How to be an effective LGBTQIA ally, according to these local personalities

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2020 05:57 PM | Updated as of Jul 07 2020 06:22 PM

MANILA -- Education is the key to becoming an effective ally of the LGBTQIA community, according to five local personalities. 

Mikey Bustos, Kristine Ibardolaza, Gaki "Gakimoto" Azurin, Dr. Berry Beriña, and Melai Lopez recently shared their insights in a "Pride Conversations" event organized by Google Philippines.

Shortly after the program on YouTube, ABS-CBN News asked the five speakers on how people can help them in their fight for equality.

Here are their answers:

MIKEY BUSTOS (YouTube star and singer)

How to be an effective LGBTQIA ally, according to these local personalities 1
Handout

"[Being an effective ally is] to maybe not make assumptions and ask if they're not sure, because some people might be saying things that they don't even know is offensive, perhaps. Or not even relevant."

"Making chismis happens to be a very common Filipino activity. And so I would say being a good ally would be not to engage in chismis or like to sensationalize, [like] the tabloids that say this artista is [gay]... Don't hit that RT (retweet button) because you're adding to the stigma of it, and that you're the reason why a lot of young people don't want to come out... A good ally would treat it more like, Okay maybe there are speculations about this artista, but let's let them have their own time. As we know, sexuality is a long journey. Maybe he's not ready, maybe he doesn't know. Let's not make it a dinner discussion or when you're having your inuman with your friends." 

KRISTINE IBARDOLAZA (first transgender woman elected into office in Antipolo City)

How to be an effective LGBTQIA ally, according to these local personalities 2
Handout

"Aside from education, allies should open their hearts to us, the LGBTQ+ community, in order for them to understand and feel what we are feeling."

GAKI "GAKIMOTO" AZURIN (motorcycle vlogger and musician)

How to be an effective LGBTQIA ally, according to these local personalities 3
Handout

"Education is a very effective way of becoming an ally. Even through listening to these conversations and getting to understand, trying to keep an open mind about things, that's a good way for people to be allies of the community."

DR. BERI BERIÑA (plastic, reconstructive, and aesthetic surgery fellow)

How to be an effective LGBTQIA ally, according to these local personalities 4
Handout

"I think it all begins with education and getting yourself informed. Because right now, we still have a lot of Filipinos who are somehow not so much informed about what is SOGIE, and what the differences are when it comes to sex and gender orientation. I think it all begins with information, getting yourself informed. Because it's only through that, that you will learn to open your perspective with regards to how these people live their lives and how these people will want to be treated."

MELAI LOPEZ (program manager, Google Philippines)

How to be an effective LGBTQIA ally, according to these local personalities 5
Handout

"Education really is key for good allyship. I think a good ally would be proactive in getting themselves educated instead of putting that burden on the community itself to educate them because the LGBTQ+ already has a lot of things to face... A good ally educates."