Friday, May 17, 2013

UP Babaylan : A Toast for IDAHO 2013.

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious idiocy." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

The LGBT community has had much to celebrate in the last year. In the Philippines alone, Cebu, Angeles and Davao join a growing number of cities with anti-discrimination ordinances. Denmark, Uruguay, France, New Zealand and Brazil now accord the same marriage rights to same- and opposite-sex couples. Institutions both large and small have begun to take on LGBT-affirmative regulations. Just as policy has evolved to cater to the entire spectrum of society, so too has the discourse in public and private spheres. We are undeniably making steady progress toward a more informed and inclusive world.

University of the Philippines Babaylan, the premiere LGBT student organization of the UP system, takes pride in its legacy of educating to end hate and indifference. The last 20 years have been a journey with the UP community to end ignorance, foster discourse, and create a more humane, more just society for everyone.

We pledge to continue this legacy.

UP Babaylan is one with the LGBT community across cultures and borders in this festive commemoration of each new step taken and new victory won. But let us not rest on our laurels. Last year, our battle cry was for gender-sensitive policies in the places where we study and work. Our vision is to make every office and classroom a safe space for our LGBT brothers and sisters. We are making progress, but the trip is far from over.

Let us keep educating. Let us keep informing. Let us keep ending the hate. A safe, inclusive world might not be here yet, but now -- more than ever -- that dream is within reach.

Today we raise our glasses to thank our allies -- LGBT and straight alike -- for all their hard work, without which the last year's milestones would not have been possible. Let us toast to the victories we have earned, and the victories that we will earn in the coming year.

UP Babaylan
IDAHO 2013

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