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Gay Pride March to be in Dumaguete

By Christian Renz Torres

THE ILLUMINATES OF THE SPECTRA (ISPEC) is organizing a pride parade this July 23 with the theme, “An Illumination of Love.”

“We want to show to the community who we are and promote our visibility,” organizer and president of ISPEC Karla Rosales said. “We are the people they work with, the classmates they have in school, their friends, [and] their family.” The senior nursing Silliman student said that the organization also wants to send a message that the LGBT community can organize as one and support each other.

According to Metro Manila Pride, the official convener of the annual community-driven Metro Manila Pride, the pride march tackles gay rights as a civil rights issue and serves as a platform for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community to call for acceptance and to promote equal rights.

According to Rosales, the parade is a great way for ISPEC to connect with LGBT groups around the region—such as Cebu and other municipalities in Negros Oriental—as well as larger formal organizations such as LGBT activist group Rainbow Rights Philippines. She has confirmed that LGBT organization Gays and Lesbians United will participate, as well as the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines, Foundation University, and Negros Oriental State University.

According to ISPEC member and co-organizer Steve Sanchez, the parade is open to non-Sillimanians; “to anyone and everyone who wishes to celebrate love, community, and pride.” For those who wish to participate, Rosales said that organizations should bring banners, flags, pride signs and posters, as well as prepare a gimmick to showcase when the participating organizations will be called out during the program.

Rosales said that she hopes the parade will become an annual event. “The purpose of this all was to unify people in solidarity with the LGBT community and with each other,” she said.

The event will start at Ninoy Aquino Memorial Freedom Park and will end at Quezon Park from 1pm to 4pm.

ISPEC is the first LGBT-straight alliance organization to be recognized by Silliman University.

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