Updated: Jun 19
This June, we're featuring four Filipinx LGBTQ+ rights advocates over on Instagram. Angeli Trinidad, Galang Philippines, Cha Roque, and Eva Callueng are not afraid to stand up, speak up, and fight for SOGIE equality.
Angelia "Angel" Trinidad is the CEO of Passion Planner, a personal organizer that helps you stay focused on important tasks and events. Angel is a millennial entrepreneur who had a vision and made it happen. But aside from being business savvy, she is also a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, she openly talks about being queer on her Instagram, where she has more than 36,000 followers.
On July 16, 2017, Angel came out on the same platform, and she said: "I am proud to be me. I'm proud to be a woman of color, a millennial, a CEO, a Filipina. I've always been openly proud to be these. But there has been something I haven't been openly proud to be... until now. I'm proud to be queer."
Angel proves to us that one's gender orientation is just a facet of their whole identity. It shouldn't hinder anyone from achieving success. While the world around you may tell you that you're different or wrong for being you, let Angel be a reminder that you can be who you want to be and love who you want to love without shame.
Be proud of who you are, and keep working towards success.
Galang Philippines is a human rights organization that aims to empower the LGBTQ+ community in the country. In English, the word "galang" means "respect" which is at the core of their organization—respect for diversity and for human rights so that the Filipinx LGBTQ+ community can finally achieve equality and justice.
Galang Philippines started with a group of lesbian friends who regularly discuss the state of LGBTQ+ rights in the country. From these small meetings, the organization grew and started an activist movement. They organize events and rallies that allow members of the LGBTQ+ community to be seen and heard. Through these activities, they can talk about issues related to SOGIE equality.
According to their website, Galang Philippines "takes pride in being a lesbian-initiated, lesbian-run feminist human rights organization" that "continue to espouse and aspire for the feminist values of respect, economic justice, equality, diversity, fairness, and empowering processes at all levels of our work."
Cha Roque is a queer achiever in the film industry. She is a lesbian filmmaker and LGBTQ+ advocate. Many of her films were internationally screened. Dead Rays, a poetry video was shown in Morocco as part of the Pauses and Pulses Video Art Exchange (2015). Her documentary film, Slay, was selected for the Hanoi International Film Week.
Dyke Drama, an exclusively lesbian film festival in Australia, showed her documentary, What I Would've Told My Daughter if I Knew What to Say Back Then. This film was inspired by her own life story as her ex-boyfriend outed her to their daughter. In an interview, she revealed how she felt stripped of something valuable to her. But What I Would've Told My Daughter if I Knew What to Say Back Then is her way of reclaiming her identity by coming out through film.
Cha's statement is an inspiration to most Filipinx LGBTQ+ folks who are usually outed by their parents or friends, even as kids who haven't figured out who they are yet.
Eva Callueng is currently the Asia-Pacific Representative of the Board for Global Network of Rainbow Catholics (GNRC). She is also the current Chair of the Department of Professional Education at the University of the East (UE) College of Education.
Another fellow Iska, Eva earned her Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy and then her Master's Degree in Philosophy of Education from the University of the Philippines (UP) where she also became the first lesbian Punong Babaylan of the famous organization, UP Babaylan. Eva finished her doctorate studies in the same university with a dissertation entitled The Philosophical Framework of LGBT-inclusive Education.
Eva was able to fuse essential parts of her life: her passion for education, her faith, and her queerness. Like Eva, we believe that it's important for the different fields to pursue interdisciplinary studies and research about the lives of LGBTQ+ folks. This way, we could better understand the struggles of our queer peers and hopefully lead to a world without LGBTQ+-based discrimination.