Rainbow Flags, Coming Outs, and Sad Face Emojis

You’ve probably seen enough viral videos of people coming out to their parents and if that’s what you’re expecting from me today, then you must know that I never dared to do that because I’ve never been a brave kid growing up. I came out by just replying a sad face emoji to my dad and that was all my parents needed as a confirmation that I am gay.

This is a story of how I came out after attending my first Pride and it all started back in June of 2018.


I couldn’t remember what made me decide to go celebrate with the LGBTQ+ community and wave my rainbow flag from here and there. But I will never forget how that day gave me so much love and courage.

Pride, turns out, is more than just a march, festival, and an outdoor event. It is a celebration of who you really are, social and self-acceptance, achievements, and legal rights. It is not being ashamed to walk down in public holding the hands of the one you love and with people around you not giving a damn if that person holds a penis or a vagina because it didn’t and does not matter.

It is marching with people who are fighting the same fight and I’ve never felt so belong in my life. With all the happy smiles and free hugs, going there was life-changing.


I think I was 16 or 17 years old when I came out to my close friends. I did it by texting them personally and individually, tailoring my message to the personality of my friends I was texting. Some were serious and some were just a laugh. But whether it was that I sounded serious or not, I courageously put all my focus on my then blackberry phone because that was all the bravery that I got. I just couldn’t do it in person and I know I didn’t have the balls for that. The response from my friends was funny as hell telling me that they knew it all along.

And if there’s a lesson that I will tell to a little child who’s still afraid to come out of the closet yet, it’s getting the courage to tell to that one friend who you think will understand and will never judge. Everything else will figure itself out.

Coming out to my friends first has given me a daring spirit to face the hard days. I learned how to build and to strengthen my self-esteem one day at a time.


The effect of going to my first Pride was epochal. I remember getting home late and waking up after 3 hours because I had to come to my opening shift and I wasn’t even tired at all. I think the amount of sleep was out of the question when your soul was deeply fulfilled. True that positive vibes can get you almost through anything!

So I spent my shift that day happy and positive. My colleagues and I even raised the rainbow flag inside our backroom.

I remember posting a photo over Facebook about it because my heart was full and was overflowing with love and joy. When my shift ended, I opened my phone and saw a message from my dad asking me what was my post all about. I replied explaining about Pride and my dad told me, “Are you one of them, son? Me and your mom are here to listen.” I felt like breaking down and crying and embarrassed all at the same time. I didn’t reply and I just stared at the message blankly. And then a new message, still on my Dad’s messenger window, “This is mom, your dad and I love you.”

There was nothing else I could say but replied a series of sad emojis. There was another reply, I don’t know if it’s mom or dad, “Why are you crying? Did we say something wrong?”

I was all shocked and I was afraid the whole commute going home but I was welcomed with warm hugs the moment I reached our home’s front door.

Anxiety and Depression Support Philippines posted that story and next thing I know many of my friends and social media acquaintances are tagging me saying how proud they are!

The post went pretty much viral and I will never forget the beautiful caption they put:

We love this story! ♥ This person came out as a gay today to his parents and his dad’s reaction is priceless! Parents like his are rare to find — yan ang magandang halimbawa ng magulang.

Yesteday was Metro Manila Pride‘s Rise Up Together event and parade. The LGBTQIA+ and their supporters came together and showed love, acceptance and compassion. It was truly a heartwarming gathering!

But with all honesty, our hearts cry for their community as we know how it feels to be misunderstood and discriminated and how those two can be toxic to our mental health. Imagine how it can also affect self-esteem and will to live. Hiding our true emotions and pretending we are okay while dying inside is not easy. We suffer in silence because we dont feel safe and accepted. Ang resulta, napipilitang magpanggap o minsan tinakwil pa ng kapamilya. All of thay struggles can lead to trauma, stress, social withdrawal, anxiety and Depression. For some, it can even lead to suicide.

Please, let us be kind to our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters. Parents, our love and acceptance can make them stronger. People, dont make fun of them just because they are different, bullying them wont make you superior. Judgmental, religious peeps, God is all about love, He doesnt hate and neither should you.

Tandaan, wala sa kasarian yan kundi nasa klase ng pagkatao. Ang mahalaga ay mabuting tao at hindi gago. If you cant accept them, just respect them.


The days after I proudly waved my rainbow flag for the first time was like opening my eyes from one wonder to another on a magic carpet ride and singing Aladdin’s A Whole New World. Because it clearly put me into a new fantastic point of view where no one will tell me ‘NO’, where to go or say that I was only dreaming.

It was a powerful protest and I will do it over and over again.


  1. Eduardo Maresca

    Even I have had my dose of discrimination because of my multiethnic marriage.
    Hatred and intolerance are never justified.
    It is one thing to sincerely believe in God and align with the Christian principles and it is quite another thing to hate and discriminate.

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      Marron Santillan

      I think everyone is likely to experience racism if they are doing things that seem ‘different’ to close-minded people. But being good and kind regardless of the circumstances is always a great choice

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  2. Eris

    You have such supportive parents and that is beautiful! Never be sorry to be who you are. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  3. Heather

    Your story is absolutely beautiful and similar to my own. I was absolutely terrified of what my dad would say. I told my mum who was convinced it was a phase (she loves me, but has never really understood) and made her promise not to tell him. I now realise that was silly because she tells him everything.

    A few years later when I was moving home from university after ending a long term relationship I realised I was going to have to have the talk because I might be dating a girl at some point. So I brought it up. He told me that he already knew and it made no difference to him; I was his daughter and that is all that mattered to him. I pretty much had the same response you did; lots of crying.

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  4. Tish Wolfsong

    So pleased for you that your parents are such considerate people. I really can’t imagine the mixture of emotions you felt when you got those messages from them.
    Although I was “out” to a few people and had occasionally, nervously and stealthily, been out dressed female in public, I used my first Pride as my official “Coming out day”.
    I’d never worn any type of heels before, but spent over 11 hours in a pair of heeled sandals, including dancing for hours at the “after party”. What a feeling!!
    Pride events are SO important for everyone in the community.

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  5. mikekneafseyguitar

    Brilliant. Brave, honest, well written and in so many ways an every day story which is personal, universal and special at the same time. It truly gives courage to everyone else out here to be themselves and feel good about who they are. Thank you and I’m sure everyone who reads it wants to thank you as well. Keep the blogs coming.

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  6. Jirah Merizz

    Your story is so beautiful and I am so proud that you have decided to overcome your fears and come out. I’m sure this will continuously inspire others to have courage! ❤️

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