After spending more than $120 million in a plebiscite to determine the will of the people, the government finally decided to legalise same sex marriage in Australia. It has become the 26th country in the world to legitimise same-sex marriage. The Federal Parliament passed a law last December in an overwhelming “YES” vote that made gay couples very happy.
“Now I can wear a wedding gown. It has long been my dream,” said a popular Filipino hairdresser in Parramatta, NSW.
There are quite a few gay Filipinos in New South Wales and they are very well-known as belonging to the “rainbow” group. For the sake of privacy, I have decided not to publish their names, lest I be accused of glorifying them.
For more than 3 decades, they were “closet queens.” Well, that has changed and is no longer the case. They are now more open about their identities and sexual preferences.
As an example, a brother of actor Robin Padilla, now better known as BB Gandanghari, appears to have completely transformed into a woman. She was reported by no less than Robin as an Uber driver somewhere in the United States. Another is the former popular singer in the Philippines Charisse Pempengco who has changed her name to Jake Zyrus, in pursuit of her relationship with another woman.
Here in Australia, gay rights campaigners have fought for marriage equality for decades. It was a direct path to last month’s vote that started two years ago when the former Abbott government announced it would settle the question of same-sex marriage by a public plebiscite. So it happened to the delight of the LGBTQ community.