“King of talk” Eugenio “Boy” Romerica Abunda Jr. rallied members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community to unite and respect each other so they can effectively fight for equality under the law.

Abunda was the main speaker during the LGBT convention held at the Luce Auditorium Saturday afternoon attended by hundreds of gays and their advocates. He accepted the invitation through the efforts of his good friend Karla Kintanar-Fernandez, Jaypee Lao (who served as host of the activity) and Councilor Lilani Ramon. Also in attendance were singers Chad Borja and Gabrielle Gross.

The officers of the local LGBT organization led by its President Carlou Bernaldez was also recognized during the event.

Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo underscored the important roles played by the LGBT community in the life of the city, which being a university town is perceived more tolerant and vibrant. He praised the LGBT community for their talent, passion for their craft and loyalty as he urged them to express themselves in any forms provided that they remain lawful.

Councilor Ramon noted that while international treaties and Philippine laws provided protections and equal rights for women and their children, there is no explicit law or treaty that protect and promote the rights of the LGBT.

In his talk, Abunda pushed back on the stereotype on members of the LGBT as a curse, sickness or ugliness.

To counter Abunda counsels for the LGBT to always remember that they are not a curse, for they are capable of nurturing and loving others; that homosexuality is no longer considered a disease according to the World Health Organization and finally, that as children of God like everyone else, gays are not ugly.

Abunda turned emotional when sharing the tragic stories of gays who were outlawed, abused, disparaged, assaulted, bullied or even killed for being different.

As a child, Abunda also experienced being bullied and denigrated but he persevered and worked hard to be what he is today, a man in a position of power and influence being one of the most trusted “kingmaker” in both showbiz and politics.

As to the threat of HIV-AIDS, Abunda asserts that promiscuity is not only confined among homosexuals, there are also promiscuous men and women. Hence, as a general rule everybody (men, women and gays) ought to live a healthy life, engage in protected sex and to educate everybody else to do the same.

Councilor Alan Gel Cordova, who authored the ordinance that promoted LGBT rights along with Councilors Ramon and others, stressed the need for the LGBT community not to despair and continue to assert their rights until they shall have prevailed.

In closing, Boy Abunda urged the members of the LGBT community to treat each other with respect and love to achieve unity and strength with the help of their allies.