Celebrate and discuss the importance of diversity in the Philippines with this campaign that allows the LGBTQIA+ heroes’ voices to be heard
In this day and age, thanks to the internet and technology, people have started to accept new concepts, beliefs, and ideas. Yet, the attitude toward Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual or Ally, and other sexual orientations (LGBTQIA+) remains problematic.
The current pandemic has exposed several inequalities and fault lines in systems. Among the issues laid bare by the health crisis are the social stigma, discrimination, and moral opprobrium concerning the LGBTQIA+ community. For example, former US President Donald Trump circumscribed rights related to gender identity and sexual orientation. Another is how Hungarian populist leader Viktor Orbán utilized emergency powers to surge through anti-transgender legislation. There are also reported abuses from law enforcers in their implementation of quarantine regulations and even in medical settings concerning transgender people.
And yet, it is also true that global support for the LGBT community is on the rise.
German soccer clubs in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, for instance, wanted to light up the country’s stadium with the rainbow colors in their match against Hungary at the European Championship. The idea, however, was rejected by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Instead, clubs in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Wolfsburg, Augsburg, Bremen, and Düsseldorf lit up their venues in response to the decision.
One of the many organizations that have had constant contributions to the promotion of LGBTQIA+ community interest is the audio streaming platform Spotify. This month, they have unveiled their latest pride initiative called “Claim your Space.”
The project has many parts. There is the launch of Pride Hub, which promotes LGBTQIA+ artists, podcasters, and themed playlists from all over the globe. These LGBTQIA+ activists and cultural figures trailblaze for a more vibrant and inclusive society, showcasing their identities, and inspiring the community through the audio platform.
“We’ve actually been celebrating pride in the community over the last few years, and it’s always been exciting to be part of that! This year, “Claim Your Space” is our commitment to celebrating diversity and voices from all walks of life, with the desire to create a permanent space for queer representation both on and off the platform,” says Kossy Ng, head of music for Southeast Asia. “By sharing these captivating works reflecting creativity and courage, we hope to empower LGBTQIA+ listeners to safely and confidently claim space in the ways that they can—whether within a cultural tradition, a community, a dance floor, on Spotify itself—and create opportunities for affirmation, inspiration, and reflection.”
In the Philippines, listeners only need to search for “Pride” on Spotify to access tunes from artists such as Paul Pablo, or hear the wise words of podcasters AC Soriano and Yani Villarosa.
‘By sharing these captivating works reflecting creativity and courage, we hope to empower LGBTQIA+ listeners to safely and confidently claim space in the ways that they can—whether within a cultural tradition, a community, a dance floor, on Spotify itself—and create opportunities for affirmation, inspiration, and reflection.’
One can also listen to Bahaghari, the Philippines’ dedicated pride-themed playlist that features tracks both international and local from LGBTQIA+ artists and allies like Bangin, R.Y.F., Fix Me, and This Love Isn’t Crazy.
“It takes incredible courage and determination to be your authentic self, and I’m thankful for the various communities and platforms, like Spotify, that is safe and inclusive, giving an opportunity for us to thrive, as well as empower us to inspire others, with the hopes of creating a more vibrant and empathetic society, I hope my work and voice continue to shape the culture for the LGTBQ+ Community in the Philippines,” says singer Mark Bautista. His song “I Need You” is featured on the Bahaghari playlist.
Also listen to pride-inspired podcasts by Filipinos including Gabi ng Bading, Huwag ‘tong Makakalabas, and Becky Nights.