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‘Life is too short to live inside a closet’ – Pinay Lesbian Mums

Shef and Kelly uploaded a video on YouTube in 2014 to serve as an inspiration to others and show them that there are lesbian families existing in the Philippines. They are now more popularly known as the “Pinay Lesbian Mums”.

Shef and Kelly uploaded a video on YouTube, entitled “First Vlog, First Pride March”, on December 30, 2014. “It was a video of us going to the 20th Metro Manila Pride March as a family. It was our first time ever going to a Pride March, and we decided to bring the children along,” they said. At that time, they were just “hoping to serve as an inspiration to others and show them that there are lesbian families existing in the Philippines.”

Obviously, the two – who are based in Metro Manila, Philippines – are lesbians. Shef has been a lesbian for 10 years, while Kelly came out around four years ago.

Little did they know then that they would eventually become vloggers, now more popularly known as the “Pinay Lesbian Mums”.

The decision to vlog came easy.

“We wanted to have a representation of lesbians and lesbian parents here in the Philippines,” Shef and Kelly said.

Pinay Lesbian Mums actually started out as a WordPress blog before becoming a Twitter handle. “Through those channels, we got to meet and connect with other people in the LGBT community,” they said. Going into vlogging beca,e a natural progression, since “we hoped that by expanding to a YouTube channel, we can have a wider range of impact and contribution to LGBT acceptance in the Philippines.”

Now, Kelly and Shef “film ourselves using our smart phone”, with Shef editing the videos at home.

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For the couple, producing LGBT-related content is not necessarily more challenging than when producing other contents. “We don’t find it challenging because we draw from our own thoughts, ideas and personal experiences. We wanted to be as authentic as possible,” Shef and Kelly said.

The two are happy that “so far, we’ve received positive feedback. Most people contact us through personal messages in Twitter or in our Facebook page just to share their story. It made us realize that although it may seem easy for some to come out, a lot of people are still not ready to (do so) and are still experiencing struggles and social stigma with who they are. This motivates us to keep doing this and to speak up on their behalf.”

The Pinay Lesbian Mums now plan to “keep contributing LGBT and LGBT parenting related content that’s accessible to anyone. The best thing about YouTube is that you can create any content without censorship. Our goal is to, even in small proportions, be able to promote LGBT education and acceptance in the Philippine society and the rest of the world.”

Beyond vlogging “where we share parts of our daily lives to give others a feel of how it is for a typical lesbian family (in the Philippines)”, they have now also started doing reactions and reviews on important events pertaining to the LGBT community. “You would be seeing more of those,” Shef and Kelly said.

“We also plan to add more videos showcasing parenting tips, us answering questions and discussion on LGBT related topics and concerns.”

If they can give a message for LGBT people, the Pinay Lesbian Mums stress self-acceptance.

“Learn to accept ourselves. Know in our hearts that we are normal, just different. Our sexual orientation, gender identity and expression are as natural as anyone else’s. Once we have overcome our self-hate/internal stigma, we will learn to accept ourselves and be proud of who we are. That is where we can draw our courage from when dealing with our daily struggles as LGBT and ultimately, fight for our right to be accepted and recognized. Life’s too short to live inside a closet. Live the life that you want to live and be the change that you want to see,” the Pinay Lesbian Mums ended.

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