Fit Check: Metro Manila Pride 2022

“Whatever your style is, just do it. That’s who you are.”

Last weekend, members and allies of the LGBTQ community in the Philippines gathered in Pasay City to protest and party at Metro Manila Pride, one of several Pride events in the country. For the first time in two years, the march, talks, and live performances were back on-ground and in-person. 

Pride events are safe spaces for members of the queer community to express themselves, and one of the tools some people use to do that is clothing. There are those who choose to communicate their gender and sexuality by wearing the colors of the corresponding flag, while others experience gender euphoria by putting on something they were always told they just couldn’t wear. There are also those who dressed simply for comfort in the humid heat. 

In any case, people served some looks, and here are some of them. 

Ayla, 19

Ayla wore a wig and the colors of the bisexual flag. Photo: VICE

VICE: Can you tell us about your outfit and why you wore it to Pride?
I’m currently wearing a wig of this character named Raiden Shogun from Genshin Impact. It’s basically to represent cosplayers who identify with the LGBTQ community. I’m also wearing a purple sweatshirt, light blue ripped jeans, and a pink mask just to copy the bisexual flag. 

What’s one thing you think people should do more of in terms of using fashion to express themselves? 
Just go all out. Be open to doing whatever you want. Fashion is such a broad concept and for us LGBTQ members to not express ourselves and be proud of who we are is just a wasted opportunity to spread awareness. 

Deo, 20

Deo wanted to give “Barbie.” Photo: VICE

Why did you choose this outfit for Pride? 
I wanted to give “Barbie.” I wanted to give “Beauty is my only contribution to Philippine society.” I wanted to give “fresh,” but still beautiful. 

How important is personal style to you, in terms of self-expression?
Personal style really goes hand-in-hand with gender expression. I only recently started wearing femme-presenting clothes, and since then, I’ve really gained this new sense of confidence. I feel more like myself, and I feel genuinely happier. 

Elvis, 58, and Sandy, 61

Elvis (L) and Sandy (R) in matching tops. Photo: VICE

How did you pick your outfits today? 
This one (pointing at Sandy) bought it—and it made me happy.
Sandy: Yes, I did. Everything [here] is so colorful, and we’d be plain? This is more fun. 

What’s your top fashion advice?
People shouldn’t care.
Elvis: Yes, people shouldn’t care.

Dana, 24

Dana expresses herself even when she wants to be comfortable. Photo: VICE

Can you tell me about your outfit?
I got this top second-hand for, like, 50 pesos ($1). I got this skirt brand-new, which I kind of regret, but I couldn’t find the same one second-hand and I really wanted this pattern. My shoes are a gift from my girlfriend. 

How important is expressing yourself through style? 
Very important. Even if I’m looking for a comfortable outfit, I’m still looking for something that expresses “me.” 

James, 19

James in a “softboi vibes” necklace. Photo: VICE

What’s your favorite thing about this outfit? 
My necklace, because it’s very softboi vibes. 

What’s your top style tip?
Explore everything. 

Grant, 22, and Laurine, 22

Grant (L) and Laurine (R) in almost-matching fits. Photo: VICE

Why did you choose this outfit for Pride?
I wanted to be comfortable because I knew it would get crowded.
Grant: I wanted to match with my boyfriend. We didn’t exactly match, but we’re trying. 

What’s your message to other people?
Whatever your style is, just do it. That’s who you are. And really learn to love yourself.
Grant: Be more open-minded. We should accept all the genders that come forth. 

Miggy, 23

Miggy making young Miggy’s dreams come true. Photo: VICE

Why did you choose this outfit for Pride?
I wanted to look like a princess.

How important is personal style to you, in terms of self-expression? 
It was my childhood dream to wear a dress in public, so getting to do it now is a dream come true. It’s really important to me. 

Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.

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Fashion, pride, fit check

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