So today is the annual Pride March in Malate. I blogged about this event last year and I mentioned that I’m not proud to be gay but neither am I ashamed. I’ve learned long ago to accept that being gay is what I am but I don’t think that means that should I go around telling people I’m not straight. I choose not to be “out” and I hope other gay people respect that choice the same way that I respect others for choosing not to hide in the closet.
That said, I admire the people that participate in the Pride March. They have decided that fighting for recognition and rallying against homophobic discrimination is a worthy endeavor. I guess, gay and bisexual men everywhere, whether discreet or conspicuous, masculine or effeminate, closeted or out, owe these people who publicly fight for the rest of us, in a quite festive and colorful manner I might add. The fact that this March is a fight is manifested by the religious people who perennially do a counter-rally during the Pride March (it must be noted that they are within their right to do so, as long as violence is not employed).
There is a question though. Just because there are PLUs who chose not to participate in the Pride March and other similar events, does it mean that they are useless in this fight to make the world less homophobic? I don’t think so. While public rallies and demonstrations are effective in raising public awareness, those are not the only venues. One such avenue is the Internet. Its anonymous nature is heaven-sent for closeted and discreet PLUs. As I said in this blog’s very first post, the advent of the Internet is one of transformative events in the history of the LGBT sector. One reason is that cyberspace revolutionized the way we get to meet other gay and bisexual men. But more importantly, the Internet is fast becoming a battleground for ideas and I very much believe that blogs, social networks, forums, mailing lists, and other Internet technologies can help shape the gay discourse.
I hope that I’m doing my fair share in this online fight by putting up this blog and writing articles about issues that affect the PLU world. (In fact, the “issues” tag has the most number of articles among all the tags in Discreet Manila.) While it’s really not a substitute for participating in the Pride March, I’d like to think that it helps a lot.