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SAWA Philippine Students Activists Workers Artists

Solidarity Message

Promoting Philippine arts, culture, and progressive politics.

The following is a Solidary Message from ProGAY Philippines that was read at SAWA's 2nd Pride Stage in Toronto on June 26, 2004.

ProGay is located in different regions and sectors of the Philippines. They have members from schools, offices, factories, and migrant working communities, among others. They aim to encourage gay men and lesbians into realizing their rights and to act together to solve their problems. PROGay believes that with the help of our communities, we can lessen homophobia and other hate-related crimes through information dissemination and by showing ourselves as the best examples.

We send Pride greetings from the Philippines today as we celebrate 10 years of LGBT pride here in Manila.

We commend SAWA (Philippine Students Activists Workers Artists) providing self-defense courses to migrant queers in Toronto. How parallel our experiences must be! Over the first half of the year, we have had a series of not less than six cases of brutal murders committed against gays and transgenders, all unsolved to this day with the government not doing anything to prevent further attacks against LGBT communities that are now in the grip of fear.

Yet our ten years of organizing makes it imperative for us to move onwards As long as inequitable economic relations between classes and between oppressor nations and oppressed nations force migration of cheap labor to lands where the truth of racial and gender discrimination frustrates their attempts at escaping the hardships back home.

We at ProGay encourage and challenge you to keep on working and building links between gender equality and social justice, for the fight for LGBT liberation is tightly entwined with the larger social movement, not separate from it. We ask you to hear the faint echoes of your roots in the Third World and consider this an invitation for you to strengthen your links with the LGBTs and oppressed peoples in the Philippines and everywhere else.

Mabuhay! from ProGay

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