Grade 10 Rizaleños Sean Fieldad and Kenneth Pelorina harnessed the energy of Dua Lipa’s “IDGAF” at a young age. In the houses they grew up in, coming out was not a primetime telenovela episode. It was filled with love and makeup tips from the women in their lives, specifically their aunts.
“Grade 7 pa lang ako, tinuturuan na ako mag-makeup ng tita ko, inaahitan na niya ako ng kilay, tinuturuan ako mag-lipstick para matuto na raw ako,” explains Kenneth. “Alam na nila na bakla ako simula bata pa lang.” As for Sean, he discloses how open his family was to his identity. “Since makeup artist po ’yung tita ko, lagi ko po siyang nakikitang nagtatrabaho,” he says. “Doon ako nagsimula. Eventually, na-in love na rin ako sa makeup.”
Self-discovery and DIY glam summarize their senior high school life. Instagram beauty gurus became their go-to guides. They taught themselves to create makeshift contours out of cocoa powder and watch friends do their brows with Dong-A sign pens. Their daily classroom mug consists of mascara, brow gel and a little lip balm. But when school’s out—so are they.
When school’s out—so are they.
“Grade 8 po ako noong first time akong nag- full glam. Nag-dress ako, ’tas nag-heels ako, first time ko mag-wig at mag-makeup. Tinitingnan po kami,” recounts Kenneth. Expressing yourself has taxing consequences. For them, it’s the judgmental stares and scoffs they had to endure even before they reached college. “Sinisigawan kami ng ‘ay, bakla!’ Hine-head to toe pa kami.”
Do they ever wish they traded pumps for kicks? Keep their ’fits a little more lowkey? “Sa panahon po ngayon maraming judgmental na tao, so sobrang dami po nilang sinasabi,” shrugs Sean. Kenneth continues, “Parang mas gusto ko po na wala na lang silang pakialam.”
With queer photographer Worshipthegays, we take a look at these students’ lives as they unapologetically feel their oats in and out of school halls, judgmental looks be damned. They’re young and queer, and as Ariana Grande would say, “And what about it?”
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Photos by Worshipthegays