As representative from PinoyG4M.com, I was asked if I can give a two-minute solidarity message for the LGBT National Day of Outrage for the killing of Jennifer Laude. Like most things I do, I wrote this at the last minute while commuting from Makati to Diliman.
While I knew there will be media coverage for the event, I did not expect that I will be giving this statement in front of TV cameras.
A comment from someone in social media: “Sometimes people of this kind are really not worth the sympathy sometimes.”
We are here to mourn the passing of Jennifer Laude and to express sympathy for her family and loved ones. We are also here to show our outrage, our indignation, our anger for the crime that took away her life.
This crime has touched a lot of issues in Filipino society: The double standard we seem to apply on crimes committed by non-Filipinos. The not-unfounded concern that Jennifer will be denied justice. The shock at the brutal and dehumanizing manner of her death. The disappointment on how some in the media presented Jennifer’s story. The disbelief over the victim-blaming in many public reactions. And the fear that we, the LGBT community, despite our seeming acceptance in society are still vulnerable to violence committed out of hate.
In a different instance, at a different place, it could be one of us who will be the reason for this gathering. You can be Jennifer Laude. I can be Jennifer Laude. Each one of us can be Jennifer Laude.
But isn’t that right?
I am Jennifer Laude. You are Jennifer Laude. We are Jennifer Laude. While each one of us are vulnerable to hate, each one of us can also stop this hate.
That we are all here today show that our lives matter, that we want justice, that we want an end to this violence. That we are all here today means we are taking up the challenge to ensure that these changes happen.
I am Jennifer Laude. And I take up this challenge.