The former vocalist of a local rock band accused the group of discrimination for his gender preference when he was still a member.
This revelation drew backlash online prompting organizers of a Pride event to drop Silent Sanctuary, a rock band known for “Kundiman” and “Ikaw Lamang,” from their lineup of performers.
Pride Philippines or Pride PH, a national coalition of Filipino LGBTQIA organizations, earlier announced that Silent Sanctuary will perform at its Pride Festival called “Love Laban in QC.”
Ian Carandang, the former vocalist of the band in question, reacted on Twitter about this gig.
Carandang, who is also a member of the community, bared that his former bandmates once told him to “return to the closet” back then.
“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,” Carandang said on Twitter.
He further emphasized that he will not be attending the Pride March in the city because of his former band’s participation.
“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,” Carandang said.
“That they are going to collect a talent fee and profit from a community that they have DIRECTLY discriminated against is F***ED up and because of this I will not be attending QC Pride,” he added.
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. (thread)
— Ian Carandang (@gayrockstar) June 23, 2023
His tweet gained buzz on the platform. It has so far garnered 2,669 retweets, 844 quote-retweets and 15,600 likes.
This story later reached the organizers of Pride PH.
In an update on social media, hours before the program started, Pride PH announced removing Silent Sanctuary from their lineup of musical and entertainment acts.
“We are dropping Silent Sanctuary from our roster of performers at #LoveLabanSaQC for today’s program due to homophobic actions done to one of our own reported earlier this morning,” they said.
“Pride PH would like to assure our queer siblings in the LGBTQIA++ community that we remain a safe space for all and hence, will not take this nor other similar cases lightly,” they added.
Pride PH organizers also emphasized: “Homophobes are never welcome on our stage. This is our safe space. This is our pride.”
WE ARE DROPPING SILENT SANCTUARY from our roster of performers at #LoveLabanSaQC.
— Pride PH (@tfpridePH) June 24, 2023
In partnership with the Quezon City government, the Pride March and festival was held at the Quezon City Memorial Circle on June 24.
Update on the issue
In a series of tweets, Carandang expressed how grateful he was for the response of the community, including Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte following his revelation.
The musician also clarified that he did not call for a boycott for them.
“The incident happened over 10 years ago and believe me when I say I still remember it like it was yesterday, so to see a reminder of it today on Pride of all days really shook me,” Carandang said.
“Today I feel the love of the community, and I am reminded that we have each other’s backs, and when we are united, the sky is the limit to what we can do. Again, THANK YOU to @QCMayorJoy and everyone reading this. I Love you all,” he also said on Twitter.
Silent Sanctuary’s response
In a statement on social media, the band expressed dismay over this development.
Silent Sanctuary perceived that “judgment has been passed” on the members without a chance for them to defend themselves.
— Silent Sanctuary (@silentsanctuary) June 24, 2023