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  • Vice Ganda Talks About How He Came Out To His Mom And How He Hurt Himself In His 20s

    The comedian and host recalls his struggle to come into terms with his sexuality.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Vice Ganda Talks About How He Came Out To His Mom And How He Hurt Himself In His 20s
PHOTO BY Instagram/praybeytbenjamin
  • One of the biggest hurdles of those who struggle with their gender identity is telling their loved ones about their true selves. Like most Filipinos, there was no family meeting or a coming-out moment for the comedian and It’s Showtime host Vice Ganda   

    “I wasn’t able to tell my parents about my gender identity. Hindi ko na-verbalize. And we didn’t have the chance to talk about it,” he tells SmartParenting.com.ph exclusively during an interview called the Sandwich Sessions with other Summit Media editors.

    Vice recalls that he already knew he was gay at a young age. But because his two older brothers had also come out as gay, he was fearful his Nanay, Rosario Viceral, and his late father, Reynaldo, would not accept him.

    “Alam ko na sa sarili ko na bading ako. Sa school, sa mga kaibigan ko, bading ako. Pero sa bahay, hindi. Matigas ako,” he recalls.

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    “I was hiding my gender expressions; I was hiding my gender identity. Everything about my sexuality, personality tinatago ko. Bunsong lalaking anak, ‘yun ang projection ko sa bahay namin,” he adds.

    The Everbody, Sing! host goes on to share that his father did not like that his children were gay, which intensified Vice's fears. “’Yung tatay ko rin kasi, malala. Hindi siya…hindi ok sa kanya. So, ‘yung fears ko, sobrang dami. Tinago ko talaga,” he says.

    He was in his 20s when Vice’s pent-up frustrations about hiding his sexuality surfaced. He revealed matter-of-factly he tried to take his own life after a failed relationship. But it was not triggered simply because he was heartbroken.

    Vice sought expert help for his mental health.“’Yung suicidal note ko, poem. Tapos nung inaral nung psychiatrist o psychologist ‘yung letter, sinabi niya sa nanay ko, ‘Yung anak mo [is] struggling with his gender issues,” he shares.

    That was the only time he and his Nanay spoke about his gender identity.

    “When I had the talk with my Nanay and asked her kung paano niya nalaman, she told me…she knew. Even without telling her, she knew. She felt it. And there was nothing wrong with it, but we never talked about it,” Vice said.

    He realized it wasn’t a big deal to his mother after all. “Bago pa ako nag-out, bading na sila [his brothers]. So, andami kong fears na baka hindi ako tanggapin kasi pangatlo na ako — baka top two lang sa semis ang kailangan,” he jokes.

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    “But when it came out and it became official, hindi naman pala big deal. Jinudge ko lang ‘yung nanay ko na ‘di niya ako tatanggapin, ok naman pala. Sa akin lang pala big deal,” he says.

    Because of what he went through, the host appeals to parents — whose children are members of the LGBTQIA+ community but are afraid to come out — to let their kids know they are loved and accepted, especially if they are not yet open to having a conversation about their sexuality.

    “Since hindi naman sila lahat ganun ka-open na pag-usapan ito, kahit hindi i-verbalize, make your family members feel that you love and accept them fully. So, walang mabubuong fears sa tao na, ay, baka hindi nila ako mahalin, baka hindi nila ako tanggapin,” he says.

    “Kasi kung malinaw sa kanila ‘yun, hindi mabubuo sa kanila ‘yung thought na ‘baka hindi ako tanggap.’ So, whether or not hindi napag-uusapan, kung napaparamdam naman na tanggap na tanggap, at mahal na mahal, hindi siya magiging issue,” he adds.

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    He also appeals for parents to try and fully accept and support their children for who they are. In one of the segments of their noontime variety show, Vice shares he always hears mothers say, “Mahal ko naman ‘yung anak ko kahit na bakla siya. Tanggap ko naman siya kahit na bakla siya.”

    “I think this is the perfect time to put a stop to that. Mahal ko ‘yung anak ko na bakla. Proud ako dun sa anak ko na bakla,” he says.

    “Dapat walang kahit. Mahal ko ‘yung anak ko, period. Proud ako sa anak ko, period. Walang kahit dapat,” he says.

    If you are feeling anxious, helpless, or despondent. If you need someone to talk to:

    • Crisis Line at +63 2 8893 7603, +63 917 800 1123, or +63 922 893 8944
    • National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline at +63 2 7-989-USAP (8727) +63 917 899-USAP (8727)

    You can also join SOS Philippines on Facebook, a support group founded for survivors of suicide loss and Filipinos who have mental health conditions.

    Celebrity parents who support their children's gender identities include Ian Veneracion and Leandro Munoz. Click here for Ian's experience and here for Leandro's story.

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