Corpuz

(Photo by Zedrich Xylak Madrid/FEU Advocate)