"Leveling the Playing Field" creates fun spaces for LGBT campaigns in the Philippines

Published: February 2, 2012

MANILA — Human rights activists of the Rainbow Rights Project (R-Rights) are leading several civil rights and sports activities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos in February and March as they push for the passage of the Anti-discrimination Law in Congress.

 Dubbed Outgames Philippines 2012: Leveling the Playing Field, the festival is highlighting the little known dreams and aspirations of the neglected LGBT sectors, the "marginalized within the marginalized."

"Our activities are providing opportunities for underserved sectors of the community such as the LGBTs with hearing and speech impairments and the urban poor transgenders to voice out their human rights agenda, because they’re the ones we don’t get to know and address with services and attention," said Angie Umbac, president and advocacy officer of R-Rights.

Outgames Philippines opens with a volleyball tournament in Caloocan City organized by Maskara – ProGay Philippines and the GABRIELA Women’s Party on 11-12 February. On 10 March, LGBT environmentalist divers will lead a training on ecological awareness for LGBTs, an activity supported by the Aiyanar Beach and Dive resourt in Anilao, Batangas.

On March 16, the Deaf Rainbow Philippines, a group of deaf LGBT persons, will be conducting a human rights training forum with OutRage Magazine to discuss the increased vulnerabilities of being LGBT persons with disabilities.

According to R-Rights program manager Oscar Atadero, the Outgames sports and human rights activities aim to provide some safe space for disadvantaged sectors of the LGBT community. The activities use fun and sports to show the participants ways to access services and justice mechanisms that are out of their reach.

The 2nd Asia Pacific Outgames were held Wellington, New Zealand in March 2011 and featured sports events, a human rights conference and cultural events for LGBT leaders from all over Asia, the Pacific and Australia. The Outgames created a fund to help LGBT organizations in the region such as R-Rights to create local Outgames events to promote their human rights advocacies.

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