LOOK: Father stitches rainbow flags, a way of accepting his gay son’s sexuality

Last Saturday, many members of the LGBTQ community united as one and marched in Marikina City as a protest for equality for those who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. Ryan Quimpo, a proud member of the community, was able to exercise his right to freedom of speech and expression by participating.

Quimpo shares to WHEN IN MANILA a touching gesture made by his dad who was adamant about his sexuality and personal identity. What he did  just in time for Pride Month surprised The Quimpo siblings, particularly him and his sister Rhea.

Sumabay sa Pride March ang graduation namin sa isang palihan ng pagsusulat. Kaya bilang pakikiisa , naisipan naming maging theme ay Graduation Pride March . Nagpatahi ako ng mga flags ng rainbow . Sabi ko sa tatay ko na pagdugtungin ang mga flags para sa entrada namin sa graduation. Walang sabi-sabi ay kumuha ng karayom at sinulid ang erpat ko; at buong siglang tinahi para magdugtong mga flags. Bakla ako at siya ang tatay ko.

Photo from Rhea Mae Quimpo

Rough translation:

The Pride March happened during our graduation of a writing workshop (I enrolled in). Because we wanted to get involved, we thought of the theme “Graduation Pride March”.

I requested for rainbow flags to be sewn. I told my dad to connect the flags so that we can enter with them during graduation. My dad said no word and got a needle and thread. He enthusiastically stitched the flags together.

I am gay, and he is my father.

Ryan’s sister Rhea shares to WHEN IN MANILA the kind of father she knew and how he was very much hesitant with her kuya’s sexuality growing up.

Growing up, I witnessed how both my parents were very much against my kuya being gay. Our youngest eventually became gay, too. So he hid his identity – at school, he’s gay. But when he goes home, he’s a boy. His puberty literally had boundaries.

He found himself loving the arts through theatre plays and writing. I guess my dad saw that he was a good kid. Dad used to be a tricycle driver. When my brother got his first salary at his first job, he told him to stop working and he’d take care of him.

Perhaps he felt that maybe, my brother grew up to be a good person. That’s why now, no maximum amount of rainbow flags would be a nuisance to him – something he’d be willing to stitch.

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