Let’s just say the Austrian Embassy opened up this straight girl’s eyes
The first #PrideMarch happened in New York City. It was 1970, a year after the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, and primarily served as an avenue to demand equal rights and protection for the LGBT community. It wasn’t until 1991 that it transformed from demonstrations to celebrations—much like what we see now.
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Granted the fun and ostentatious frivolity that we enjoy, we shouldn’t forget where #Pride began. Individuals, groups and governments across the world have taken leaps and bounds—sometimes with their claws out—to grant members of the LGBTQIA+ community with the bare rights of a human being. Even now, almost half a century after that first #PrideMarch, the battle is nowhere near over.
This year, the Austrian Embassy kicked off the MNLxVIE Equality Fest 2019, a campaign against gender-based discrimination and violence. It was a five-day festival that championed human rights and the dignity of LGBTQIA+ individuals.
I was there for the first day and at the front and center of the event was a photo exhibit. Anong Pangalan Mo Sa Gabi? sported photographs from Joel Acebuche, Harold Leonardo, Rossi Vasallo and Saira Pambid. The images showcased questions that members of the LGBTQIA+ community are often asked and—even to this straight girl—they were painful, eye-opening and a little insensitive.
Some of my favorite questions (and photographs) below.
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I’m guilty of some of these questions, some of these thoughts. And considering that the simple exercise of having them face me was enough to drown me in guilt means something immense. So for all the psychos who think #Pride is too trendy, too unnecessary and just too much—you’re incredibly mistaken.
Art Alexandra Lara