A Filipino chef based in Singapore. I love traveling and going to music festivals.
Do you find labels (relating to sexual orientation) necessary?
To be honest, I have been feeling quite conflicted about this whole “labels” situation. Some people are okay with it and some are not. Personally, I think, in this day and age where we are striving for inclusivity and accurate representation in almost every industry, these “labels” seem to be an integral part on how one would identify themselves.
Are you offended by the word “gay”?
Why would it be? I’m one of them! I mean, it's like saying, “I’m offended by myself.” Unless someone uses the word “gay” in a demeaning context, that is directed to the whole community, then maybe I would give some choice words.
What do you say to people who ask, "Are you sure you are gay"?
Since I came out, I have been sure about myself. At this point in my life, I am pretty sure I am gay (and always have been). Gone are the days of hiding and being confused!
What are some misconceptions about gay men?
I am so tired of hearing these things about gay men, "Gay men are all feminine, gay men are always on the prowl for sex, being gay is a sin, you will never have a family, you’ll die alone if you’re gay” etc.
Have you have personally faced discrimination?
Not really. I have always chosen to just be around people who I know would understand and accept me for who I am. That way, I can avoid any type of discrimination directed towards me. Even at work, they treat me equally. I can tell that they judge me by my capabilities as a chef and not as a homosexual.
Does your orientation affect your life in anyway?
I feel lucky to be in a generation where gay men are more accepted and allowed to live the way we want to live. That is what “normal life” means to me so, no, my orientation does not affect my life negatively.
What was it like when you first came out, and what is it like for you to come out to people now?
When I first came out to my friends they were like, “we know, bitch!” Having that level of acceptance from my friends made it really easy to be myself around them and eventually other people.
There used to be times where I would hesitate to let others know that I’m gay (especially on social media and to my relatives). I was still worried about what others thought of me. But I have since come to realise that I don’t owe anything to anyone. I don’t need to worry about what they think or say. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “don’t give a fuck” all the time, but see, if you think that way, it is a lot easier to let people know who you really are… but yes, basically, I don’t really give a fuck.
Advice on coming out to your family?
My parents actually found out that I was gay by accident, so I did not really experience having “the big reveal” with them. Obviously, it was a shock for them but I don’t think they had a choice but to accept me. While this may seem easier said than done, the only way you can overcome your fears is to face them. Talk to your family about it, once you have gathered all the courage that you can. They might not fully accept you at first, but at least you’ve put it out there. You’ve told your truth and it will eventually be easier to live.
Why should same sex marriage be legalised?
I think marriage is important to every kind of couple. If same sex marriage is to be legalised, the LGBT community can finally have access to the same rights granted to straight married couples.
What do you have to say to those who believe every child should have a father and mother?
I think parenting should not be exclusive to heterosexual couples. Gay couples are as capable of providing a good household to children.
Do you think Pink Dot is effective? Why?
Yes. Just like the annual PRIDE March, it gives Singaporeans a chance to gather and be united as a whole community. It gives us a chance to present ourselves and let the world know, “hey, we exist!”
Do you have anything you want Singaporeans to know?
As a foreigner, I’m thankful that Singapore has always been welcoming. I decided to come out when I moved here eight years ago. This where I felt really independent and free from all judgement. While I understand that Singapore is still a long way from approving same sex marriage, I do hope that marriage equality is one of the topics that Singapore would be willing to tackle.