Activist of the Month: Manny Cabacungan

Activist of the Month: Manny Cabacungan

A majority of API Equality-LA’s work is done through each of our all-volunteer committees. API Equality-LA wouldn’t be the leading API LGBT organization that it is today without the contributions of all of our volunteer activists. Most of that work happens without any reward. To recognize stellar volunteer activists, the media & website committee selects a monthly Activist of the Month. We feature them on our website by asking them to answer a few questions, some serious and some fun. Get to know some of the incredible people that devote their time and effort to advancing API Equality-LA’s mission.

We’re proud to present Manny Cabacungan as our February 2012 Activist of the Month!

What committee are you involved with in API Equality?
I am a member of API Equality’s Faith Committee.  I focus on outreach to the Christian faith communities and Filipino Roman Catholic communities.
 
How and when did you get involved? 
I attended my first API Equality Faith Committee meeting in January 2009 with my roommate, the person who initially introduced me to API Equality.  Coincidentally, I happened to know the Chair of the Faith Committee at the time, Pastor Jonipher Kwan.  We met in Hawaii.  He is my first LGBT+ affirming pastor.  My interest in working on the Faith Committee was heightened by the passage of Prop 8.
 
Why is it important to continue this fight for marriage equality?
In my opinion, the fight for marriage equality must continue until it is won because it is a basic human right. 
 
What is one sound that characterizes you? 
I am a huge Star Trek fan.  It may seem like the stereotypical trekkie’s answer to this question, but the theme song for Star Trek The Next Generation television series is the sound that I think characterizes me.  By the way, I was thrilled to meet George Takei in person through my friends at API Equality.
 
Where are you right now?
Right now, I am heartened by the brave judges in the 9th Circuit – their recent confirmation stating Proposition 8 is unconstitutional brings our community one step closer to the day on which we will finally have full marriage equality.
 
What is one thing about you that surprises people? 
Because of my generally quiet and non-confrontational demeanor, people are often surprised to learn of the extent of my passion and activism for the cause of marriage equality.  It is my nature to avoid arguments and steer clear of controversy, but when the issue of marriage equality is raised, I am eager and determined to challenge misinformation, bigotry and deception directly and with absolute clarity.
 
Hometown? 
My hometown is Waipahu, Hawaii.  I was actually born in Sinait, Ilocos Sur, the Philippines. My family moved to Hawaii when I was only a year old, but as the youngest of four children, I grew up in a household that was as proud of its Filipino roots as it was to establish itself with the American dream.
 
Occupation? 
I am an Interactive Developer for an international direct marketing advertising agency with an office in El Segundo.
 
Heritage?
My heritage is Filipino, and my family speaks Ilocano.
 
Facebook or Twitter?
I am an avid user of Facebook.

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