MANILA, Philippines – Miel Pangilinan, the youngest daughter of Senator Kiko Pangilinan and actress Sharon Cuneta, disclosed that she identifies as queer, saying that it feels “cathartic” to come out.
In celebration of her first Pride Month of being “openly and publicly queer,” the 17-year-old shared photos of herself holding a rainbow flag through her Instagram on Tuesday, June 14.
“It’s a really emotional and freeing time right now, and I’m endlessly thankful to my close friends and family who have supported me and shown me love as I’ve grown and explored my own gender and sexuality,” she said.
Pangilinan then recalled how she used to worry and wonder about her identity during her childhood and teenage years. “It only feels right that I post this at the point I’m [at] now, where I’m comfortable enough in who I am and who I love, and how I choose to present. It’s kind of a full circle moment for me, in a way,” she added.
While she’s thankful that she can safely celebrate her identity, she also noted that there are other members of the Filipino LGBTQ+ community who don’t share the same privilege. Pangilinan also acknowledged the sacrifices of LGBTQ+ individuals in the past, but emphasized that the Philippines still has a “long way to go in terms of our fight for equality.”
She added that as a new member of the Filipino queer community, she’s still trying to “educate [herself] on current situations and present issues relating to gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights in our country.”
“I am always open to [learning] as much as I can, especially from other figures in our community,” she said.
Following her announcement, Pangilinan received supportive comments from sister Kakie, KC Concepcion, relatives Kiana Valenciano and Gab Pangilinan, and actress Judy Ann Santos. – Rappler.com