Despite being a conservative Catholic country, our society had begun to accept the members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community. From supporting celebrities who are coming out of the closet to electing trans government officials, the Philippines is slowly stripping off its old “homophobic” beliefs.
And just in time for the Pride Month celebration, another LGBTQ defining moment goes down in history.
On May 15, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines brought Ianne Gamboa to the spotlight as its first transwoman valedictorian.
Judgemental people, struggle for self-expression and accepting her true self – at the age of 20, Ianne Gamboa had to face several bumps along the road before she could make her mark. Fortunately for her, she had an accepting and supportive family to lean on.
Ianne stood proud on stage to deliver her valedictory speech, graduating as Magna Cum Laude with the degree in Bachelor of Arts in English.
Ianne excelled in both academics and co-curricular activities. She is the outgoing President of the Department of English, Foreign Languages and Linguistics. She also finished with the third highest general weighted average among the graduates of PUP batch 2018.
Ianne proved that one cannot be hindered by anyone’s decision as long as they are passionate with their goals.
Ianne hopes that her achievements can shatter the walls that hinder her fellow LGBTQ members from letting their full potential shine. She is an inspiration to all those who are still afraid of raising their own pride flags.
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