Call for Temporary Protected Status & Environmental Justice
The BAYAN-USA Queer Caucus led a Filipino contingent in this year’s New York City Pride march down Manhattan’s 5th Avenue down to Christopher Street. The contingent highlighted the call for the Obama administration to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Philippine nationals in light of the impact of Typhoon Haiyan on the country last November, as well as the lack of adequate relief and response from the Aquino administration. The caucus also highlighted the call for environmental justice as environmental degradation worsens the impact of such disasters on communities.
“We need relief, not deportation,” states Jenab-i Pareja of the BAYAN USA Queer Caucus and the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines. “Lack of response and accountability from the Aquino administration has only made the disaster worse. TPS as a form of relief that not only grants Philippine nationals the right to travel freely, but ensures Philippine nationals in the US can stay and work to help their families back home through work authorization and protection from deportation.”
There are more than a quarter million LGBT undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. today. According to the research done by Williams Institute and the Center for American progress has shown, LGBT undocumented people are among society’s most vulnerable since they find themselves at the intersection of two already marginalized groups — the LGBT population and the undocumented population.
BAYAN-USA Queer Caucus was also joined by members of Barangay-NY and Pinay Trans USA.
“As the Ambassadress of Filipino LGBTQ, I advocate beauty with a purpose and my purpose for joining today’s Pride March is to represent my community specially transgender women who are seeking acceptance in the society and to further the fight for equality,” stated Chelle Lhuillier, a transgender Filipina and Miss LGBT Philippines-USA.
Just days before Sunday’s Pride March, the BAYAN USA Queer Caucus also joined the rally and march at Christopher Street Pier for Trans-Day of Action last Friday, June 27. The march passed by the historic Stonewall Inn in NYC’s West Village, site of the Stonewall Riots 45 years prior, where marchers chanted in honor of LGBTQ movement’s legacy of radical activism and resistance.