Last December 5 was the 2009 Manila Pride March: Parade, Program, Pageant and Party and of course we were not going to miss it for the world (see our pic above). Good thing that our 2009 Manila Pride March Project Leader organized our participation with the skill and quick-thinking of a seasoned marketing person and events organizer. Our main tarp said: Celebrate gender diversity with the transpinays!
There were grim and determined Baptist protesters (see pic above) again this year like last year's Pride March. The protesters were sternly warned to keep a safe distance from the Pride March participants so it was all good. I welcome protesters to the annual Pride outing of the TLBG community because I think they add another layer to the struggle for human rights. They remind everyone of the need to keep doing advocacy work because bigotry exists up to now.
I was not going to be fazed though in my Indian-inspired outift (see pic above). I chose to ignore them although did not stop the girls who had a verbal tussle with them while we were on board our float. The Baptist bigots kept yelling hateful chants and hurtful, insulting words. There was just no point in answering them back. Their minds have already been set. It was going to be an exercise in futility.
After the Parade, I had to immediately change clothes because I was going to host the post-parade program (see pic above). It was another enjoyable part of Pride celebrations that day. I was particularly wowed by the presentation of a young group of guys called One Bacardi. One Bacardi is an organization of young gay and bisexual men who initiate socio-civic projects for TLBG and non-TLBG people. They are simply adorable. Their group gave a dance and song number for the Program and their energy and enthusiasm were truly infectious.
I was hungry after the Program and asked Phoejay to join me for dinner (see our pic above). We had a drink after and rushed back to the stage area for the Pageant, the 2009 Miss Queen Philippines. I was asked to give out special awards that night so we had to stay.
The organizers also asked me to do the voice-over for the latter half of the pageant so I hung out backstage where the contestants were. I saw the 2008 Miss Queen Philippines, Kristina Cassandra and immediately went to her side for a pic (see above).
At around 2 a.m., the new Miss Queen Philippines, Lesly Ann Francisco was crowned. Lesly was the first runner-up last year and I was glad that she took home the crown this time. Phoejay and I had a chance to walk around Orosa, the Malate street we closed for the Pride festivities. Our major sponsors EZ Lubricating Jelly and Frenzy Condoms had two big booths in the middle of Orosa. I dropped by there to get my picture taken with the EZ Boyz (see pic above).
Over all, I was quite happy with the organizing of the 2009 Pride activities. There were bumps and missteps along the way, but because of the overwhelming participation this year of nearly 50 TLBG and non-TLBG organizations, everyone in Task Force Pride (TFP) Philippines, the official network that organizes the annual TLBG Pride March in Manila, is looking forward to the success of the 2010 Manila Pride March. I cannot wait. I hope to see you next year!