#PrideMonth

AS VARIOUS sectors around the world celebrate the ‘Pride Month’ that aims to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally, I can’t help but remember one fact that has been shared during the most recent HIV/AIDS seminar at work and on my readings on the data from DOH: “Sexual contact remains to be the main mode of transmission with 942, most of which are from the male-having-sex-with-male (MSM) population with 820.” Again, ‘male-having-sex-with-male (MSM)’. I believe that facts like this hinder the Filipino society from accepting the LGBT community as a whole including the quest of some of them for same sex marriage to be legalized in the Philippines.

Yes, they are some of the most creative people that you’ll ever meet. Vibrant. Colorful. Some of the tv personalities, writers and thinkers I look up to are advocates for this cause. But in a machismo world where Strongmen rule, it would still be a major challenge for the LGBT community to be seen differently, as an equal. No, not when ‘male-having-sex-with-male’ ranks first on the causes of transmission of HIV/AIDS.

As I see it, until the number becomes close to zero and when the majority of us finally see them beyond the statistics, will this country jump with joy to celebrate with pride with them.

Photo credit: JakartaPost.net

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Author: Benre J. Zenarosa

Lasallian Scholarum Award-winning essayist

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