Several Filipinos called Kapamilya actor Ian Veneracion a “progressive daddy” after he shared in a morning talk show interview how he accepted his daughter who came out as a lesbian two years ago.
The 45-year-old actor appeared on ABS-CBN’s “Magandang Buhay” with his only daughter, Deirdre, last Wednesday and opened up about his family life.
Veneracion specifically recalled a moment when his daughter confessed to him that she likes girls.
The actor said that Deirdre, who was 16 at that time, was close to tears when she approached him and came out as a lesbian.
“Kinukulit ko ‘yung mga motor ko, dumating siya, medyo teary eyed. Sabi niya ‘Daddy, I have to tell you something.’ Sabi ko, ‘What? Sit down.’ Sabi niya, ‘I like girls.’ Tapos sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Me also I like girls,'” Veneracion narrated.
He added that Deirdre was initially surprised that he was so accepting of her sexuality.
“So parang nagtataka siya, sabi niya, ‘It’s okay?’ Sabi ko, ‘Yes. Just don’t be ever apologetic about it, not even to me.’ Sabi ko, ‘You can be whoever you want to be and I have full support.’ Natawa siya. Sabi niya, ‘You know?’ Sabi ko, ‘Oo naman, bata ka pa ang macho mo na.’ So alam ko na dati,” Veneracion continued.
Deirdre, for her part, said that she was teary-eyed when she came out to her father since she has not yet opened up about her sexuality to anyone.
Ally of LGBTQ+ community
The actor’s attitude on the matter was welcomed by Filipinos who described him as “the sweetest father,” a progressive daddy” and an “ally” of the LGBTQ+ (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, queers and more) community.
Coming from a parent like Ian Veneracion, sobrang powerful nung line niya na “Just don’t be ever apologetic about it, not even to me. You can be whoever you want to be and I have full support.”
HE’S AN ALLY & WE DONT HAVE A CHOICE BUT TO STAN. 🌈pic.twitter.com/3JqyEgBz6J
— mark geronimo (@markgeronimo_) March 4, 2020
Vince Liban, a national convener at the Philippine Anti-Discrimination Alliance of Youth Leaders or PANTAY, said that everyone should emulate Veneracion’s attitude.
“Hope we could all aspire to be a parent like Ian Veneracion: Provides a safe space for coming out, normalizes different kids of love (‘me also’), tells you not to apologize for being yourself, says it’s okay to be gay and will love and accept you no matter what,” he tweeted.
A Twitter user, who claims to be a lesbian, lauded Veneracion and said that she wishes to have a “supportive father” like him.
Hi Mr. Ian Veneracion, I just want to say that Im a lesbian and I wish I have a supportive father like you,,,,if you are free this thurs night can you pls adopt me thanks
— Donna.Psd #JoinPandaySining (@lesbianjesuus) March 4, 2020
The Philippines was described to be “accepting of gay and transgender people” but marriage between people of the same sex is not recognized by law. The legal protection of LGBTQ+ members is also “nearly non-existent,” according to Agence France-Presse.
Last year, a group of LGBTQ+ members opened up about their experiences of being discriminated due to their sole sexual identities.
It was reported that some of them have been turned down by their own parents while others experienced discrimination in their workplaces.
A recent study by researchers from the George Washington University revealed that most parents of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth have “difficulty adjusting after their kids come out,” as reported by NBC News in 2019.
However, family acceptance is essential when it comes to a young person’s LGBTQ+ status since it has “significant implications” for the latter’s health and well-being.
Dr. Caitlyn Ryan of San Francisco University’s Family Acceptance Project said that young people are more likely to have high levels of depression, prone to drug use and attempt suicide if they have unsupportive families who reject them.
“The most important thing you can do is to tell your child how much you love them. Your love reassures them that you are there for them and it creates space to talk honestly about each other’s feelings,” she said.