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Khim Alba: ‘Follow your heart and never hide’

Meet Khim Alba, here as part of #KaraniwangLGBT, which Outrage Magazine launched to offer vignettes of LGBT people/living. At 21, she’s knows she’s still somewhat young and has time to better herself to reach her dreams. But if there’s one thing she’s sure of, it’s to be real to oneself. “Sundin ang nasa puso mo (Follow your heart),” she said. “Huwag na huwag mong itago kung ano ka (Never hide who you are).”

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.”

ROXAS CITY – Khim Alba was six years old when she said “nalaman ko na babae ako (I recognized I’m a trans woman).” At that time, “‘yung red na gum, ginagamit kong pang-lipstick (I turned a red gum into a lipstick),” she laughed.

Khim co-founded the pioneering trans organization in the Province of Capiz, Queen of All Queens.

Khim said she knew other trans people who had a hard time when they started living their gender identity, but that “I’m somewhat lucky.” There are five of them, and the eldest child is gay (Khim is the third child), “so it was the eldest who experienced the hardships of being LGBT,” she said.

Khim can still recall her lola (grandmother) speaking to her Dad, telling him to let the LGBT kids be: “Mas gusto pa ba niya na anak niya ay lalaki pero barumbado? O bakla na maayos ang buhay (Does he prefer having straight children who are fucked up? Or have LGBT kids who live good lives?).” And so after that “he let us be.”

Khim still lives at home, and she admitted there’s pressure to “live ‘better’.” “There’s this notion that trans ka na nga, so dapat successful ang life mo (you’re trans so you should make up for that by succeeding in life).”

And so she has been “working like crazy to show I can have a better life,” she said, with jobs including giving make-up, organizing events, and “joining beaucons (beauty contests) since what I earn when I win can also add to my earnings.”

At 21, Khim knows she’s somewhat young and has time to better herself to reach her dreams. But if there’s one thing she’s sure of, it’s to be real to oneself. “Sundin ang nasa puso mo (Follow your heart),” she said. “Huwag na huwag mong itago kung ano ka (Never hide who you are).”

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