This is part of #KaraniwangLGBT, which Outrage Magazine officially launched on July 26, 2015 to offer vignettes of LGBT people/living, particularly in the Philippines, to give so-called “everyday people” – in this case, the common LGBT people – that chance to share their stories.
As Outrage Magazine editor Michael David C. Tan says: “All our stories are valid – not just the stories of the ‘big shots’. And it’s high time we start telling all our stories.”
Cebu City-based Marsha, 18, was still very young when she said “na-realize nako unsa ko (I realized what I am).” At that time she embraced “nga binabaye ko (my being feminine)”, she said her parents asked her “ngano na-ani ko (why I turned out this way).” And since she didn’t have a ready answer, “sulti ko, ambot lang (I told them I don’t know).”
Generally, though, her family are supportive of her, including her eight siblings (she’s the 8th child). “Karon, five na ang girls, including me (Now, there are five girls in the family, including me).”
Marsha believes she’s a late bloomer – at least in living out loud. “Seventeen na ko nag-uyab (I was already 17 when I had my first boyfriend),” she said. “Sa laag mi nag-ila-ila (We met while going around town).” But they broke up since “nilarga na siya sa GenSan (he moved to General Santos City).”
Living as a transwoman in Cebu City, she said, need not be “lisod (difficult).” She admitted that there are instances of discrimination – e.g. they may be barred from entering premises (and this is even if the city has an anti-discrimination ordinance). But Marsha said “tuon lang ug select (just learn to be selective).” That is, if there are places that “dili mudawat sa ato-a, daghan man pud mudawat sa ato; kadto ang adtuan (won’t accept us, there are also those that accept us; choose to go to those).”
And in the end, she said, “ayaw papugong kung unsa ka. Padayon kung unsa ka (don’t let others stop you from being you. Persevere with being who you are).”