#IamJenniferLaude: Solidarity message for #LGBTOutragePH.

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.

LGBT National Day of Outrage

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.

What is happening to the Home for the Golden Gays?

I became involved with the Home for the Golden Gays in 2011 when PinoyG4M and Akei visited the Home. The Home is a place where elderly gays and lesbians (hence, “golden gays”) can stay if they have nowhere else to go. After speaking to its secretariat, Ramon Busa, and with the approval of its founder, Justo Justo, I offered to create a website, Facebook page and Twitter account for the Home for the Golden Gays to expand their online presence and make it easier for other people to help the Home.

Justo Justo passed away in May 2012 and Ramon Busa took over as the president of the Home for the Golden Gays. Shortly after Justo Justo’s passing, the residents of the Home moved out of his family home and into a new (but much smaller) apartment in Pasay.

I still post updates to the website and Facebook page, especially when Mr Busa requests that I add some content. My help to the Home is purely voluntary and the expense of renewing their website’s domain name is my small personal donation to the Home.

For some time now, I noticed new updates coming from the Facebook page that I did not upload. These were mostly photos from outreach projects made in the Home in 2012, when Mr Justo was still alive. I did not mind those photos because they are, after all, activities made in the Home for the Golden Gays.

However, I saw in my feeds an update from the Facebook page warning people that Mr Busa is no longer affiliated with the Home for the Golden Gays. Naturally, I was puzzled and I looked into the Home for Golden Gays Facebook page to see if there are similar posts.

HGGI Facebook Page 2013-01-21

Not only were there similar posts, I also found out that I was removed as a page manager. Based on the new profile, relatives of the late Mr Justo are now the new page managers.

The fact that I was removed as a page manager without warning upset me. But more than that, I am worried how the family can claim the name of the foundation while at the same time allow the Home’s residents to move out from their property. How can they call claim the name of the Home for the Golden Gays without the residents? Without the Golden Gays?

 HGGI Facebook Profile 2013-01-21

More: I sent a message to the new Facebook page managers and this was their reply.

Let’s make this year different. Help Pride March 2012.

This was originally posted by Lanchie, the FinCom head of Task Force Pride Philippines:

Every year the Metro Manila Pride March is made possible by volunteer individuals and organizations who make up Task Force Pride Philippines.

Every year we start from scratch, no funds and no list of sponsors.

Getty Images - Manila Pride March

This year is no different. It’s a few weeks before we march for equality, we barely have any budget to hold what is supposed to be the biggest LGBT event of the year.

This year if 1,000 people donated P150 each, you’d be helping us make sure we have lights and a sound system and generator for the program; food for the people who will be performing for free; rent for band equipment for the band members; tokens for our speakers, etc.

This year show your support for the LGBT community and our continued fight for equal rights and better representation in government. Any amount would be a step to make this event possible.

You can forward your donations here:

Paypal: http://bit.ly/HelpPrideMarch2012

BPI Savings Account
Account Name: Christopher Allan Abanco OR Jonathan Villaroza Caalim
Account Number: 4359-1177-50

Help us spread the word.

Let’s make this year different.

As part of the TFP Working Group, this will not end with us begging for money year after year. Being part of the working group for the first time, it made me realize the changes needed in how the Metro Manila Pride March is organized.

From the lessons learned this year, we could ensure a better Pride March in the following year. If there is one thing Lanchie, Juna, Rocky, Bern, and I would like to be PinoyG4M‘s contribution to TFP, it is laying out the foundation for how future Marches will be organized.

This year is our challenge and already we’ve seen a few small miracles come our way. But we need a few miracles more to pull this off.

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Notes from a really long weekend: Saturday at The Collective Art Fair.

It was a Friday night when we screened at Cinema is Incomplete, not Saturday.

PG4M at The CollectiveI could now remove setting up a booth in a fair from my bucket list.

There was a slight mix-up when we signed up for tables at The Collective Art Fair: I told Philip Paraan of Kanto I will be reserving table booths for Sine Bahaghari, 2 tarot readers and for my friend Mich, whom Philip also knew. Philip was able to do that but thought I will be relaying the news to Mich, while I thought Philip will be contacting Mich himself. Of course, with both of us busy with a million things leading to the fair, neither of us were able to tell Mich that she will have a table at the fair. And that’s how Sine Bahaghari ended up with two tables.

So sorry, Mich.

I don’t know how it happened that we were not able to sell any Sine Bahaghari merchandise, though. I guess the fact that none of the Sine Bahaghari organizers had any real experience running a business has something to do with it.

Early in the morning, I also realized I will not be able to do any tarot readings for anyone so I left the tarot reading booth to my friends so I could only focus on my other booth and the film screenings. I ended up forgetting lunch, losing my temper, hardly paying any attention to an even more tired Bern, and heading straight home as soon as we’ve settled all the dues for the booths and tables.

It was a crazy, tiring day; and that is coming from someone who has had his share of crazy, tiring days.

But yes, The Collective Art Fair was fun, too, the way fairs are always fun. I finally got to meet in person a long-time online friend (hello, Gabs). I got to hear Gerry’s royal penis joke. The most fun I had was when I introduced Sigrid Bernardo to my boyfriend, Bern, and my ex-boyfriend, Carlo, with the three of them facing each other.

Ay!” Sigrid exclaimed and mentioned it was one of those awkward “it’s complicated” moments. Except that, as far as complicated moments for me go, it wasn’t that much, yet. I was really enjoying myself at that point.

It would have been more fun though if I had money to actually buy something, but that should be something I ought to remember for next time.

PinoyG4M anniversary movie night at Chef’s Bistro.

For the third anniversary of PinoyG4M, we’re inviting everyone to a movie night at Chef’s Bistro. We will be screening a special movie on Saturday, March 31 at 8pm.

No cover charge, no tickets. Just buy your dinner and drinks.

The event will not be exclusive to PG4M members, so feel free to invite friends and loved ones with you.

Chef’s Bistro is at Scout Gandia near the corner of Tomas Morato, QC. To commute: get off at Kamuning/Kamias Road and take a jeep to Pantranco or Quiapo. When you reach Tomas Morato, get off at Metrobank or Citibank. Enter the street next to Citibank (that’s Scout Gandia); Chef’s Bistro is about 50 meters away.

Chef's Bistro