Photo Essay

The Faces of Pride

Heading

Metro Manila Pride is many things, made up of many faces.

Photography by
Story by
Joseph Pascual
Words and Photographs by

Joseph Pascual

Read Time
Location Tag
Originally Published In

The first thing I noticed was how different we all were. Rain was forecasted on the day of Metro Manila Pride and fell intermittently throughout the day. Still, at the Marikina Sports Center, under the umbrellas and raincoats, I saw tank tops, overalls, wigs and heels. I saw parents with their babies, groups of boys and girls, a thousand pairs of people, grown men and older women. Shy glances and open smiles. Handwritten signs of all kinds. Different flags for different tribes. It felt like a day out or a large family reunion, but it was more than that as well.

Pride itself started 50 years ago at the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, as a protest against police brutality by members of the New York City LGBTQ community. In the decades since, it has shifted towards themes of celebration and visibility, going with increasingly tolerant mainstream views.


The challenge some see for Pride has been how to balance the hard-earned joyfulness of coming together with the resistance that continues to guide the movement.


However, marriage equality exists in only a handful of countries. Most religions police overt displays of identity. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are still arrested, disowned, assaulted, raped, or killed specifically for their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. The violence towards them comes from strangers, religious groups, the state, and sometimes their own families.

Every Pride march grapples with this paradox of celebrating the community’s diversity while asserting its claims to acceptance, equal protection, and rights.


A person in a mask with ropes tied around them wears a t-shirt saying, "One day, I won't have to wear a mask."


The challenge some see for Pride has been how to balance the hard-earned joyfulness of coming together with the resistance that continues to guide the movement. As it rained that day in Marikina, I saw both go hand in hand. For some people, coming was an act of bravery in itself; we photographed people who came alone, and talked to subjects who declined to be identified. To others, they came on behalf of communities who couldn’t be present. Some came simply for themselves.


Every Pride march grapples with this paradox of celebrating the community’s diversity while asserting its claims to acceptance, equal protection, and rights.

Swelling from 7,000 attendees in 2017 to 70,000 in 2019, Metro Manila Pride is many things, made up of many faces. We spent the day photographing some of them. I wish one of the faces we photographed reminds you of your own.

Happy Pride.





Others Also Read these

Miguel Luis, creator of the conversation game So Cards, writes about the power of a good question.

Talk Travels

Miguel Luis, creator of the conversation game So Cards, writes about the power of a good question.

Read More >>
We talk to photojournalist Martin San Diego about his experience working in the Bangsamoro region, and what he’s learned from the new generation of Moro youth finding their place in the world.

Images From Bangsamoro with Martin San Diego

We talk to photojournalist Martin San Diego about his experience working in the Bangsamoro region, and what he’s learned from the new generation of Moro youth finding their place in the world.

Read More >>
From the supernatural to the extraordinarily bad, anything can happen on assignment.

Horror Stories from the Field

From the supernatural to the extraordinarily bad, anything can happen on assignment.

Read More >>

Watch & Listen:

We invited three photographers to have a live, open dialogue with GRID's own Paco Guerrero and Sonny Thakur.

GRID Open Call: LIVE ON FACEBOOK

We invited three photographers to have a live, open dialogue with GRID's own Paco Guerrero and Sonny Thakur.
Watch >>Listen >>
At GRID, we have always believed that the pretty destinations are secondary to the various reasons we travel. In Issue 10, we honor the people who have enabled us to experience the Philippines in different and better ways with a series of short films

Changing The Way We Travel

At GRID, we have always believed that the pretty destinations are secondary to the various reasons we travel. In Issue 10, we honor the people who have enabled us to experience the Philippines in different and better ways with a series of short films
Watch >>Listen >>
Up in Benguet, Session Groceries is bridging farmers and consumers together.

Session Groceries

Up in Benguet, Session Groceries is bridging farmers and consumers together.
Watch >>Listen >>

Related Products:

Issue 08 | The Pearl Farmers

Issue 08 | The Pearl Farmers

PHP 195 

Featuring the sprawling, epic story of an adventurous traveler, whose round-the-world journey in the 1970s took him from Britanny to Tahiti, and then to the Philippines’ last frontier, all in search of the perfect pearl.
BUY