By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Romantic music in an event where people celebrate love and equality became a perfect moment for a lesbian couple to take their relationship to the next level.
Rohdielyn Gomez, 27, surprised her partner Kyuechienn West, 28, with a marriage proposal during the Metro Manila Pride 2018 in Marikina City Sports Center Saturday night.
Gomez and West stole the attention from the crowd while singer John Saga was performing his rendition of British singer-songwriter Sam Smith’s “Lay Me Down.”
“Wala akong alam sa kanya, nagulat na lang ako, eh (I really did not know),” a still stunned West told the Manila Bulletin in an interview.
While West did not see the proposal of her girlfriend coming, Gomez said she had been planning to propose to her partner for four years. She, however, confessed that she did not plan to ask West during the event.
“Nadala lang po talaga (I was just really moved),” a teary-eyed Gomez said as she gestured towards the stage.
“Nagbabalak pa lang ako pero hindi ‘to plano, ‘yong kanta kasi eh (I was mulling on it but I did not plan to propose now, the song is just really moving),” she added.
Some attendees of the Metro Manila Pride 2018 surrounded and cheered the couple as Gomez knelt in front of an unaware West. With the help of two of her friends, Gomez offered West a diamond ring and a flower.
Onlookers were being emotional as they recorded the marriage proposal on their phones, especially when West accepted it.
West said she and Gomez have been living together in Imus, Cavite since they became a couple in 2014. She said she wants to have her own family with Gomez.
While their families and friends support their relationship, Gomez admitted that they cannot marry in the Philippines, as proposals for the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country are facing rough seas in legislation.
Gomez said she and West will wed in other countries where same-sex marriage is allowed. She said she has prepared financially for their wedding.
West and Gomez are members of the Les Riders Society Club (LSRC) which has been attending the Metro Manila Pride since last year.
The LSRC, a group of 286 lesbians from Metro Manila and nearby provinces, was formed to educate communities on traffic laws, particularly for motorcycle riders, said their founder Ken Vicencio.
Aside from their advocacy, the group also pushed for the passage of anti-discrimination in Congress, as well as equality in marriage for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGTQ+) community.
Organizers say some 25,000 LGBTQs and supporters attended this year’s Metro Manila Pride, an annual event every June, known as Pride Month, to push for equality for all genders. This year’s theme was “Rise Up Together.”