ISPEC holds 1st LGBTQ+ themed poetry, music fest

By John Carlos A. Plata

THE ILLUMINATES OF THE SPECTRA (ISPEC) hosted an LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and others) themed poetry reading and music event entitled #LetLoveIn last July 8 at El Amigo Restaurant.

According to ISPEC president Karla Karina Rosales, it is time to expose Dumaguete to LGBTQ+ themed gatherings since events like this are still uncommon.

“[The poetry reading and music fest] was something we’ve always wanted to do since the org [sic] was established in 2014,” Rosales said.

Rosales added that the event’s purpose “[is] to gather the LGBTQ+ community, its supporters, and individuals who are open-minded so they can learn, connect with people, and hear poetry.”

“We wanted to be able to give individuals an atmosphere and an avenue for self-expression through poetry,” Rosales said.

The poems recited by the performers dealt with topics such as human rights, discrimination against LGBT people, gender inequality, identity issues, and romance.

“In the Illuminates of the Spectra, we consider that words have power and words are alive. That’s why we’re having this poetry reading. [The event is] a celebration for identity, for rights, and most of all, for love,” Shamah Bulangis, ISPEC member said.

Before performing, Bulangis gave tribute to the victims of a mass shooting that happened last June 14 at an LGBTQ+-oriented nightclub in Orlando, Florida where 49 people were killed.

Bulangis said that the Orlando incident was not just an act of terrorism, but “an act against humanity, an act of hate.”

She said that such an act of bigotry is what ISPEC is trying to counter through their “revolution of love.”

“This [event] is really good. It’s a shout-out for equality,” Patricia Solidarios, an aspiring ISPEC member, said.

ISPEC members Valerie Durias, Kristhel Apla-on, Steve Sanchez, and Maryleah Bartolome also performed at the event.

Another LGBT Pride Month celebratory event, the Dumaguete Pride Parade, will be organized by ISPEC this month.

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