Trigger Warning: Mentions of Sexual Violence
Volunteer organization Metro Manila Pride has been under the scrutiny of the LGBTQIA+ community for allegedly being “silent” on social media after its recent statement on a survivor’s experience with sexual assault.
On June 3, 2021, the LGBTQIA+ organization posted a statement on its Twitter page regarding the events that transpired during the previous days, asserting that individuals and organizations have a limited capacity with these issues and should not talk above the victims and their experiences.
Trigger Warning: Sexual Violence.
Metro Manila Pride’s statement on the recent posts circulating on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/A3tvc9Qzp6
— Metro Manila Pride #SulongVAKLASH (@mmprideorg) June 3, 2021
This statement elicited mixed reactions from netizens and LGBTQIA+ supporters, some calling out the organization for its silence and gaslighting, while others were commending the organization for its appropriate actions.
Maka sigaw ka naman ng disinformation. Eh tinuweet mo kasi yung isang vid na may talac si ate mo JC so isipin ng tao eme siya sa grupo ninyo. Yun lang yun. Tsaka kayo yung may checkmark na LGBTQ+ org. So sa inyo talaga hihingi ng tulong at suporta.
— AltABSCBN (@AltABSCBN) June 3, 2021
Sobrang warranted ng reaction ng mga tao. Hindi lang dahil sa pakiki-simpatya para sa mga biktima; kasi kahit walang involvement sa incident, 'di maaalis na we also felt betrayed dahil mismong mga nasa frontline ng pakikibaka ang mga maysala. Come on https://t.co/YfU5EmCej5
— Lowkey Me #Register2Vote ✊ (@OdinsonLowkey) June 3, 2021
For the record, I think @mmprideorg is currently enduring online harassment based on malicious insinuations. These do a disservice the crucial work MMPride does for our community. But it’s in the same spirit of community that I offer this critique of MMPride’s new statement. 1/ https://t.co/SXFCvCkRMN
— Luther | Makibaka, huwag matakot. (@lutheraquino) June 3, 2021
Hindi ko gets galit niyo sa MMP, they reached out sa victims, those who were involved & those who were triggered privately. They cannot speak over the victims bc it’s the victims’ prerogative when/how they want to come forward w/ their experiences. Don’t take that away from them. https://t.co/WMMByyZjmR
— mx pad thai 🍜🌈 (@cyburgis) June 3, 2021
To reiterate the organization’s announcement, it affirmed that the organization denounces all acts and forms of sexual violence, that the accused is not in any way affiliated with the organization, and that it would be irresponsible for the org to act without the consent of the survivor. The organization also expressed that “callous, irresponsible accusations” against them “endanger the safe spaces they strive to create” for its members and the community, as a response to claims of the organization’s “deafening silence” on social media.
Sensitive topics such as this aren’t easy to just simply “air” out on social media, making this situation hard to navigate around. While it is in the public’s best interest to be made aware of the organization’s actions about recent events, it is in the victim’s best interest to keep matters private.
Just because Metro Manila Pride was silent on Twitter for days doesn’t mean that the organization wasn’t doing anything. Delicate matters are supposed to be discussed privately – without any pressure from people who immediately want answers. It’s already hard enough to open up about one’s trauma, even more so if pressured to do so publicly.
Yes, people are entitled to their own opinions, but let’s not leave the victim out of the conversation. Metro Manila Pride’s statement focused on the victim, and still, people overshadow that fact with their misplaced anger. This anger should be aimed towards sexual violators and abusers, not towards the organization doing the best it can within its limits.
Next time, let’s all be better with how we view these issues and think about the victims. It’s better to come together to support the victims wholeheartedly than to be divided over how the issue is being dealt with.
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