Philippine Information Agency (PIA) partnered with Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU) to raise awareness on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE).
The virtual event entitled “Rainbow Youth Forum: Intensifying SOGIE Awareness” seeks to advocate for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual, otherwise known as LGBTQIA+ community, who are facing discrimination in the society.
PIA Assistant Regional Director Carlo Lorenzo Datu underscored the importance of the program in possessing an in-depth understanding of SOGIE.
“For the past years, different stories of judgment and unjustifiable opinions about LGBTQIA+ community have been very notable. We want to achieve equality no matter what the gender preference is because we all want to be loved, understood and accepted,” Datu stressed.
For her part, TAU College of Arts and Sciences Dean Maria Theresa Nardo recognized the timely exposure of students regarding the topic especially now that it is gaining space.
“This forum is a very opportune engagement so that a deeper understanding as well as acceptance of our students especially those coming from the College of Arts and Sciences will be given attention. May this activity be a more viable opportunity as well as a window for you to be more understanding and accepting of our brothers and sisters, who have identified themselves as members of the LGBTQIA+ community,” Nardo said.
SOGIE Equality Bill recognizes the fundamental rights of every person regardless of sex, gender, age, class, status, disability, religion, and political beliefs. Hence, protecting members of the LGBTQIA+ from discrimination and marginalization.
During his discussion, Adrian Alforque of Dipag Rainbow Collective emphasized that passing this into a law will protect members of the community.
“One of the myths about the SOGIE Equality Bill is that it creates more rights for LGBT people when in fact everybody has their SOGIE so this does not curtail anybody’s rights,” Alforque said.
In addition, Alforque encouraged participants to continue advocating for SOGIE in an effort to achieve equality.
“There are things we need to do, we must do the work if we want to advocate for SOGIE, for LGBTQ, for gender equality, for justice and for liberation, we must do it now and we must do our part in advocating for the SOGIE Equality Bill,” he concluded.
About 90 TAU students participated in the youth forum organized by TAU Bachelor of Science in Development Communications Students and PIA-Tarlac as part of their Gender and Development Program. (CLJD/GLSB-PIA 3)