A fashion show entitled Project Genderway culminated UP Diliman’s celebration of UP Pride Week on June 25 to June 28 this year. Around 10 models sashayed through a makeshift catwalk at the lobby of Palma Hall wearing the creations of former UP Babaylan members and MEGA Design Competition finalists Mara Chua and Renan Pecson, and the UP Association of Clothing Technology.
The various fashion creations aims to showcase the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity. “Dressing up is my form of activism,” revealed Rod Singh, president of UP Babaylan, the first LGBT student organization in the Philippines, and co-presenter of UP Pride Week. “I dress myself away from the norm, because I want to say to the world how proud I am of my sexuality. I show my pride through my clothes.
“We want to make a statement. We are often judged by how we dress ourselves. But sometimes, how you dress up does not really say what your sexual orientation and gender identity is.”
On show were designs made by MEGA Young Designers’ Competition and UP Babaylan Alumni Renan Pacson and Mara Chua, as well as pieces created by the UP Association of Clothing Technology Students or UP ACTS.
Mara Chua presented black sequined frocks to one-shouldered A-line dresses, Drawing cheers from the crowd was a black and white striped pattern gown that was modeled by popular cosplayer and actress Myrtle Sarrosa.
Renan Pacson, on the other hand, focused more on earth tones and androgynous attires. These utilitarian pieces were often neatly accessorized with scarves.
The UP ACTS featured different designs ranging from brightly colored neon dresses, leather tops, to floral prints. According to Denise Chan, President of the UP ACTS, most of their designs are aiming for the androgynous look, although there were also very feminine pieces. “We made the show in such a way that the clothes to be presented will range from floral, leather, and then to more colorful pieces to show some diversity,” Chua explained.
After the success of Project Genderway, the student organizers of fearless but fun UP Babaylan promise to hold more LGBT activities as they celebrate their anniversary in September.