In celebration of Pride Month, LoveYourself Inc. launched Usapang ATBPride, an online discussion series highlighting the different facets of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Ally, and more (LGBTQIA+) Community. This week, we delved deeper into issues faced by people who identify as lesbian and gay.

The first episode, entitled BLT: Byaning, Lesbian, Tomboy, explored the experiences of lesbian women with regards to their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE), their experiences of coming out, and the challenges they faced living in oftentimes discriminatory environments. Hosted by Ging Cristobal, the Project Coordinator at OutRight Action International and Feminist Activist, the show interviewed guests Angel Romero, a Partner and Director for Creative and Directing at Digital Marketer, Irish Inoceto, the Chairperson of Iloilo Pride Network, and EO Cendeno, the Founder and Manager of Pag-Amuma, a dog and cat care sanctuary.

Ging opened the conversation by asking each guest about their SOGIE and how they defined themselves. What emerged was a common identity as lesbian women, but each had individual ways of expressing their gender through the way they behaved, dressed, and groomed themselves. Angel was more feminine in appearance, while EO and Irish were drawn to more masculine ways of expression. This emphasized the variety within the Lesbian community, beyond the prevalent stereotype in media. Various experiences were also shared by the guests who came from different age groups spanning from young to late adulthood, and how this affected their actions in advocacy work. 

The second episode, “The Beki Agenda” focused on the unique lives, coming-out stories, and challenges of individuals from the gay community. This was hosted by Bryan Galvez, with guests Macoy Dubs aka Macoy Averilla, Angelo Camaya of Accenture, and Danvic Rosadino from LoveYourself.

As with the previous episode, Bryan asked each of the guests how they defined themselves in the context of SOGIE. While all identified as cisgender gay men, their behavior, interests, and mannerisms oftentimes skewed towards what society labeled as “feminine”. Macoy would play with his mom’s makeup as a child, Angelo was drawn to ballet, and Danvic was drawn to feminine clothing and accessories. It also seemed that the adults around them were the first to notice and identify their gender nonconformity as kids, with quite different reactions and responses.

Each of the guests also shared the challenges they faced as gay men in their different fields and careers. Macoy, as an online content creator, saw the devaluing of the voices of gay public figures, Angelo perceived societal pressure on gays to achieve more than average just to be seen as equal, and Danvic has had to debunk myths about HIV as an advocate and educator.

Don’t forget to like, comment, subscribe to LoveYourselfTV, and hit the notification bell so you won’t miss more episodes on our Usapang ATBPride live every Tuesday and Thursday of June!

Fruitful discussions from Usapang ATBPride is supported by Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, Pilipinas Shell Foundtion, Inc., PhilHealth, Macare, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Cove Manila, Camber – a subsidiary of Hetero, Frontrow Cares, Victoria Court, and Lauvette.

Text by Brian Barretto
Images by Sergio Pizzaro