Believer and weaver of strong social fabric,
reporting for duty.

Proud Queer Pinay

Proud Queer Pinay

I've always had mixed emotions about June 12 being celebrated as Philippine Independence Day. Because on this day in 1898, while Emilio Aguinaldo stood in the streets of Cavite El Viejo (where my dad's side of the family is all from) declaring and drafting Philippine independence, Spain was working out the details about handing Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands to the United States as a means to end the Spanish-American War. About a hundred Filipino leaders were writing a proclamation of independence, signing it and ratifying it. Around that same time two colonizing nations were in Paris negotiating terms; treating entire peoples and countries as assets; having no regard for their sovereignty, their freedom, their lives.

Also on this day, two years ago, 49 people in Orlando were horrifically and tragically murdered. They were mostly queer, mostly Latino. They were at a club, a place for joy and dance and, yes, drink. A place that, for us queer folks is a kind of church — a place to commune and bless up. Pulse also happens to be less than 10mi from where my parents live and that kind of proximity adds another layer of feeling some type of way.

So, today, I honor the dead and I remember the struggles of my people. I think of all the fights, large and small, my ancestors made it through to make my life possible. I carry their smiles and joys in my DNA, and wear a combination of them all on my face as often as I can. I give thanks for the family and friends that have help shaped me; that simultaneously hold me down and lift me up. I remember that PRIDE exists because of a black drag queen that organized and fought for their community, engaged in sex work to survive, and performed to thrive. I remember that Stonewall was a riot against police violence. I remember that I enjoy many freedoms and joys. I invoke Grace Lee Boggs and her words that, "You cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you see yourself as belonging to it and responsible for changing it."

I love the rainbow, glitter and dance parties that come with PRIDE. I love remembering our history and stories more. I love envisioning, building and advancing a better culture most.

Isang bagsak. Isang mahal.

Peace and rest to the victims of the Orlando shooting and their families:


Brenda Marquez McCool, 49 years old

Gilberto R. Silva Menendez, 25 years old

Kimberly Jean Morris, 37 years old

Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old

Luis Omar Ocasio Capo, 20 years old

Geraldo A. Ortiz Jimenez, 25 years old

Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old

Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old

Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old

Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old

Jean Carlos Nieves Rodríguez, 27 years old

Xavier Emmanuel Serrano-Rosado, 35 years old

Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old

Yilmary Rodríguez Solivan, 24 years old

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old

Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old

Jonathan A. Camuy Vega, 24 years old

Juan Pablo Rivera Velázquez, 37 years old

Luis Sergio Vielma, 22 years old

Franky Jimmy DeJesus Velázquez, 50 years old

Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old

Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old

Amanda L. Alvear, 25 years old

Oscar A. Aracena Montero, 26 years old

Rodolfo Ayala Ayala, 33 years old

Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old

Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old

Angel Candelario-Padro, 28 years old

Juan Chavez Martinez, 25 years old

Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old

Cory James Connell, 21 years old

Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old

Simón Adrian Carrillo Fernández, 31 years old

Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old

Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old

Peter Ommy Gonzalez Cruz, 22 years old

Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old

Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old

Frank Hernandez, 27 years old

Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old

Javier Jorge Reyes, 40 years old

Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old

Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old

Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 years old

Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old

Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old



International Migrants Day

International Migrants Day

Stay Gold

Stay Gold