WITH PRIDE MONTH in tow, “The B” gathered some of the thoughts and perspectives of our fellow Bedistas on equality inside the university. With the varying degrees of opinions, knowledge, and thoughts about this topic, it’s no surprise that these Bedista’s have something to say about in-campus equality.
Yzabelle is a first-year student from the Department of Political Science who views the current state of the LGBTQ+ community inside the university as passionate and selfless. She is confident that the Bedan community is an embracing space for the LGBTQ+. As a member of the Pride community herself, Yzabelle has never met anyone in her two years on the campus who made her feel like she was any less of a person.
She even shared an anecdote that the Bedan community is very open about the LGBTQ+ community. She even received stickers and a bag tag from the Bedan Advocacy and Consciousness Enhancement Society (BACES). Moreover, falling under the bisexual spectrum, she is glad that the people surrounding her are quite chill about her wanting to be with a man or a woman. She is also relieved to have friends who openly embrace her in all that she is.
“A safe space” is how Julia from the AB English under the Department of Languages and Literature perceives the situation of the LGBTQ+ community in San Beda University (SBU). Considering the fact that it is a catholic school, she wanted to stress that the Bedistas, who are part of the community, are all safe inside the campus walls.
In terms of equality, she shared that, as per her observation, they are all treated fairly, but she also has some concerns that she wants to address with the school for the sake of our Bedan siblings, who are part of the community. “I believe that San Beda can do more and be more progressive. I hope that the administrators will be open to conversations such as cross-dressing (in accordance with proper civilian attire). I also hope that they will be open to listening to the concerns (if there will be any) of the minority.”
As someone close to a member of the LGBTQ+ community, she sees them as a blessing and a wise and fun person to be with.
Sydney Frances Antiojo
While Bedan LGBTQ+ members can freely express themselves, Sydney says limitations still bind them. She says it is because of the diversity of attitudes and beliefs among the people, noting that people are different, so they will naturally have different opinions, especially about LGBTQ+. And these attitudes and beliefs have manifested in how members of the LGBTQ+ community are treated.
Having been a student in an all-girls school, Sydney had learned to be more open and accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. And now, as a fourth-year student in the Accountancy program, she said that her support had grown more when she found friends who were part of the community. “My acceptance and support for LGBTQ+ individuals grew even more because of my exposure to different perspectives from my LGBTQ+ friends.”
John Henri Villena
Henri acknowledges the community (in a sense) that they are treated the same as any regular person. “I neutrally perceive the LGBTQ+ community in SBU as they exist in such a way that they equally experience the indifference and favors experienced and enjoyed respectively by non-members.”
He also adds that there is a “condescending stigma” towards the community, especially those who run for political positions in the student body. And while there is no apparent reason why it is so, this second year from AB English further explains that once a member of the LGBTQ+, there is an advantage. “It is speculated that voters think that should an LGBTQ+ member acquire a position, the intents and projects would revolve more around the LGBTQ+ community and not the whole community itself.” But, slipping away from that, Henri calls the LGBTQ+ to fight for the win. To fight for what is right!
Nate believes there’s a need for more representation, which applies to San Beda and other Catholic Christian institutions within the country. Although, he likes to believe that the LGBTQ+ community is being treated equally within the Bedan campus. He has seen mutual respect and support for the community members, especially within the student body he got to know. Aside from that, he did mention certain inequalities, such as restrictions in the dress code that hinder the self-expression of the students from the LGBTQ+ community.
Other than that, he happens to keep community members close to him. The third-year AB Literature student has friends in-campus and out-of-campus who are part of the spectrum. He has even exclaimed that his girlfriend is part of the community.
Aquila Gail Anastacio
Aquila, a freshman from the Political Science department, views the current state of the Bedan LGBTQ+ community as welcomed, acknowledged, and given freedom of expression. She observed that they can express themselves in different ways. For example, during wash days, they can wear whatever they want as long as the university’s dress code is observed.
Further, she is also very connected to the community because of a classmate and a friend who is currently on a journey as a transgender.
Arvin John Camariño
Last but not least, “Unrecognized without any attempts of recognition” Arvin, a third-year student from the Department of Legal Management, believes that the Bedan siblings from the LGBTQ+ community are not equally treated nor appropriately recognized. “Equality is felt when members of the community would not feel scared for expressing themselves within the campus. Equality manifests in different ways— from dressing up confidently, expressing yourself without any fear, and ultimately being who you are without having yourself feel reprimanded by the judgment of the community around you. More importantly, equality feels like you are being recognized as other people without having the need to explain yourself to them.”
As someone who is part of the community, he was able to compare the difference from his previous alma mater, which is more liberalized. He shared that there are third-gender comfort rooms and events celebrating the people from the PRIDE. They are also free to express themselves inside the campus, which is not what they can do inside the premises of the Red School. Additionally, Arvin was also able to notice the perspective of some individuals towards the LGBTQ+ community is different, and the topic is hushed as well.
And that wraps up our talk about the perspective of our fellow Bedistas, whether they are part of the community or not. This article showcased how their various point of view regarding equality and representation of the LGBTQ+ community are all based on either their personal experiences or their observations.
However, considering this, there’s one thing that all of the featured Bedistas have in common: they strive to support the LGBTQ+ community and encourage them to stand tall and be proud of who they indeed are. With that being said, from all of us at The Bedan, we greet every Bedan sibling from the LGBTQ+ community with a Happy Pride Month! May you spread your wings and fly freely to the sky!
Quick message to our Bedan siblings who are part of the LGBTQ+ community
“Though it feels as though the world is against us when they persecute us and make laws that go against our rights and freedoms as living human persons, I want to remind you that you shouldn’t conform to the rules set out by a society that has abandoned its talented and passionate members just because they did not fit what society wants us to be” – Yzabelle Gayanelo
“Whatever color you belong to, do not afraid to be you. THE WORLD IS EQUALLY OURS.” – Julia Fabon
“You are seen, heard, and valued. Your identities, experiences, and love are valid and deserving of respect. In a world that can sometimes feel challenging and unaccepting, know that there are many, including me, who stand beside you as allies and advocates. Let your light shine bright and continue to be unapologetically you. Your existence enriches the tapestry of humanity, and the world is a better place because of you. Keep challenging stereotypes, breaking down barriers, and spreading love. With unwavering support and admiration.” – Sydney Frances Antiojo
“Let’s fight with winning in mind. Let’s arm ourselves first before we fight for what we think is right. If we are to advocate for a morality or anything we yearn for, we cannot win with bold maneuvers alone. Influence and accumulated credibility goes a deep and long way” – John Henri Villena
“Be brave, be strong, stand with the LGBTQIA+ youth who continue to be discriminated in schools, and against those who continue to oppress members of the community. Amplify your voices in advancing the fight for rights and freedom of the LGBTQIA+ community.” – Nate Soriano
“To everyone, regardless of your gender, stay still, stand proud, and keep your head high” – Aquila Gail T. Anastacio
“To the LGBTQIA+ community in SBU, let’s continue to freely express ourselves without having the fear to be condemned by the higher authorities. Our identities matter and it is something that the SBU community should recognize. Slowly, but surely, we can lobby for more programs and events which celebrate our bright colors within SBU. May the silence towards our identities boost our voices to speak for ourselves, when other people can’t do it for us.” – Arvin John Camariño
(with Veronica Balbin)