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How Quezon City Is Stepping Up To Be A Real Ally To The Filipino LGBTQIA+ Community

Everybody else take note.

From access to healthcare to graduation rites, Quezon City is taking the right steps towards being more inclusive and accommodating to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Related: 6 Ways On How You Can Be A Good Straight Ally This Pride (And Beyond)

The United States legalizing same-sex marriages across the entire nation was a major milestone in the struggle for equality and LGBTQIA+ rights. Government systems often hold marginalized communities at a disadvantage, failing to protect and serve those who don’t conform to norms of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Legislation and government are among some of the hardest places to enact change, but undisputedly one of the most impactful. But major moments of progress such as the legalization of same-sex marriage bring hope and celebration to the queer community and beyond.

While the Philippines seems a long way from such legislation (we can’t even pass a bill to prevent discrimination against the community), small-scale movements and little wins like those in cities such as Quezon City set examples for other local government units, and national-level government, to follow. From hosting same-sex commitment ceremonies to providing easier access to healthcare for transgender individuals, the Quezon City local government is proving to be a true progressive ally to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Thanks to the tireless work of LGBTQIA+ organizations and activists, as well as the government unit’s commitment to pursue programs and projects to celebrate and help the queer community, there are several initiatives, policies, and events that protect, celebrate, and uplift the queer community—and these are just the start. Philippine government and other governments, take note.


In 2014 (ten years ago!), Quezon City passed an ordinance for a policy that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. When transwoman Gretchen Diez experienced discrimination and was detained in 2019 for using the women’s bathroom, Mayor Joy Belmonte cited it as a violation of this ordinance, and vowed to enforce it further.

Even before this ordinance, QC also had other initiatives for gender equality and safety. Other local government units across the Philippines also followed suit with similar anti-discrimination ordinances, signaling long-fought struggles, eventual victories, and a few of many more steps forward.


Last year, Quezon City launched a card that allows same-sex couples to make healthcare decisions for each other the way married heterosexual couples do. Through special power of attorney, with the Right To Care card, queer individuals have the power to decide on what treatment their partners receive if said partner cannot make those decisions themselves.

The Right to Care card recognizes the autonomy and commitment of the queer couple, grants them the power of choice, and provides legal protection in various healthcare circumstances and situations. Learn more and apply for one here.


While same-sex marriage is not legal anywhere in the Philippines, the Quezon City government has been holding commitment ceremony for same-sex couples for a couple of years now. Queer couples get to reaffirm their love in a special ceremony, say their vows, and celebrate love winning with other couples. This year, the couples also got to receive the first batch of the Right to Care cards. Unfortunately, the commitment ceremony is not legally binding, but it’s a beautiful, heartwarming way to foster hope that one day, something like it, something bigger and better, will be.


The past year or so has really been a year of allyship in QC. Most recently, the Quezon City government underwent a signing of a memorandum of understanding that signals the beginning of offering expanded healthcare services and gender-affirming care to transgender and transsexual individuals.

In partnership with queer advocate communities TLF Share Collective, Trans Health Philippines, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Philippine Professional Association for Transgender Health, QC will work to offer trans-focused healthcare such as free hormone counseling, assessment, at management, among others.


There are plenty of instances where students are barred from presenting themselves the way they want to on school events like prom or graduation. This year, the local government proves they are attuned to the struggles of these queer students and care for them by holding graduation rites where they’re free to express themselves the way they want to. On June 22, Graduation Rights: March with Pride in QC will be a ceremony to honor and acknowledge queer graduates in their whole form, free to live and proud to excel as they are.


The annual Quezon City Pride celebration, nicknamed QC Pride and this year titled #LoveLaban2Everyone, is arguably one of the biggest Pride events in the Metro. Last year, it earned the title of the biggest Pride event in Southeast Asia. Period!

QC Pride provides a safe space for queer people and allies to celebrate and recognize the queer community through art and music, drag and dance, and joyful but purposeful human connection. The free event also calls on people to unite to urge national government to pass the SOGIE Bill. #LoveLaban2Everyone contains a multitude of statements: that Pride is resistance; that queer joy is important; that community, support, and respect for one another is what’s needed to move forward as a society; and that all people are deserving of freedom, equality, and love.

Continue Reading: What Is Queer Joy? Empower And Celebrate Through Another Aspect Of Queer Existence