Tongson: Inclusivity in Himamaylan goes beyond Pride Month celebration


As the Pride Month celebration came to a close last 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.

“Inclusivity in Himamaylan does not end when the celebration ends, we need to practice acceptance, love, and unity in diversity all-year-round,” Tongson said in a message, adding that “Everyone’s identity, capabilities, and uniqueness must be celebrated and fought for every day.”

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.

Mayor Raymund Tongson awards the winners of the Hari kag Hara sang Himamaylan 2024 recently.

On June 23, various activities for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies were prepared by the city government through the Office of Tongson.

“It is important for us to ensure safe spaces for everyone in Himamaylan, especially for members of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Tongson, 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 the Bagani Community Center.

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

A symposium, “Embracing Diversity: The Role of Inclusion in Building Stronger Communities”, was also held, and participants learned about the importance of diversity and inclusion, and how one can take part through social media and volunteering in local initiatives.

Other activities included a basketball fun game “Shoot ‘Ta”, a Pride caravan from the city’s northern to southern borders, a reading and signing of a manifesto of support, Hari at Hara pageant, performances by the GAYnon Dance Company, the Talentadong Himamaylanon grand finals, special performances from the Bacolod drag queens, and the “Pride Fest sa Maylan” afterparty.

Throughout the day-long activities, several Himamaylanons won prizes in raffle draws for participating in the Pride Fest, the city said in a press release. ||