NY Pinoys call for immigration reform as they celebrate Gay Pride

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

June 30, 2014

NEW YORK CITY – New York City’s Fifth Avenue became one big rainbow Sunday as more than a million people marched and watched one of the biggest Gay Pride celebrations in America.

New York’s parade commemorates the June 28, 1969 Stonewall Riots – a series of spontaneous, violent LGBT demonstrations against a police crackdown on the gay patrons at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwhich Village 45 years ago.

Dozens of Filipino Americans joined the annual march, and leading this year’s Filipino contingent is Boots Babushka – considered a mother to all LGBTQ Filipinos.

“I’m as old as Adam and Eve,” Babushka said. “There was a time when sa Pasay hinuhuli kami, tumatakbo kami after the sayawan because the cops were after us. It used to be Halloween lang kami puwede lumabas.”

Gay rights have come a long way since then. A year ago, the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA – granting federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

Today, same-sex marriage is now legal in 19 States plus Washington, DC.

Filipino American Cole Carothers of Brooklyn, NY said, ”The theme of today’s Pride is, ‘As One We Are One,’ I think, together, collectively we’ve seen victories because we’ve come together as a community, today’s message is – we should never stop coming together and working together.”

Marchers say while there’s much to celebrate, there’s still so much to do — especially for the gay and undocumented.

Gabriela USA’s Maui Villapando said, “Isa sa mga pinaglalaban namin at kina-campaign namin dito sa parada na ito ang Temporary Protected Status para sa mga kababayan natin na undocumented, lalo na ang mga undocumented LGBTQ.”

“If we have put this much time and energy into this gay marriage, let’s talk about undocumented queer issues,” Bayan USA’s Jenabi Pareja said. “Hopefully we’ll have this much energy as the same thing as we put it to immigration as we did for the marriage.”

This year, transgendered women’s rights have also been a big focus in the LGBTQ community. Beauty queen Chelle Lhuillier says life would have been much easier if the name and gender on her identification cards matches her true self.

Lhuillier said, “It’s really hard to travel when you have a different name on your ID or passport, and you look like a very beautiful girl. So that’s really difficult.”

Many marchers here believe that while America has made leaps and bounds in marriage equality and LGBTQ rights, they are hoping President Obama will do the same for immigrant rights and equality – an issue that is shared and will benefit the gay and undocumented immigrants in America.

Lhuillier said, “We will continue until we get the recognition, the respect, dignity that we’ve been looking for and the equal rights that we were fighting for.”

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com

4 Comments on this post.

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  • noz
    30 June 2014 at 6:18 pm - Reply

    what specific recognition these homosexuals want?. america’s back has bended, stretched over the limits than any other nations. loose immigration demand of homosexuals?, to use sexual orientations in advancing priorities certainly is way out of line.

    only in america, the gay pride parade permitted homosexuals to display who they really are. these homosexuals should focus their energy in overseeing the sharia laws do not go viral in america. liberals, the like of obummer have not fiercely contradicted sharia laws. it’s well and alive in urban cities of america with so many make shift mosques, and the growing muslim worshippers, worshipping freely, occupying busy pavements, while tolerant people can’t barely walk in the pavements have to use the street instead.

  • Mar
    30 June 2014 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    Gay rights movement is one of the biggest donors for the Democrat Party…Donate some more on those crocodile Democrats and all your wishes will be granted….

  • Filam
    1 July 2014 at 12:18 am - Reply

    Most pinoys that migrated legally
    Are against Amnesty

    Only illegals want amnesty

  • PAWS
    1 July 2014 at 7:51 am - Reply

    naku po, wag na sana pasukan ng mga bakleleng yun issue n yan….baka maunsyami pa