The LGBTQ+ community has historically been marginalized by many societies around the world. In the Philippines, the community continues to advocate for safe and inclusive spaces where they can feel comfortable about themselves, and not be discriminated against by the people around them.
With the rise of platforms such as YouTube, many find solace in the content shared by LGBTQ+ creators. Five of these creators joined the fourth edition of Google Philippines’ annual Pride Conversations, where they talked about the importance of allyship and the role of safe spaces online and offline. The panel was led by Miss Trans Global 2020, actress, writer, and content creator Mela Habijan.
Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race know Marina Summers, a fan-favorite contestant in the show’s Philippine edition.
She started her YouTube mini-series “Chasing the Sun,” where she showcases the art form of drag and the behind-the-scenes of her performances. For her, this was her way of telling stories that are close to her heart, while inspiring the younger generation and pushing for accurate representation of LGBTQ+ people.
“It’s a way for me to pat that little Marina on the back because she can finally watch herself on screen. This is also for the LGBTQ+ kids like me who are looking for people they can identify with on TV and social media,” Marina said. “We always talk about representation a lot. It really strikes a chord with someone looking for a sense of belongingness and representation in the media.”
For beauty creator Johnreyslife, YouTube helps her live authentically and makes a difference in the beauty space. “I used to face discrimination and hate for simply being ‘morena’ and ‘trans’. Now because of YouTube and content creation, I’m able to break barriers in the beauty sphere and be a face of representation. Regardless of your sexual orientation, gender, or skin color, anyone is welcome and can succeed on YouTube. Keep striving and dreaming because dreams do come true!”
JM Banquicio’s travel vlog started out as a fun hobby outside of his corporate job. Now, he regularly uploads his trips on YouTube, and he cited his family as one of his main motivators. “It’s really different when your family supports what you’re doing. You can do anything as long as you have the support of your allies,” he said.
Sara De Guzman of DarlingsPH said that their digital journal for biking trips eventually grew to a supportive community that shares the same interests as her and her partner, Levi Reyes. “We realized that the content we put out there is not only a source of information, but also a source of inspiration,” Sara said.
“Putting content out there drives a powerful message that we are for inclusivity. We are queer people who are part of this vibrant community, and they love us for who we are, they accept us, and most of all, they respect us for who we are,” she added.
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