In 2013, the Philippines was ranked as one of the few gay-friendly countries in the world. But, this is not entirely true. Being “gay-friendly” in the Philippines means we are only tolerant but not really accepting of the LGBTQA+ community.
Sadly, despite a number of gender equality movements, including the passage of the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression) Equality bill, news about transgenders being discriminated, rejected and abused are still happening every day.
Although the battle for gender equality may seem not yet over for us, the paradigm shift in media portrayals of LGBTQA+ people is really helping in challenging stereotypes and breaking typical misconceptions about gender and sexuality.
And in honor of the transgender awareness week, this shampoo brand recently released a poignant television commercial about a journey to being accepted as a transgender woman in the Philippines.
The video started with an emotional line: “To you who are feeling the world is against you.”
HAVE Y’ALL SEEN THE PANTENE PHILIPPINES COMMERCIAL IN HONOR OF TRANSGENDER AWARENESS WEEK I’M IN TEARS pic.twitter.com/XXz0EIcK2I
— max (@horribleached) December 7, 2018
Twitter user @horriblebleached pointed out how this commercial is important in changing the way we view gender and sexuality.
listen. i don’t think some of y’all understand how important this is, not only because it is a progressive step towards the acceptance of trans folks in the ph, but a little kid is going to see this and realize that nothing is wrong with them, that they are loved & accepted.
— max (@horribleached) December 8, 2018
And some people, who saw the shampoo ad, couldn’t help but be emotional about it.
;___; ♡ "the journey won't be easy" but it is completely worth it, trust me
— Victor (@watermelon_dude) December 8, 2018
I'm fucking SOBBING? THIS IS BEAUTIFUL
— A E Dooland✒ 📚🏳️🌈 (@Asynca) December 8, 2018
um. I'm crying pic.twitter.com/ZLn396fV9W
— 🌻𝘒𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘯🌻 (@Kileen15) December 8, 2018
Even Twitter users across the globe commended the Philippines for taking this progressive step towards LGBTQA+ acceptance.
Philippines promote Gender Equality and Fiilipino's accept and support LGBT community 😊
— V_v (@vernalizavilla1) December 8, 2018
omygod this IS SO IMPORTANT. im so happy you all have such an ad in philippines❤❤❤❤❤ i hope we have something like this in india too one day❤
— 𝓹𝓮𝓪𝓷𝓾𝓽 | 𝓬𝓱𝓻𝓲𝓼𝓽𝓶𝓪𝓼 🏳️🌈 (@bangtanpeanoot) December 8, 2018
oh myhod knowing that philippines isnt much of an open minded country and still hasnt opened up about transgenders and they always get judged and discriminated for,,, but this,,,,,Snapped
— gidle x donghan (@hodgyun) December 8, 2018
this is really touching especially since the Catholicism ingrained in Filipino culture often leads to disapproval and hatred of the LGBTQ+ community
— tay money (@niggligg) December 9, 2018
And that ~liberating~ feeling upon watching the ad.
I was really feeling bad about myself and getting misgendered and such but now I actually feel better. Thanks for sharing this. Lots of people need to see this. 💞
— SIK (@SickKrow) December 8, 2018
I have no words. That's…beautiful. Thanks for sharing, and thank you, Chris, for retweeting. I needed that today. 💜💜💜
— Ashlyn (@puppystew42) December 9, 2018
This is everything to me now, and would’ve meant even more to hear when I was a kid. Thank you! ❤️❤️
— Jessica Vander Veen (@JessieMayVV) December 9, 2018
Kylie Celebre, one of the commercial talents, mentioned how grateful she is to be part of this beautiful and inspirational campaign.
This literally means so much to me that people spread transgender awareness! ❤️ we are all equal and beautiful, all genders, shapes, sizes and color are beautiful. And I’m beyond happy to be a part of this! #StrongerNow
— Kylie Celebre (@the_kyliessi) December 8, 2018
The “coming out” process is always the hardest part for the LGBTQA+ people. With campaigns like this, we sure hope that people no longer feel the need to lie about their gender identity or sexuality. And that they feel more confident about their sexual orientation without worrying about being discriminated or rejected.
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