AMSTERDAM — Amid a colorful and vibrant sea of spectators celebrating the 2019 Amsterdam Pride, familiar Filipino chants echoed from the balangay-inspired boat sailing through the narrow canals of the old city.
I can still hear the sound of the megaphone in my head: “Mabuhay ang LGBT communities sa buong mundo! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!”
I was lucky to be part of this historic event as a volunteer. It’s hard to put a word to the entire experience, but if I have to describe it, the word “Pride” pretty much sums it up.
It is an honor to participate in such a significant part of history, not only because it was the first Filipino boat to participate in the Amsterdam Gay Pride, it also signifies an increasing diversity in LGBT communities in Europe and around the world.
For the first time, LGBT Filipinos were officially represented in a Pride event in Europe, bringing important community issues forward: HIV awareness, marriage equality, and the fight against LGBT discrimination.
“We want to send a message of solidarity to Filipinos living in Europe and in the Philippines that we support the passage of the anti-discrimination bill in the Philippines. It is high time that the Congress approves the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) bill,” said Filipino LGBT Europe chairman Chris Sta. Brigida.