“STAY true to who you are. Don’t let their judgments hide the real you.”
My parents used to remind me this ever since I was a little kid. Because of it, I used to believe that being real was easy.
But lately, as I’ve come across this mind boggling issue about someone’s “odd” transition, I realized one thing, being real might be easy for me but for some people, it isn’t.
I’m talking about a star, a singer, who used to become an epitome of success.
She was known to have that typical "rags-to-riches" story and was once dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as the “Most Talented Girl in the World”.
She’s had concerts across international stages, all standing ovation, and has performed with big names like Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, you name it.
She was loved, not only by her foreigner fans, but also by her fellow Filipinos.
Yes! You got it right. I am talking about her—the one whom you’ve been recently mocking, cursing, and shaming.
Just to be clear, I am no supporter nor an avid fan.
It’s just that it’s both heartbreaking and infuriating to witness the people, who used to be with her the moment she rose to stardom; who used to laud at how awesome her talent is; who used to watch her YouTube videos just to be entertained; and who used to feel the pride well up within themselves for being a Filipino, all turned out to be the most gruesome hypocrites who mocked, ridiculed, and criticized her.
This might have already been a million times repeated but let me just say it once again: Who are we to judge?
If only these people, who chuckled at every meme they see about her on social media, would realize her struggles.
If only these people, who mocked at how she tries to get a new look for her heart’s content, would understand her difficulties.
But perhaps yes, sometimes we tend to forget the consequences of our actions.
Sometimes we tend to shove off the tendencies that we can actually hurt other people’s feelings for choosing to tag along with what’s on the trend.
Maybe because we are not so familiar with the “culture” that the other people are embracing that’s why we tend to react harshly.
But still, being different is not a disqualification for a person to earn respect.
She may be different, queer, peculiar, strange, call her whatever you like. But what’s important is that she stood true to herself. And with that, nothing else matters. (Joanna Karla Alimes, AdDU intern)