It all started back in 2009 when Angelica’s girlfriend broke up with her because of religion. A university nursing student at the time, she had no choice but to move on despite being greatly emotionally affected to the point where she almost failed nursing school and almost losing the chance to fulfill the dreams of her childhood of being a nurse to help save people. During her “coming out” process, it was difficult for her since there were not many resources available for the Asian LGBT community. As a result, she started her blog and youtube channel initially as a therapeutic outlet, and eventually both were used in order to reach out to others who are like her when she came out.
Who? name, age, what you identify as (or not)
Angelica Gacayan, 21, an openly lesbian Filipino American who works in the nursing field.
What? what do you do for a living or things you would like to do.
I am a nurse working in South Florida (and proudly fulfilling the Filipino stereotype). When I don’t work, I blog or sometimes make youtube videos to reach out to others and be the “guide” or “someone” I never really had when I was coming out.
When did you come out? Any stories?
The first time I ever came out was when I was in 6th grade back in the Philippines when I revealed to my cousins about my first girl crush. Since then, most people told me that they could tell I was gay “because of my hair”, which has always been short, by the way I dressed, and because I never had any boyfriends. What I consider my official “coming out day” was when I came out to my mom on October 21, 2009 at 8:00PM. I can never forget that day. At the time, I was going through a breakup when my girlfriend ended our 1 year relationship because of religion. At the time, I was in the closet. I couldn’t handle hiding anymore because I needed support to survive. I was so depressed and I didn’t have many friends who I could confide in because I was too scared they would reject me. I was afraid of losing everything, until one day it hit me, “do or die”. “If I don’t come out, I will become more depressed, but if I come out I don’t have to carry a huge burden on my back anymore. If I kept silent about myself and what I was going through, I was never going to recover and move on with life”. I had to make a decision. Before “coming out”, not many people knew about this part of me I was hiding for a very long time. I was just tired of hiding and not being myself. I just had to come out to everyone I knew including my family. I was expecting to be kicked out, but was so relieved when my mom said that she still loved me, although she was not that approving of my “gayness” at the time.
How did coming out impact your career or relationships with others?
I was finally able to be open to everyone I knew because I was tired of hiding a big part of me. I don’t have to shut my heart from the world like I used to before I came out. I am a lot more open now, and I don’t feel like I carry a burden anymore. I don’t fear of anything related to that part of me anymore. I feel free to be who I am.
Advice you can give to other Asian, Gay & Proud readers.
Do not be afraid to be yourself. No matter what people say and no matter what you parents say, it is your own life and your own rules that you need to live by. Learn from life lessons that you are being taught, and have fun with it. Be strong. Life is too short to stress out on anything.