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Himamaylan mayor: Inclusivity beyond Pride Month

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Mayor Raymund Tongson (6th from left) awards the winners of Hari kag Hara sang Himamaylan 2024 and Talentadong Himamaylanon grand finals.*

As the Pride Month celebration came to a close during the weekend, Mayor Raymund Tongson reminded Himamaylanons that inclusivity in the southern Negros city goes beyond the month-long celebration of the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community, a press release from Himamaylan PIO said.

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

He added that this also goes the same to other observances commemorated in Himamaylan, “Everyone’s identity, capabilities, and uniqueness must be celebrated and fought for everyday.”

Himamaylan City celebrated diversity, inclusivity, and unity as hundreds marched and took part in the “Pride Fest sa Maylan” in line with the Pride Month celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in the south Negros city.

On June 23, the Himamaylan City bursted in the colors of the rainbow as various activities for the members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies were prepared by the city government through the office of City Mayor Raymund Tongson.

“It is important for us to ensure safe spaces for everyone in Himamaylan, especially to the members of the LGBTQ+ community,” Tongson said adding that the biggest Pride event in Himamaylan was made possible through the efforts of the 6108 LGBT Federation, City Health Office, Sangguniang Kabataan, MRT Youth, and Bagani Community Center.

In the morning, Himamaylanons attended the HIV 101 lecture and free HIV testing courtesy of the Bagani counselors and CHO.

During a symposium entitled “Embracing Diversity: The Role of Inclusion in Building Stronger Communities,” the participants learned about the importance of diversity and inclusion, as well as how one can take part through social media and volunteering to local initiatives.

The morning ended with a fun basketball game dubbed “Shoot ‘Ta.”

In the afternoon, a caravan of rainbows traversed from the city’s northern to southern borders. It culminated at the city proper where the unity march from the old city public market to the Brgy. 1 – Poblacion gym ended.

“It is important to show that we are united. Apart from visibility, the caravan, unity march and other events, we show that Himamaylan respect, welcome, and see importance in the contributions of the queer community,” Tongson said.

At the Brgy. 1 – Poblacion gym, the 6109 LGBT Federation officers led the reading of the manifesto which Mayor Tongson signed together with the officers and the members of the community.

The afternoon was filled with colors and festivities with the holding of the Hari at Hara pageant and performances by the GAYnon Dance Company.

In the evening, the Talentadong Himamaylanon top five battled out in the grand finals.

The audience were also treated to special performances from special guests, the Bacolod Drag Queens. The evening culminated in the Pride Fest sa Maylan After Party.

Throughout the day-long activities, several Himamaylanons also won prizes in raffle draws for their participation in the Pride Fest.*


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July 2024

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