Filipino LGBTs turn up for Pride March in London
LONDON - It may have literally rained on their parade, but London's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community made sure the gloomy weather won't ruin their day and dampen their spirits.
Some 30,000 people took part in this year's pride march through central London partying on the streets, flaunting either their colorful costumes or just their skin, proclaiming messages of freedom and equality, and showering the cheering crowd with their own rain.
Among them was a group of Filipino LGBTs working and living in Britain, who waved Philippine flags and caught the crowd's attention with their costumes.
"As a gay person dito sa Europe, mas maganda kasi may freedom. Di tulad sa Pilipinas na pag bakla ka nilalait ka. Pag nasa kalye ka sisigawan ka ng bakla, bayot!" said one of the participants.
Britain has policies protecting LGBTs against discrimination, and began same-sex marriages in England and Wales this year, after granting civil partnerships to same-sex couples years earlier.
"Ang message ko to everyone especially to the Filipino people and the Filipino government, that we always make sure that we have rights for everyone. We have to pass a law to look after the gay people, for us to have protections. And most especially, we're pushing to have gay weddings or gay marriages in the Philippines," said Joel Medina, chairman of the Filipino LGBT-UK.
Richard Ocampo from the same group added: "Ito siguro yung way to show to the Philippines na maging tanggap lahat sa lahat-lahat ng kung ano kami."
Same-sex couples and their children were also in the parade, as well as members of the UK's armed forces, firefighters, teachers and other professionals, and employees from some well-known multinational companies.
As in pride marches in previous years, Saturday's parade was a call to uphold LGBT rights all over the world and proof that after decades of repression, Britain's LGBT community is now standing tall and proud.