Now that Pride Month has come to a close, we can take a moment to look back at the fantastic month that it was! We spoke to some of our friends to see what this special month, and the #Pride movement means to them. Click through to find out why the concept of #Pride is so meaningful to Rajo Laurel, BJ Pascual, Miko Aspiras, Jon-Jon Rufino and Mark Bumgarner.

Rajo Laurel

Pride Month means so much to me. As this not only affirms my life choices but creates much needed awareness regarding my LGBT community. It opens up the minds and hearts of others towards tolerance, acceptance, understanding and ultimately love. #Pride is something I celebrate as this is the my life and I am deeply humbled and proud of what my community and my partner has achieved.

Jon-Jon Rufino

When I was in high school 30 years ago, I could not imagine living as an open homosexual with a partner and children. Today, some people grow up never having to live in fear of who they are and what makes them happy. But not enough. Some of us can still be fired from our jobs. Some of us are threatened or subjected to violence because of who we are. Some of us are still shunned by our families. Pride month is our opportunity to honor those who made sacrifices, who exposed themselves to the ridicule that turned into tolerance that is still turning into acceptance. It’s also to remind us that we still have so much work to do for lgbt rights, which are simply human rights.

BJ Pascual

Pride may just be another hashtag to some people, another parade, or another party, but for me, it is about giving a voice to anyone who has ever been discriminated against, to anyone who has been made to feel like an “outsider” simply because they choose to be true to themselves. 

Mark Bumgarner

Pride month to me means taking a stand for equality. Its also a month of visibility, to be loud and proud as a community. It is a celebration of love, no matter who! It is also a massive reminder that in the Phillippinss we still face a struggle as a community, and that we need to strive harder towards acceptance.

Miko Aspiras 

It means celebrating who I am! #Pride is also a reminder to always be proud to be a gay man, and to never be apologetic about being who I am.