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Ashley: Finding happiness in being accepted

Meet five-year-old Ashley, here as part of #KaraniwangLGBT, which Outrage Magazine launched to offer vignettes of LGBT people/living. “Masaya ako (I am happy),” he says, loving being given attention – as much as he is appreciative of his mother’s unconditional love.

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.”

Only five years old, Ashley was moving around, approaching one person after another to ask for make-up he can use, when he saw the camera. He smiled coyly: “Kunan mo ako ng (Take my) picture,” he said, readily striking poses. He was teased by the people around him, and – for a split second – he looked shy.

But his Mom, who was nearby, pushed him in front of the camera. Nodding her agreement for the photos to be taken, she even urged him: “Pose na (Strike a pose).”

And when he heard the clicking of the camera, Ashley just ignored everyone, and gave even more poses. “Isa pa. Isa pa (One more. One more),” he kept saying in between poses.

His Mom – beaming proud – said: “Sayaw ka para sa kanila (Dance for them).”

He looked at her gravely, his hands on his hips. “Nakakahiya (It’s embarrassing).” But then, he abruptly turned to the camera again: “Kunan mo lang ako nang kunan ng (Just keep taking my) pictures.”

After a while, Ashley went to his Mom again. She hugged him, saying: “Love ko ito (I love this child).”

Ashley looked at her, and then half-turned to the photographer. “Salamat (Thank you),” he said – whether to his Mom who accepts him unconditionally, or to the photographer for taking his pictures, only he knows. “Masaya ako (I am happy)!”

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