Filipino designers

A ‘trailblazing creative’: Tributes pour in for Brian Tenorio

A ‘trailblazing creative’: Tributes pour in for Brian Tenorio

Photo from

Brian, 42, died of complications from cancer

The loss of designer and LGBTQ+ advocate Brian Tenorio has left many of his collaborators and friends mourning, as they took to social media to pay tribute to the man they described as “a creative force.”

Brian, 42, died on Monday, July 27, due to complications from cancer, according to organizations which he co-founded.

The Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce remembered him in a July 28 Facebook post as “a proudly out gay man who served as an inspiration to many of us, representing the community in a multitude of spaces when it was then rare to find visible LGBT+ leadership.” Brian, who worked for greater LGBTQ+ representation in business, founded the organization in 2016, and stood as its chair until 2019.

They also remembered how Brian championed other advocacies, including promoting Philippine design and craftsmanship, mental health, and the supporting the local coffee industry.

The Chamber recalled how he pioneered a discussion that urged the government to focus on LGBT rights, and how he helped bring to life a landmark study that assessed SOGIE diversity and inclusivity in Filipino companies.

“The sudden passing of Brian – a leader, mentor, son, brother, and friend – is a loss that can never be replaced. But his demise will not leave a vacuum in the LGBT+ community which he fervently championed. Brian inspired, challenged, and mentored a new generation of LGBT+ advocates to carry on the good work,” they said. “His legacy will persevere: guiding the Chamber with the light and passion he continues to radiate beyond his demise.”

Designer Santi Obcena recalled how Brian made him “dance and kwento so much” the first time they met. “Thank you for sharing your energy, ideas, kindness and talent with all of us.”

Rock Ed Philippines founder Gang Badoy Capati mourned the loss of “an old friend and staunch ally.”

“[Brian], I am as grateful as I am heartbroken,” she said.

The Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO) said they were saddened by the passing of Brian, who they described as “a luminary in the design community,” and one of their supporters.

“He believed that design can change and create a positive impact on everyone,” they said.

The Philippine Financial and Inter-Industry Pride (PFIP), a community of LGBT employee and human resource groups, said that Brian “goes all in and all the way out,” and described him as “a staunch advocate, an astute businessman and a great friend” to their organization.

Side B Philippines, a group of advocates for bi-visibility in the Philippines, remembered how Brian strongly advocated for LGBT rights and how he supported their group many times.

“We love you, Brian, and we will miss you dearly. Rest in peace and rainbows, our dear friend,” the group said.

According to the Communication Design Association of the Philippines (CDAP), of which Brian was a founding director, he died due to complications of cancer in the presence of his loved ones.

Another group which he co-founded, The Mindcare Club, paid tribute to their “Chief Experience Officer,” saying: “He dreamed of designing spaces where mental health services can be accessed more easily without stigma. Not one to be daunted by innovation, Brian forged technology, design, and compassion into the Mindcare Club.”