Adrian, in his own words: “Being gay is being who you are. It is about authenticity in everything that you do, unafraid of what people might think or feel about you. It is about freedom to choose who to love. It is about being resilient despite oppression from the society. It is about being an outlier and proud of it. It is about challenging the status quo and standing firm on being unique. It is about celebrating and valuing differences. It is about being a community.
Climbing the corporate ladder as a gay man is difficult for me. People tend to put labels and compare gay men with people who work in salons. That did not stop me for working hard. Every day, I try to outdo myself. I train and study really hard to get an advantage. I see my situation as opportunity to make a statement. Now at age 28, I am the youngest member of the senior management team in our company.
My ex-partner and I frequent the province to visit my parents, though I have introduced him to them as my best friend. When I received the new iPhone 4, I gave my old phone to my dad. So excited, I forgot to delete photos and messages. My parents discovered that my ex-partner was more than a friend. While washing the dishes, my mom went to me to confirm the relationship. She promised that she will pray for me every Wednesday and dedicate a novena for me to so that god will change my preference. They are not okay with my lifestyle. Since then, my relationship with them was not the same but I make the most of every opportunity to make them feel that I love them.
Manila has an active gay community. There are hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs, who deliberately market themselves for LGBT. Despite religious issues, Filipinos are starting to accept the idea of homosexuality, largely due to media, gay celebrities and other contributing factors. LGBT-themed indie films have grown in numbers, thanks to the support of few establishments who advocates equality. Filipinos are used to gay stand-ups and comedians who perform on television and in bars for weekend comedy shows, which are almost always sold-out. Sad thing, however, I haven’t heard someone with power or influence who really came out of the closet and supported LGBT causes. While on the other hand, Quezon City recently passed an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance to ensure gender equality and promote LGBT rights.
(Advice I’d give my younger self) Take it one day at a time – don’t spend too much time wandering and searching for answers that only experience and encounters with people can provide. It’s always 101% or nothing. Give love, expect nothing in return, have no regrets. Love can always be renewed.”