ZC youth tackles LGBT issues PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 11:52

Zamboangueño youth Monday, September 14, lent their voices to discuss issues on discrimination, sexuality and identity during the 11thSpeak OutZamboanga, a youth forum designed to serve as an avenue for young people to share their thoughts and discuss matters affecting the City and the youth sector.

Dubbed “Mainstreaming LGBT rights and issues in Zamboanga City”, the 11th Speak Out Forum gathered youth leaders and participants for a whole-day discourse on LGBT issues and rights, and to come up with recommendations and solutions to the identified issues relating to the LGBT community in the City.

Gracing the forum – one of the very first open discussions on LGBT rights, issues, and concerns in the City – was Mayor BengClimaco who highlighted the need to respect the dignity of every person, regardless of gender identity, sexuality, or orientation.

“   It is about time that we respect the dignity of people, whether we are men, women, transsexual, bisexual, or in between,” she said.

The Mayor also shared that as a young girl, she felt the pain of discrimination when she witnessed people teasing her brother who identified as gay.

“I feel the pain as a sister because no matter who he is, whatever his orientation is, he is still my brother, and I respect him,” Climaco told the gathered youth participants.

She enjoined members of the LGBT sector to uplift their dignity and value themselves for who they are.

“We need to uplift our dignity, because it should start with us…There would always be stereotypes in life. However, for the LGBT community, it is a little bit more difficult, it is tougher because people don’t take you seriously. They tend to tease you, they think it is a joke. Is it a joke? Of course not. You have dignity,” she declared.

The 11th Speak Our Zamboanga Forum was organized jointly by the City Government of Zamboanga, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the City Gender and Development (GAD).