CITY OF MALOLOS – In an aim to create a safe place and environment for the gay community, over 250 Bulakenyo leaders who are members of the LGBTQ+ community gathered together to push for gender equality through the first LGBTQ+ Bulacan Leadership Summit with the theme “Building Synergy to Empower the LGBTQ+ Bulakenyo Towards Inclusive Growth and Continuous Sharing of Progress” held at BarCie International Hotel in this city, earlier today.
The purpose of the summit is to build a committee in each town and city in Bulacan that will protect the rights and provide support to the members of LGBTQ+ and also educate not only the gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and others, but mainly all the Bulakenyos about the gay community’s advocacy.
Provincial History, Arts, Culture and Tourism Officer Dr. Eliseo dela Cruz said that the first summit opened the discussion regarding the challenges and struggles of Bulakenyo LGBTQ+ members.
“Ang programang ito ay magbubukas ng ibayong usapin patungkol sa mga miyembro ng LGBTQ, dahil naniniwala ako, at ang PGB na dapat walang pagkakawatak-watak sa ating lahat at balang araw, naniniwala ako na lalawigan ng Bulacan ay pamamarisan ng iba pang lalawigan,” dela Cruz said.
Governor Daniel R. Fernando also expressed his support and respect to the LGBTQ+ community and vowed to help in the promotion of gender equality in the province.
“Akin pong aktibong itataguyod ang pagkakaroon ng pantay-pantay na karapatan para sa ating mga kapatid na LGBTQ bilang tao, gaya ng bawat isa sa atin, dahil ang pinakamahalaga sa lahat ay ang respeto at pagmamahal sa kapwa,” the People’s Governor said.
Meanwhile, Bataan First District Congresswoman Geraldine Roman who was the guest speaker, said that she was impressed with the province of Bulacan for being one of the brave provinces that promotes equality among gender identities.
“Natutuwa ako na ang Bulacan ay isa na din sa mga lalawigan na nagsusulong ng anti-discrimination law. Hindi ko man maipasa ang ganitong batas sa nasyunal na lebel, malaking bagay na mayroon ganitong patakaran na nagpoprotekta sa mga komunidad ng LGBTQ sa bawat bayan,” Roman said.
Meanwhile, celebrity fashion designer Renee Salud, perfume czar Joel Cruz and Maeng Lopena, one of the actors in a tv series, also graced the activity to help motivate Bulakenyos through their inspirational journey towards success despite being a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Also, Ronchie D. Santos, an HIV Counselor certified by the Department of Health, discussed the topic on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) so as to increase the awareness on how to prevent acquiring the said disease and how to properly manage it if one becomes infected.
The LGBTQ Bulacan Federation has been in various municipalities in the province as part of its immersion to introduce its strong core values and commitment to promote equality and respect for all people.