Gigi Esguerra, a proud trans woman, continues to inspire and educate many on the importance of staying true to the real you.
She shows how love is a powerful weapon into transcending a positive change in society for the LGBTQIA community.
In this year’s Pride March, with the theme #ResistTogether, Gigi decided that protesting does not always have to be violent. Pride is about love and equality. What’s a better way to prove that than showing compassion to even those who are against the community? As she marched along the streets of Marikina, Gigi instead reacts to protestors by giving flowers to them. She continued doing this even when she was responded with hurtful remarks.
Being the powerful and beautiful woman she is, Gigi continued this act of kindness. She gave hugs and took pictures with the children who were present at the march.
This #PRIDE, I decided to fight through love and compassion. By sharing our love to all, especially to the children of the new generation, we #ResistTogether against hate and oppression. This is a reminder that love truly is the most powerful thing in the universe. Happy Pride 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/WJTrjHCsKn
— Gigi | watch me on Youtube ✨ (@gigiesguerra) June 30, 2019
We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Gigi Esguerra on what her stance is on social media, the LGBTQIA community, and the youth.
The power of social media
Gigi has her own YouTube channel where she mentions how important social media is becoming a tool to enlighten others. Using the platform is to communicate, engage and debate about the issues that the community currently faces.
“It has been very beneficial for us that we have this, because it enhances the visibility of our community that we actually exist,” she says. “Back then, di mo naman malalaman na may LGBTQIA members just by walking down the streets, because truthfully, we are just as human as anybody else.”
She goes on to say, “this kind of visibility that we actually speak out when it comes to our sexuality and gender identities, more and more people tend to understand that ‘hey this what an LGBTQIA member is and they are just as human as we are’.”
She also states how social media is the avenue where the society can learn and truly distinguish what is right from wrong
Gigi has never been shy to call out others. She tells us that we shouldn’t be afraid to speak up as well. She has called out companies and publications in the past who weren’t really addressing the true initiative of the LGBTQIA community and what it really stands for. Social media has helped in putting out these concerns. This improved the way people online communicate and interact with the community.
The role of our generation
Our generation plays a vital role in molding a society. This society is where everyone should be treated with the same love and respect. We have social media at our disposal to bring to attention the issues within the community.
“Yes, you have your social media but if you’re not doing anything about it and if you’re not being truthful to who you are, if you’re not presenting yourself out there as a proud member of the LGBTQIA community, who fights and advocates for equality, then it won’t do anything at all for our community,” Gigi says.
She believes that by living out our truths and being vocal about the rights that the community deserves, then the rest of society will follow. Influencing one person already influences a whole generation upon them. By being visible and vocal for the community while staying true to who you are, Gigi states that “…nothing can push you away kasi alam mo na totoo ka.”
The importance of safe spaces, groups, and organizations
Gigi was the former Vice-President of Dollhouse, Ateneo’s LGBTQI group. She shares how these safe spaces and organizations, “…allow the perpetuation of love and acceptance in areas wherein love seems to be invisible.“
Having these kinds of vibrant and prominent communities within campuses that are being accepted, attract those LGBTQIA members who feel lost. It will help them to understand who they really are. It will validate who they are and the truth they are feeling deep down inside.
However, Gigi also hopes that in the long run, there won’t be a need for these kinds of groups anymore. One day, LGBTQIA members won’t need to find a safe space to live in. Because in the end, they are accepted either way.
Speaking up against the “Ganyan kasi generation niyo” card
The people who use this card believe that there is no struggle happening. That is because they are not affected by the systematic oppression. Even though there will always be those people who will invalidate, discriminate, and hate on you for being vocal about the problems in the society, Gigi believes that people who will fight with you also exist.
She reminds us that the community is with you in this fight against oppression and struggles. “Nandito kami para sayo and laging mo tatandaan na hindi ka mag-isa sa ganito klaseng laban, kasi marami nagmamahal sayo, just as much as you love fighting for the community that you belong in.”
It’s in these movements and actions that the society re-evaluates what is wrong and changes for the better.
“It’s in highlighting all these mistakes in our system that allows us to really transcend a new form of change in the current system, in which it is oppressing us and to that, I say, yes, ganito talaga henerasyon namin! And I am proud that this generation is woke, enlightened and ready to fight.”
The trans community
There are a lot of misconceptions that the trans community faces today. One of the biggest issues according to Gigi, is that people segregate this sector in the community into a different category.
“Our genitalia that we were born with do not define us, our bodies do not define us, our hair do not define us, our face structure do not define us, everything else it does not define us.” Gigi says. “What is important is what deep down in your heart and mind, telling you that who you are is real...ang tunay na boses na kailangan mo pakinggan ay boses ng sarili mo and to that I say trans women are as real as any women.”
There is an advice that Gigi would have liked to have known during her transition period. That this period is going to be a roller coaster ride.
She says that it is all part of it, having people tell you, “kahit na nagtransition ka mukha ka pa rin lalaki”, “hindi ka dapat dito sa banyo pumapasok”, “bakit wala pa epekto yung transition mo” and many more. These were the comments that Gigi had to overcome. She assures that at the very end, it’s all going to be worth it. She also tells those who are transitioning that your process right now, “… is all true and powerful.”
There are many stories of individuals who are hiding and going through the process alone. Gigi points out that there are now free clinics that support the transition of trans women and trans men.
She mentions Victoria, under the NGO, “Love Yourself” who offer support transitioning for free. The NGO will guide you on how to do the steps in a healthy manner.
Apart from the NGO, Gigi also says that you should not be afraid to contact any LGBTQIA member. Especially a member who is knowledgeable about the entire process. They can even to contact a fellow trans woman. Because they are the ones out of all people who will relate to what you are going through.
Hope after Pride Month
This 2019, over 70,000 people attended the Pride March in Marikina – almost triple the number of attendees last year. With the success of this year’s pride month, Gigi hopes that the event won’t be used for rainbow capitalism that exploits the community.
“I hope that now that they have supported us, sana ipatuloy nila ito hangga’t sa kamatayan ng buhay nila cause our struggles will never end in just a month. We will be facing all these struggles for a whole lot of generations pa.”
“I believe that every LGBTQIA member should be proud of who they are because they are worth it, they are valid and they were born this way.”
It’s been three years since I’ve been going to #PRIDE and every year is a unique experience. I will forever cherish the moments I shared with the community. Pride Month may be over but the fight does not stop there. Patuloy ang laban!!!! See you next year! ✨ @mmprideorg pic.twitter.com/nfL0ldvbd0
— Gigi | watch me on Youtube ✨ (@gigiesguerra) July 1, 2019
As pride month ends, we hope that everyone continues to support all identities. Treating people with kindness is the power move we should all make.
Along with Gigi Esguerra, we will continue the resistance against the oppression of the LGBTQIA community. Until the day comes that we achieve equality.
“…I believe that this very avenue helps us understand our very truth and that love is the very best thing you can give someone else.”
P.S. if you guys want to recreate Gigi’s Pride Flower Look, you can refer to her recent YouTube video below!
Be proud, be active, be kind…be like Gigi Esguerra! Share this article now and live out the real you!