Name: John Panganiban
Hometown: Bronx, NY
Armed with an open heart and an open mind, I’m nonviolently ready for the uphill battle for civil equality!
I choose to be on the Equality Ride because I find it meaningful, worthwhile, and deeply personal.
Growing up with a lot of harmful language, misunderstanding, and misinformation about homosexuality can be quite hurtful to one’s sense of worth. The area I grew up in is mostly of the conservative persuasion. I lived literally five minutes walking distance away from Saddleback Church, led by the staunchly anti-gay Rick Warren, and I was not given the idea that gay is OK. For many years, I’ve had plenty of personal struggles with my sexual orientation but I am very lucky to have such understanding and supportive friends and family–though it took them some time, a few longer than others, and some I’m still working on. Even now as a proud gay individual living in New York City, I’m taken aback by how homophobia, racism, classism, sexism are used as a divisive means to create and maintain a system of injustice and inequality. I’m honored to be Equality Riding with like-minded activists to eradicate homophobia and to effectively expedite political and social change.
I believe in the Equality Ride’s mission to dispel negative notions and harmful myths about gays and lesbians, by encouraging open dialogue between differing ideals with the ultimate goal of showing how anti-gay policies in colleges are detrimental to the lives of their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. To quote Bayard Rustin, “the gays are the new barometer of social change”. This is why the Equality Ride is so important now in our pursuit of justice.
John has been sponsored a total amount of $.