Urdaneta City University has made a huge step on promoting inclusive and gender-fair community as it made a two-day celebration of Pride Month on June 23 and 30, 2023.
Kicking off the festivities, the Pride March drew participants waving their rainbow flags, parading through the university grounds, and spreading messages of love, equality, and acceptance. Students and members of the LGBTQIA+ community came together, walking shoulder to shoulder, as allies and friends cheered them on, creating an atmosphere of inclusivity a
Following the march was a discussion on gender sensitivity and responsive behavior titled “SPLUK SPREE,” shedding light on the history, challenges, and triumphs of the LGBTQIA+ community. Esteemed speakers from the LGBTQIA+ community namely Atty. Liza Alvarado, a lawyer and LGBTQIA rights advocate, and Ms. Anne Marie Asucncion, president of LBTQIA Urdaneta, shared their knowledge and experiences, providing valuable insights and resources to empower students and promote awareness about LGBTQIA+ issues.
The seminar aimed to create a safe space for dialogue, enabling participants to develop a deeper understanding of the LGBTQIA+ community's struggles and aspirations. Atty. Alvarado recalled his past struggle with his long-time partner, narrating that their relationship has been challenged by societal stigma about homosexuality.
“Sa loob ng 19 years na pagsasama namin ng aking partner, 12 years siyang hindi kinausap ng kanyang kapatid na pastor. Despite the fact that I am a lawyer and she is a teacher, adverse ang reaksyon ng pamilya niya sa pagsasama namin,” the lawyer said.
“Ganumpaman, sinabi namin sa isa’t-isa na it’s better na you and I against the world kaysa you and I against each other. Pero dumating ang araw na natanggap na rin niya kami,” she added, emphasizing that true love knows no gender.
Meanwhile, the highly-anticipated Fashion Show took center stage, allowing students to express their creativity and personal style while celebrating individuality. Models confidently strutted down the runway and showed fashion-forward outfits, impersonating iconic local and international personalities . The event also highlighted the importance of self-expression and acceptance in the community through a mini pageant titled Mx. UCU King and Queen.
This year’s Pride Month celebration exemplified the university's commitment to diversity, ensuring that all members of the community feel valued and supported. This celebration rooted from the historical Stonewall Riots that took place in New York on June 28, 1969 when gay and queer community valiantly resisted the oppressive police raid that sought to supress and harass them.