By ROWENA JOY A. SANCHEZ
BB (center) with ‘Bandila’ anchors Karen Davila, Julius Babao, Boy Abunda, and Ces Drilon (Photo from Julius’ Instagram)
MANILA, Philippines – BB Gandanghari has already donned two-piece bikinis in some of his modeling stints abroad. And he’s willing to do the same for a local magazine.
The actor, who has done ramp modeling and trunk shows in New York, told “Bandila” on Tuesday night that although posing for a sexy magazine won’t be a “big deal,” he admitted, “ayoko lang paglaruan.”
“But if it’s really just a thing for editorial purposes, wala naman akong qualms diyan,” he added.
Since his return to the country a few months ago, as well as an eventual showbiz comeback of sorts, BB has been hounded with questions regarding sex change, which he has not directly addressed. When “Bandila” host Boy Abunda asked him to identify himself, BB confessed, “It has become very complicated already. I don’t wanna label myself…”
Nevertheless, he deemed that the “best word to describe me now is I’m androgynous in process.” Androgynous means having both male and female characteristics.
“As an orientation I may be considered as a gay person, but deep in my heart I feel the other way so hayaan na natin sa ganyan,” he also related.
BB, then actor Rustom Padilla of the famous Padilla band of brothers, “came out” in Feb. 2006 through “Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition,” where he was one of the housemates. A month after that, he asked for a voluntary exit.
The 44-year-old admitted that “PBB” became the “perfect venue” for the confession, especially because “I want it na isahan. Ayokong mag-explain [sa] each group…
“That was my plan, that it will be my venue to talk to the Filipino people… who’s been supporting me all those years, because I have been an actor for like 15 years when I entered ‘PBB.’ During those times maraming haka-haka. So just to settle the issue straight… I think ‘PBB’ was the perfect venue. Plus the fact na I don’t wanna be probed while coming out at the time,” he explained.
When sought for comment on his seeming deviation from an interview statement years back that he would not dress up like a woman, BB said that he was talking then as Rustom.
“I take offense not because people just call me Rustom. I take offense because I think we have to give it to Rustom because if I was Rustom, I wouldn’t be dressing up this way. Exactly the point kasi ganun talaga mag-isip si Rustom. Lalaki siya eh. Sabihin mo nang gay man siya, ganun siya. But I’m dressing up this way because I am BB. I talk this way because I am BB,” he said.
BB previously related to TV5′s “Paparazzi” the discrimination he experienced in the US. Now, “very surprisingly,” he feels he has been subjected more to discrimination overseas than in the Philippines. It even got to a point where he had difficulty looking for a job.
“Actually mas ngayon ko nararamdaman kasi remember, nagkaron lang ako nag-transition a few years ago so ngayon lang talaga ako nabubuhay bilang si BB. At ngayon ko lang nakikita ‘yung reaction sa’kin ng mga tao. So I when I went to the US two years ago, at dun na ko nagpakilala bilang si BB, dun ko nakita, iba… Sabi namin sa Amerika, ‘Oh, we are the new Black now.’ It’s really discriminating, ‘yung mag-apply ka, siyempre ang kita sa’yo babae ‘di ba, eh siyempre sa application mo naman, hindi mo naman dadayain ‘yon. So ‘pag nakita [na lalaki ka], ‘next,’” he recalled.
He also recalled his work experience in a New York restaurant where “ayaw nila akong ilagay sa front because of my orientation.”
Meanwhile, his celebrity status here might’ve “shielded” him a bit from discrimination, BB surmised.
“People tend to accept you as you are kasi artista ka, natutuwa sila kay BB. Pero nakakaramdam ka rin ng diskriminasyon in some other ways kasi makakarinig ka ng mga comment na, ‘Okay lang siya sa’min, basta ‘wag siyang magpapa-opera ha.’ That’s discriminating, ‘di ba? Not necessarily sa akin but to other people who opted for that…” said he.
He may have yet to discover his purpose, but BB enthused he is happy right now and doesn’t regret his past decisions. He also did not dare question God because he believes that everyone has their own burdens to carry.
But does he still miss his old self?
“Hindi. I know he’s more at peace now so I’ll let him be,” BB said with a smile.
|BB (center) with ‘Bandila’ anchors Karen Davila, Julius Babao, Boy Abunda, and Ces Drilon (Photo from Julius’ Instagram)||25.74 KB|