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Pride PH removes Silent Sanctuary from lineup after 'homophobic actions'

By Camille Santiago Published Jun 24, 2023 3:23 pm

"Homophobes are never welcome on our stage."

The Quezon City government and the Pride PH organizers have dropped OPM band Silent Sanctuary from their event, hours before the LoveLaban Pride Festival started on June 24 at Quezon Memorial Circle.

In a statement released Saturday morning, the organizers said that a member of the LGBTQIA+ community had come forward to report that the band had engaged in "homophobic actions." While they did not provide any further details about the allegations, they said that they took the report "very seriously."

"We remain a safe space for all and hence will not take this nor other similar cases lightly," they wrote. "As a collective, we stand firm on our values and stay true to our principles as long as we are here."

Pride PH added that they "strongly condemn and strongly standsagainst any form of discrimination, homophobia, and harassment," and asked for apology for putting the band in the lineup.

"This is our safe space. This is our pride," read the statement.

As a response, Silent Sanctuary posted an official statement, writing they are "deeply saddened" by the allegations.

"Being in the performing arts industry, we respect all forms of gender preferences and identity. We have shared the stage, backstage, and dressing rooms with many who represent the LGBTQ+ community and had no qualms about it for any matter," they wrote.

They said they were looking forward to joining the celebration, but weren't given a chance to air their side.

"One man's angle does not paint the whole story of the bigger picture," they added. "Regardless, we still wish everyone a successful #PrideMarch2023."

Earlier on Satuday, June 24, singer and entrepreneur Ian Carandang tweeted, claiming to have been part of the band prior as the lead vocalist. He alleged that the band wanted him to hide his sexuality if he wanted to stay in the band.

"Just learned that Silent Sanctuary is playing at QC Pride Night and the fact that when I was their vocalist they told me I needed to go back into the closet if I wanted to keep being their vocalist is extremely offensive to me," he started his thread.

"I have always stayed quiet on this but THIS is a bridge too far for me that they purport to be pro-LGBT but have never publicly acknowledged or made amends for what they did to me is the last straw.

"That they are going to collect a talent fee and profit from a community that they have DIRECTLY discriminated against is F----- up and because of this I will not be attending QC Pride," Carandang said.

Asked by one netizen when he became part of the band, he said he joined when original vocalist Norman Dellosa quit.

Quezon City is once again the host of the Pride Festival this year. 

Mayor Joy Belmonte said that the event was organized to raise awareness of the discrimination, hate, and prejudice that the LGBTQ+ community faces. She also said that the event was a response to the community's desire to end the "undeserved ill treatment" and "denial of opportunities" that they continue to experience.