Kaleidoscope II: A Pride Portraits Project

Being a part of the Queer community entails constantly coming out to everyone. Here, five more LGBTQIA+ individuals share their thoughts on pride, life, and love.

PAOLO, Social Media Strategist

How would you describe being part of the LGBTQIA+ community to a stranger?

You'll meet the most accepting people in the LGBTQIA+ community and you get to be who you want to be, as long as you're not hurting others of course. The only judgements you'll get are probably from petty gay dramas like Beyonce stans vs Gaga stans or who's your favorite Drag Queen, ganon lang hahaha!

Why is Pride important?

In a perfect world there's no need for Pride, but in this society it's important because we need to push for equal rights that the heteros enjoy. This is also a fight for our brothers and sisters in homophobic households, sending a message that it's okay and there's nothing wrong with them. This is a stand against discrimination.

What does Pride mean to you?

It's a celebration of a beautiful community and a reminder that I'm not alone in this fight against hate and bigotry. Love is love.

Why is visibility important?

It generates discussion! We need to talk about LGBTQIA+ more, especially for those who don't understand what the community is fighting for which is equal rights.

What makes you proud to be part of this community?

It's my safe space. I also met so many talented people in the community and a lot of them have become my friends.

Complete this sentence: LGBTQIA+ people are _____.

LGBTQIA+ people are the most accepting people on earth.

Who’s your ultimate Queer icon?

Miley Cyrus! During my denial stage I was listening to her Can't Be Tamed album all the time, and somehow the whole "I wanna be who I wanna be so let me be" message helped me accept who I am. Liberty Walk's "Free yourself, slam the door, not a prisoner anymore" to be specific. And she's a vocal supporter of the community so I love her more, hahaha!

NIKKI, Student

How would you describe being part of the LGBTQIA+ community to a stranger?


“The LGBTQIA+ community is kinda like your fun, loud, queer cousin that’s seen some shit but didn’t let it tarnish their positive outlook in life. The one that argues with relatives about politics, or secretly disses a racist/homophobic family member. They’re the cool cousin, the one that introduces you to your first alcohol drink and is there to nurse your hangover after you’ve had too much. They’ll listen to you when you feel sad or upset, and would offer you input if you need it. They love you fiercely, and you love them back just as much.”


Why is Pride important?


It’s not just a party situated in the middle of June. Pride is a movement that gives the LGBTQIA+ community the opportunity to come together and make their presence felt. This is us, outside the confines of society have set up for us. We’re real. We’re here. We’re full of love and we’re queer.


What does Pride mean to you?


It’s a space where I can be myself, surrounded by people who come from different walks of life  but share the experience of Pride. I acknowledge that it is a privilege too, knowing there are people who can’t join yet, or can’t ever join in the future. Pride is all of us celebrating for those who can’t celebrate with us. It means a lot to me that those who can’t be with the community know that we are always with them, supporting whichever decision they make.


Why is visibility important?

Living in a heteronormative world we tend to be erased, forced back into invisibility or into stereotypes that are reinforced by media. Sometimes we are demonized, by religion and other similar structures. Visibility is essential in unmasking the LGBTQIA+ community; it is essential in stripping us from everything that society attaches to us. As I said: this is us. This is who we are. Love us, because we are capable of loving you.

What makes you proud to be part of this community?

I think it’s the way that despite all the trials and tribulations that come their way, they never let it taint the love and kindness that exists in their hearts. It’s difficult, yes, more so as we live in a traditional society that is tolerant but not quite accepting. It’s marred by homophobic rhetoric by the religious institutions, strangers, and even by the people who matter to us. Do we change? Do we love any less? Not quite.

Complete this sentence: LGBTQIA+ people are ___.


Probably the best (and the most fun) people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting and befriending. Beautiful souls, with equally beautiful faces, and stories that are worth listening to.


Who’s your ultimate Queer icon?

Oh, man. It’s gotta be Lady Gaga. My formative years were spent listening to her and watching her go on and on about acceptance and love and being yourself despite the consequences, even just for a night.

TOM, Professional Fanboy

How would you describe being part of the LGBTQIA+ community to a stranger?

Being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community is being free and embracing yourself for who you truly are. It's being in a community wherein loving someone, regardless of any gender, is being accepted.


Why is Pride important?

Pride and being #HereTogether is important because us, members of the minority, should not stop from fighting for our rights and promoting our freedom. We are all equal. We are all in capable of giving love (not just on Christimas Day lol) and accepting love.

