Benilde celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride

To commemorate LGBTQ+ Pride Month, youth leaders, student-artists, members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community marched around the vicinity of the campuses of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde to raise the now-familiar rainbow flags and banners, increase awareness, promote public acceptance, champion diverse gender identities and expressions, and take a stand towards inclusion.

Themed “#BeFree,” the initiative was organized by the Office of the Vice President for Lasallian Mission and Student Life of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in partnership with the Center for Inclusive Education, Center for Social Action, Central Student Government, Student Publications Unit, and Music Production Program.

The walk commenced at the Design + Arts Campus and followed a route to the college’s Atrium, the Angelo King International Center, which hosts Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle, and the foundational Taft Campus. This served as the conclusion of the Benilde 2023 Pride Celebration, which featured a series of activities, including the “Spirituality and LGBTQIA+ Identity Forum.” Speakers included LoveYourself advocate and multimedia practitioner Geno Maglinao, event stylist and parish pastoral worker Kris Heruela and former Lasallian Ministry director Thea Quintos. The discussion was facilitated by Campus Minister Xavier Apostol.

Members of the community shared their personal experiences in Benildean Pride Stories, such as Max Soliman, Robyn Visco, Cheese Shrestha, and Aio Ecalnea, while the Manila Social Hygiene Clinic and Treatment Hub offered free HIV testing.