Under the leadership of Lesbian Activism Project, Inc (LeAP!) and the assistance of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, LGBT and LGBT-Friendly organizations came together on July 2 to celebrate the 29 Yogyakarta Principles.
Dubbed as "29 Steps for LGBT Human Rights," Saturday's event was envisioned by LeAP to "promote awareness on the Yogyakarta Principles—a set of principles on the application of international human rights laws on sexual orientation and gender identity issues."
The festival was a collage of various activities such as an art exhibit, a free showing of different films (Muli (Again), Thank You Girls, Courage Unfolds Video Documentary, and Rome and Juliet), musical performances, information booths, and a job fair of companies that have LGBT-friendly office policies.
In order to further raise awareness, one segment of the program was dedicated to a pop quiz where audience members who were able to answer the trivia questions were given free copies of the Yogyakarta Principles as well as copies of An Activist's Guide to the Yogyakarta Principles. According to the hosts, Ging Cristobal and Meagan Aguilar, the original text of the Yogyakarta Principles has been translated into Filipino by GALANG Philippines, a non-profit organization that helps lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in urban poor communities. Representatives from the Queer Pagan Network closed the program by performing a ritual that pays tribute to the victims of hate crimes in the country.
Among the organizations that put up booths at the event were Amnesty International Philippines, Ladlad Party List, IBM Eagle, Accenture, AIDS Society of the Philippines, Society of Transexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), Filipino Freethinkers, Metropolitan Community Church of Quezon City, and Task Force Pride. Representatives from Deaf Rainbow Philippines, Coalition for the Liberation of the Reassigned Sex (COLORS), Philippine LGBT Rights Watch, and Zone One Tondo Organization (ZOTO) were also at the event.
The event was the last of a line up of activities to commemorate June as LGBT pride month.
Bemz Benedito (on stage), Chairperson of Ang Ladlad Party List, addresses the audience as part of the opening of the program. Ang Ladlad is currently lobbying for the Anti-Discrimination Bill that will protect LGBT as well as non-LGBT people from discrimination.
Ron de Vera of Amnesty International Philippines (AIPh) and Ivanka Custodio of LeAP! deliver a quick presentation on Project REACH (Rights Education and Action Caravan for Humanity), a project lead by AIPh that aims to promote awareness of human rights among urban communities and the youth.
Two LGBT people literally "coming out of the closet." The coming out booth is an idea of the Filipino Freethinkers (FF), "a group of freethinking Filipinos, composed of atheists, agnostics, deists, humanists, and progressive theists." Participants who come out of the closet are allowed to kiss any of the FF members and are also given a "Coming Out Certificate."