12 Filipino Celebrities and Their Coming Out Stories
Coming out is anything but a walk in the park—especially when you're doing it while the whole world is watching. If you think about it, that's what celebrities are doing. As public figures, they're expected to be very... well, public about everything and that includes their political views, sexuality, and more.
From BB Gandanghari to Paolo Ballesteros and Jake Zyrus, here are some of the inspiring ways Filipino celebrities came out.
BB Gandanghari made headlines when she opened up about being gay on national television while on Pinoy Big Brother in 2006. It wasn't easy for the actress after getting out of the competition, but she kept an open heart and mind. "I just tell myself na siguro kailangan ko ng pasensya. Kasi ako mismo sa sarili ko, nahirapan akong tanggapin ang sarili ko, e. It took a while, ibang tao pa? Especially pamilya pa," she said. Three years later, she came out as transgender.
While Paolo Ballesteros says that coming out is a personal choice, he also believes he didn't need to confirm speculation as he's always been open about his gender identity. He had this to say in 2019, though: "Kung anuman ang ginagawa ko, hindi ko naman itinatago mga ginagawa ko. Naka-post naman online lahat ng mga ginagawa ko."
In 2019, Scottish-Filipino actor and dancer Alex Diaz came out as a bisexual online after he was outed. A private conversation of Diaz and another man surfaced, and instead of letting the whole thing die down, he took control of the narrative. "Never again will I be shackled by the fear of what might be said about who I am for fear of losing my career and instead, I will seek help, heal and champion change, acceptance and representation for the bisexual community and/or anyone who is met with prejudice in our society," he wrote on Instagram.
Coming out was a journey for Jake Zyrus. The singer and actor previously said he knew that he was gay at the age of five. Then, in an interview with Oprah, he told the world that his "soul is male." After deleting all his old social media accounts, the world finally got to know Jake Zyrus.
Mark Bautista said it straight when he announced that he "[loves] both sexes" back in 2018. And, he released a tell-all memoir to mark the occasion. In an interview, he says "I just feel na bagong milestone talaga siya for me. Accept me for who I am. I don't care anymore."
In a YouTube video, model and artist Issa Pressman came out as bisexual. She says, "Because my family is quite small and we're only four in the family. I think it was just the way that I had to introduce myself to them, of like 'liking girls, liking guys.' That's me. That's who I am. For them, it was just like, 'If you're happy with what you're doing, if you think that you're doing is something that would make you happy, could make you happy, then go ahead.'"
"I guess I grew tired of fooling other people—and myself," Prince Stefan said in an interview with the Inquirer about his decision to come out. "I just wanted to be happy—and now I am."
In 2017, Ice Seguerra took to Instagram to make a clear announcement that he is transgender and that his pronouns are he/him. "This is how I see myself and I would appreciate if people around me, especially family and friends, will respect that. If you do not understand kung ano ang transman, PM me and I will gladly explain," he said.
In a Twitter thread, Quaranthings actor Kyo Quijano made everything clear by saying: "So let’s get one thing straight, I definitely am not." Adding, "For the nth time, I am Pansexual. This is attraction not limited to binary preference with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity. It’s about personality and is beyond gender. I am able to be attracted to people of all gender identities and sexes."
Vice Ganda has always been out and open about his gender identity. Growing up, however, it wasn't exactly that clear. It was only after he tried to take his own life in his early 20s that his family had the talk. "When I had the talk with my nanay and asked her kung paano niya nalaman, she told me… she knew. Even without telling her, she knew. She felt it. And there was nothing wrong with it, but we never talked about it," he said.
Child actor and singer Rhap Salazar said he initally struggled with coming out as he felt uncomfortable. He felt it was time to tell his family in 2019 as he started to love himself more and be happy. "Coming out was really the best relief na naramdaman ko sa sarili ko. That I will never live my life again hiding and pretending to be someone that I am not," he told PEP.ph.
Child star turned critically-acclaimed actor Snooky Serna came out as pansexual in 2010. "I will not deny it, I have a lot of friends who are butch and I even have relatives who are," the actress said. "And I openly showed them my affection and people see that. But for me, it's no big deal. Ako, I see myself as a pansexual. Sa akin kasi, nakikita ko, either you are a man or a woman, kung nakikita ko ang ka-soulmate ko or ka-jive ko ang ugali in many ways than one sa isang babae, then maybe I wouldn't mind falling for that person but not necessarily getting into that relationship."