Himamaylan embraces year-round LGBTQ+ inclusivity

BACOLOD CITY—As Pride Month concluded over the weekend, Mayor Raymund Tongson emphasized the importance of year-round inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community in Himamaylan, Negros Occidental.

“Inclusivity in Himamaylan does not end when the celebration ends; we need to practice acceptance, love, and unity in diversity all-year-round,” Tongson stated.

He stressed the significance of daily recognition of everyone’s identity, capabilities, and uniqueness. This aligns with other observances in Himamaylan, promoting constant celebration and advocacy for diversity.

The city’s Pride Month festivities included the “Pride Fest sa Maylan,” where hundreds marched and participated in activities supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

On June 23, 2024, Himamaylan was adorned in rainbow colors, with events organized by the city government under Tongson’s leadership.

“It is important for us to ensure safe spaces for everyone in Himamaylan, especially the LGBTQ+ community,” Tongson said.

The largest Pride event in the city was made possible through collaborations with the 6108 LGBT Federation, City Health Office, Sangguniang Kabataan, MRT Youth, and Bagani Community Center.

Morning activities featured an HIV 101 lecture and free testing by Bagani counselors and the City Health Office.

The symposium “Embracing Diversity: The Role of Inclusion in Building Stronger Communities” highlighted the importance of diversity and ways to participate through social media and local initiatives. This was followed by a basketball fun game, “Shoot ‘Ta.”

In the afternoon, a rainbow caravan traversed the city’s borders, culminating in a unity march from the old city public market to Brgy. 1 – Poblacion gym.

“It is important to show that we are united,” Tongson said, emphasizing the visibility and contributions of the queer community.

The manifesto was read and signed at Brgy. 1 – Poblacion gym by Tongson and 6108 LGBT Federation officers.

The day ended with the colorful Hari at Hara pageant, performances by the GAYnon Dance Company, and the Talentadong Himamaylanon grand finals. Special performances by Bacolod Drag Queens highlighted the evening, concluding with the Pride Fest sa Maylan After Party.

The festivities also included raffle draws, with several Himamaylanons winning prizes for their participation.

Himamaylan’s Pride Month celebrations underscored the city’s commitment to inclusivity and unity, aiming for a community that celebrates diversity every day.


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