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‘Salamat sa pagmamahal’ from LGBT champion

/ 12:16 AM March 03, 2016

A week has passed since LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people like me were compared to animals and treated like animals. Some of the most hurtful words that could be said by a human being about another were said about us. But despite these hurtful words, I choose to remember every person who chose to love me and not hate me, who treated me with compassion and not condemnation, and who showed me the respect that every human being deserves.

Today, in behalf of every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Filipino, I wish to say thank you to our fellow Filipinos who choose to respect our dignity as people.

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Thank you to every father who embraced his gay son, to every mother who accepted her lesbian daughter, to every parent who loved a transgender child, to every sibling who understood a bisexual brother or sister, to every relative who cared for an LGBT family member.

Thank you to every friend who has given a shoulder to cry on, extended a helping and holding hand, and offered an open and loving heart to a friend who came out as bakla or gay, tomboy or lesbian, bi or trans.

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Thank you to every coworker, neighbor, classmate, colleague, church mate, teacher, student who has shown an LGBT respect, empathy and kindness.

Thank you to every Catholic, Christian, Muslim, and person of religious faith who has cared for their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters.

Thank you to our Filipino sisters and brothers who have understood the nature of the stigma and discrimination that some of us face every day, the hate and disgust that some of us confront every day, the pain and suffering that some of us endure and live with every day.

Thank you for your care and compassion.

Today, we thank our straight allies and friends who have stood by us and with us in our struggle for respect and equality.

Today, we send a message of hope to young Filipinos who feel that they will not be accepted because of their sexual orientation, their gender identity, or their gender expression. To our young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender friends, you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you. And while there are people who may not understand you, who may even hate you, and who may say and do hurtful things to you, remember that there are—and always will be—people who will shower you with kindness, who will care for you and treat you with respect, who will accept you and love you for all that you are.

Maraming salamat sa aming kapwa Pilipino na tinanggap ang aming buong pagkatao at piniling magmahal.

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—MIRA ALEXIS P. OFRENEO, mofreneo@ateneo.edu

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TAGS: Bisexual, dignity, gay, lesbian, LGBT, respect, transgender
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