On April 1, 2010, Jonathan Orbuda formed Cute Pinoy (CP), described as an “all-male online social organization intending to build brotherhood as an advocacy through the gathering of Filipinos and Filipinos-at-heart, thereby creating distinctive friendship.”
Going online was an easy decision to make.
As Orbuda says, CP’s online existence was due to the fact that “nowadays, the Net plays a role in our daily lives – it has become an avenue to finding a job, and marketing (goods and services), finding friends and/or lovers. It has made any course of action (taken) convenient.”
Orbuda stresses, nonetheless, that CP is “not a porn site – in fact, it doesn’t support any activities that sells sex.” What it is “a site that satisfies some of the needs of gays, bisexuals, transgenders and male allies – e.g. emotional, social, et cetera.”
For heterosexual identifying men, CP hopes to “help you to understand the factors what makes gays, bisexuals and transgenders different, (aiming to teach their) full acceptance.” For bisexuals, CP intends to help in the coming out (“Spread your wings and come out of the closet,” Orbuda says).
For gays, CP aims to help in finding real happiness (through promotion of gay-to-gay love, i.e. that not all same-sex relationships have to involve money). And for transgenders, CP aims to help spread their stories.
The intentions are intended to be achieved, solely, through social networking.
Orbuda, an Economics student, got exposed to the Net when he was 15, when he started blogging. Then, “I considered it a therapy – I was able to speak by writing (about my feelings) and then broadcasting it to the world. It was my online diary,” he said.
When he was in his first year in college, Orbuda signed up for Blogger.com, where he said he learned a lot about HTML, CSS, XTML – programs needed for Web development. His blog was somewhat controversial, he said, and “I got innumerable readers; and even in my University, I became popular. Everybody asked about my next blogs.”
Orbuda eventually joined the student publication, which provided him with “proper” trainings for writing, laying-out, et cetera – all helping in bettering his blog site. At his senior year, Orbuda came across – and was inspired by – Web-based advocates. There’s Lloyd Luna, a 27-year-old Filipino motivational speaker whose “life story is very similar to mine,’ Orbuda said. Anti-HIV and AIDS campaigner Brian Gorrell. Webpreneur Abe Olandres, who “blogged and earned a lot of money (from it).” And M.D. dela Cruz Tan, publishing editor of Outrage Magazine, the only Web-based publication promoting LGBT rights in the Philippines.
Orbuda was inspired to “create CP, an avenue for me to motivate people while doing what interests me,” he said.
Since CP was launched, it now has 850 registered members.
Now, Orbuda says, there is no shame in admitting his bisexuality. “I am not afraid to confess this. Perhaps my girlfriend can read this; perhaps my professors might judge me; perhaps my future employer will discriminate against me; perhaps no company will hire; perhaps no one will respect me, (and I will be treated) as abnormal… But I believe that my gender does not (affect) my capacity to perform my job; to love; et cetera. Openness of the mind is a good start to learning this.”
And here, CP aims to help opening minds.