John Lapuz, Ladlad beauties topbill annual gay Flores de Mayo vs bullying, homophobia

THE Metropolitan Community Church of Quezon City (MCCQC) will spearhead the floral fashion of the third LGBT Flores De Mayo today in time with the global observance of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) at the Barangay Pinyahan in Quezon City.

Iconic gay actor and TV host John Lapuz lends his rising advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) to the annual Marian parade, a decision reached after what he felt was rising bullying from even the showbiz industry against the queer community.

Lapuz will be the Reyna Elena, or Queen Helena, hoping to become a symbol of human rights crusaders against bullying of LGBT youth.

Bemz Benedito, lead nominee of the Ladlad Partylist and is the Reyna Emperatriz (Queen Empress). He said event is aimed to raise awareness on the issue of homophobic and transphobic bullying by celebrities, corporate media and the internet most especially young and adolescent LGBT.

Other Reynas lined up to join are two reality TV transgender stars, former Pinoy Big Brother sister Rica Paras, and Survivor Philippines’ Justine Ferrer.

“Flores de Mayo is not just a fashion and beauty statement, it is a parade of our heartfelt issues. We want the people, most especially celebrities, to know they have the responsibility to stop bullying. That hurtful words, even if wrapped in religious prayer, still kill the blossoms of our emotions, our human rights as LGBT citizens,” Benedito said.

Rev. Ceejay Agbayani, head pastor of the MCCQC, said the Flores festivity is aimed to raise money for the benefit of the children with learning disabilities at the Payatas Elementary School. Agbayani is calling on generous sponsors to help  the church get school and art supplies for some 50 children with down syndrome and other disabilities before school opens in June.

The LGBT Flores De Mayo is one of the many IDAHO events  that sprung up this year to coincide with both serious and raucous LGBT festivals worldwide in a renewed campaign to end violence and discrimination against LGBTs.

Despite its traditional style, the festival attracts even both lesbians and closet gay men who join as the consorts to the queens parading in gowns, a practice that is not supported by the Roman Catholic bishops.

The first LGBT Flores De Mayo was launched in 2010 by MCC and ProGay with the call to push the Anti-Discrimination Bill in Congress.

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