BAYAN-USA Northeast Queer Caucus Continues to Stand in Solidarity and #AlignWithAries against Homophobic Backlash

For Immediate Release
April 24, 2016

Reference:

Lean Deleon, Coordinator, BAYAN USA Northeast Queer Caucus, bayanusa.ne@gmail.com
Devyn Mañibo, Member, BAYAN USA Northeast Queer Caucus

BAYAN-USA Northeast Queer Caucus Continues to Stand in Solidarity and #AlignWithAries against Homophobic Backlash

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BAYAN-USA Northeast Queer Caucus continues to stand in solidarity and #AlignWithAries Dela Cruz and other LGBTQIGNC (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, and Gender Non-conforming) people who face backlash for successfully pressuring Nike to drop endorsement of Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. Two months ago, Aries Dela Cruz released a change.org petition that garnered nearly 4,500 signatures globally, calling Nike’s attention to Pacquiao’s deeply offensive homophobic comments that suggest people in “same-sex relationships” are worse than animals. Despite Pacquiao’s public apology, Dela Cruz is still bombarded with homophobic backlash, receiving hate mail and death threats.

BAYAN-USA Northeast Queer Caucus staunchly condemns these acts of anti-LGBTQIGNC violence against Dela Cruz and calls on all LGBTQIGNC organizations and human rights organizations to show support through letters and social media posts with the #AlignWithAries hashtag.

#MuteManny and go #LouderForLaude      

Despite Manny Pacquiao’s video apology to the LGBTQIGNC community for his homophobic statement, the boxer is steadfast in his anti-gay marriage position. Until Pacquiao’s actions reflect his sentiments, human rights groups like BAYAN Northeast Queer Caucus will continue to be vigilant in holding his position as a boxer with a global platform and as a congressman with the Philippine House of Representatives, accountable to the people he is sworn to protect.

Homophobic sentiments, words, and beliefs translate to real danger and violence. In the Philippines, no bills or laws exist that protect the LGBTQIGNC community. The anti-discrimination bill which aims to protect LGBTQIGNC workers and penalize violators is at a standstill. Even if the bill is to be passed into law and institutionalized, it does not necessarily mean protection as seen with the growing trend of trans women of color in the US being discriminated, harassed, and murdered. Jennifer Laude, a Pinay transwoman who was murdered in 2014 by US marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, is a name that should come to mind when talking about how homophobic and transphobic sentiments like Pacquiao’s can have damaging and irreversible effects. Despite admitting to choking Laude in a moment of alleged “trans panic,” Pemberton took a slap on the wrist and was only charged with homicide, rather than the more serious crime of murder. He has also recently had his sentence reduced to 10 years in prison rather than 12.

More important than being a watchdog to what Pacquiao says, organizing the LGBTQIGNC communities both here in the US and in the Philippines is a primary task of all BAYAN-USA member organizations. This task is especially important as LGBTQIGNC people are mostly workers struggling in a widening rich-poor divided world. It is only through organizing the marginalized sectors into a mass movement or mobilizing large segments of our population, that change will be accomplished. Yesterday it was Pacquiao, and tomorrow might be another person with a global platform. Anti-LGBTQIGNC sentiments will always be espoused until we change concrete conditions that continue to exploit marginalized sectors such as LGBTQIGNC workers, migrants, and trans women of color. This can only be done through social movements. We have to #MuteManny on his reactionary statements and never forget Jennifer, we must go #LouderForLaude.

#AlignWithAries against the backlash against queer resistance!
#MuteManny for his sentiments against LGBTQIGNC communities!
#Louder4Laude, justice must be serve for Jennifer!

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