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Pride March gathers thousands to promote world free of bias

July 07, 2019

An estimated crowd of 70,000 from all walks of life gathered on June 29 at the Marikina Sports Complex in Marikina City to celebrate Pride Month — shining on colorful journeys of the LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and more) community.

Along with the mammoth gathering was a Pride Summit, which brought together LGBT+ members and advocates such as Boy Abunda, Angie Mead King, Bianca Gonzales, BJ Pascual and Missy Maramara.

Sponsor P&G provided the platform where it asserted its aspiration to build a better world where #WeSeeEqual — its global advocacy campaign — aims to promote a world free from bias, with equal voice and equal representation for all individuals inside and outside of its organization.

Members and supporters of the LGBT+ community gather at the Marikina Sports Complex to celebrate Pride Month calling for equality regardless of gender and sexual orientation. PHOTO BY JOHN ORVEN VERDOTE

GABLE

In 1994, the multinational company began its support to its LGBT+ community through its affinity group called GABLE or Gay, Ally, Bisexual, Lesbian, and Transgender Employees — part of its commitment to create a safe environment for all its employees regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, race, color, age, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, HIV status or any other legally protected personal identification.

“In celebration of our 25 years of LGBT+ inclusion within our company, P&G is proud to sponsor World Pride, and the Metro Manila Pride. It is an ongoing journey of milestones and achievements from the LGBT+ community, and we are excited to be part of the celebrations,” P&G Asia Pacific Regional Brand and GABLE Communications head Louie Morante said.

Boy Abunda CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

The company has enabled diversity and inclusion in its workplace globally by providing a range of progressive policies and benefits. Eligibility is applicable not just to legal spouses, but also to domestic and same-sex partners for healthcare, medical plan, life and accident insurance, bereavement leave and assistance, emergency loans, housing loans, international relocation assistance and other relevant benefits is a meaningful way to support employees.

Same maternity and paternity benefits are provided to both biological and adoptive parents. Its Flex@Work program for all employees becomes more relevant to new parents, single parents, or parents whose children have special needs because it provides the flexibility they need to care for their family.

Its global campaign dubbed #WeSeeEqual are seen in local campaigns from its different brands such as Pantene’s “Stronger Now” featuring transgender Kevin Balot, Joy’s “Share a Moment of Joy” and Vicks’ “Touch of Care.”

“We believe that if we create a safe and inclusive workplace for all people and for all our employees, we will be able to attract and retain the most talented and diverse workforce that will perform at their peak and be the best at what they do. This is why P&G is consistently recognized among the best places to work,” P&G Philippines Country Marketing Director Lester Estrada said.

An advocate since 1994, P&G Philippines also organized the Pride Summit gathering allies such as Abunda, Angie Mead King, Bianca Gonzalez, BJ Pascual and Missy Maramara.

Allies beyond the workplace

The Pride Summit keynote speaker was veteran TV host and author of Mama’s Gay Boy, Boy Abunda, who shared his coming out story and his experience in surpassing others’ bias. He provided insights on how to create a culture and environment of equality.

As an influential public figure, he also encouraged everyone to continue the dialogue on several issues that still recur to this day. He likewise celebrated the progress of the LGBT+ community, and highlighted the important role of allies in the journey towards full gender equality.

A panel discussion attended by Bianca Gonzalez, BJ Pascual, Angie Mead King, Missy Maramara, Louie Morante and Kat Quinon, P&G GABLE Philippines leader and advocate, talked about their own discovery journeys and coming out stories, and how they were able to maximize self-expression and achieve their dreams with the help of the different allies in their lives.

During the Pride Summit, the sequel to “The Words Matter” film titled “Out of the Shadows” was launched. It highlighs the courageous P&G employees who rallied against intolerance and turned the tide of prejudice.

P&G aims to inspire everyone to treat each other equally, with respect, and without prejudice.

We are using our voice and our reach to start dialogues, continuing our efforts to create a better world for everyone, with equal representation, equal voice and equal opportunity,” Estrada concluded.

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