Transgender allies unite in San Francisco for Jennifer Laude

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 16, 2014

SAN FRANCSICO – Flags flew high as Fil-Am members of the LGBTQ community held signs and candles to signify that they stand in solidarity.

They’re calling for the turnover of U.S. Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton to Philippine authorities, the exit of all U.S. military from the Philippines, and the recognition of trans-genders everywhere.

“I think it’s really important especially here in San Francisco because everyone knows that San Francisco is almost like a gay capital,” said Pia Cortez of GABRIELA SF and a queer-identified Pinay. “But I think what’s really important is LGBTQ organizations of color rally around this specific issue and we were able to show that through this vigil.”

Filipino-American Reverend Jeanelle Ablola of Pine United Methodist Church represents a congregation that is accepting of all people despite sexual orientation and gender identity.

She says that it was important that other LGB organizations especially in the Bay Area understand that trans-genders are still under represented. Trans-people agree.

“We feel like it’s important here in this place where there is so many LGBTQ people here,” said Rev. Ablola. “Transgender-lives and voices are still very marginalized and are not as visible.”

“I think in general, LGB organizations could do a better job to think about who they’re hiring in terms of their staff, in terms of the leadership to really build in that leadership within, so that they’re reflective of the community,” said Isa Noyola of El/LA Para Translatinas.

Gay members of the community threw in their support.

“We empathize, we sympathize,” said queer-identified Pinay Russel Arelis of GABRIELA SF. “This is very, very important to us. This is our community and it should be everybody else’s community, and I believe fighting for one is fighting for all.”

BAYAN-USA say that they plan to release an online petition by this weekend so people can stand in solidarity in demanding justice for Laude. BAYAN also plans to continue working with other organizations to bring more awareness to transgender issues.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

3 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply



  • filam
    16 October 2014 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Go back to the Philippines if you are against America

  • Kuya
    16 October 2014 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    Nobody wants to be cheated okay?

  • Juan
    16 October 2014 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    Kayo mga Bading ay nagpipilit na maging babae, ang US Marines ayaw nila ang Fake na babae. Tanda-anan ninyo, Pinag re re-signed ang mga Bakla sa US Marines.