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride is simply letting our voices be heard. Telling everyone that we are here and we also deserve all the good things this world can offer. But, usually, we do it in the most colorful and gleeful way. It's amazing!

Why is visibility important?

Visibility is very important and some of the many reasons are the Orlando Shooting, the suicide and murder rate due to Homophobia and Transphobia. Until these reasons are nowhere to be found, we have to keep being out there. We have to.

What makes you proud to be part of this community?

The way we handle hate. The amount of support we get from every member in this community is overwhelming and that makes me so proud. Every wave of that rainbow flag means a lot.

Complete this sentence: LGBTQIA+ people are ___.

LGBTQIA+ people are people. As simple as that. Whatever every "people" can do, we can too. Whatever they deserve, we do too.

Who’s your ultimate Queer icon?

I am such a Pop Culture slave so I don't just have one Queer icon. Destiny's Child, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, Kylie Minogue and Carly Rae Jepsen to name a few. *dutty wines*

TIN, Activist

How would you describe being part of the LGBTQIA community to a stranger?

Since the Philippines is still in a lot of ways a conservative country, it is always had been a struggle for us to describe the community – which also drives us to make people understand us more. I think it is apparent in all its efforts that we always strive to educate everyone about the LGBTQIA. What we are, what we are not, what we are fighting for. For me, the best way to explain the community to someone is to tell them the simplest things – which we are just like any other human being. I know what there’s this notion that we are not normal and are freaks of nature; of course, this is very false. Homosexuality is observed in different species in the animal kingdom. We are just like anyone else: we are capable of giving, sharing, and being productive members of the society. We live, we breathe, we have jobs – and complain about them. But I think the most important of all, the one that most people miss is that, just like everyone else, we love. And we rightly deserve to be loved as well.

Why is Pride important?

Because Pride is a celebration. It is a celebration of oneself, a celebration of love without judgments. As a minority group still facing a lot of discrimination, I think it is important for us to remind ourselves of that our fight will always be worth fighting for. And that we will be relentless. We may have come far but there is still a lot for our community to overcome.

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride is about respecting yourself and at the same time, to be deserving to be respected by other people.

Why is visibility important?

As a community which is surrounded by a lot of harmful stereotypes, we always struggle to communicate and therefore to be understood. This is why visibility is important. We get the opportunity not only to tell them but to show them. It provides a way for the LGBTQIA+ community to slam down bigotry, homophobia, heterosexism, and the accompanying hate and violence that comes with it. Consequently, it rallies for the safety, equality, freedom, and respect. All of which are basic human rights – which encompasses what we are really fighting for: to consider our rights as human rights. To be an accepted part of the society; not only tolerated.

Complete this sentence: LGBTQIA+ people are ___.

LGBTQIA+ people are human beings, too, deserving to have the freedom to love, and a chance to be understood and accepted.

What makes you proud being a part of the LGBTQIA community?

I can be just myself. No hiding, no pretending. And it is such a wonderful feeling to be genuine to yourself. Also, of course, the LGBTQIA community, even when bombarded with hatred and bigotry, is made up of the happiest, most caring, and most accepting people I’ve met. Quite the happy irony that those who grew up dealing with insults, discrimination, self-hatred, even violence – have the biggest hearts I know.

Who's our ultimate Queer icon?

Lady Gaga.

MIGI, Student + Photographer

How would you describe being part of the LGBTQIA+ community to a stranger?

Overwhelming but in a good way. I'd tell him/her that being part of this community made me realize things, the people here helped me shape my well-being.

Why is Pride important?

For me, Pride is one of the things that reminds us that no matter what happens there are a lot of people who stand by you.

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride is one big celebration of who we are as individuals and as a community.

Why is visibility important?

Well I think that when people see and know about something, they get educated about what's going on with that thing, in this case, our community.

What makes you proud to be part of this community?

The people in it! The people I've met in the community have been super welcoming and fun to be with.

Complete this sentence: LGBTQIA+ people are ____.

LGBTQIA+ people are here to kick some homophobic asses. Charot! LGBTQIA+ people are very loving.

Who’s your ultimate Queer icon?

ELLEN DEGENERES. I LOVE HER SO MUCH!


CREDITS

PHOTOGRAPHY:  

RONAN CAPILI  (Paolo, Tin)

MIKE REBUYAS (Nikki, Tom, Migi)

PHOTOGRAPHER's ASSISTANT

MICHAEL PERALTA