MANILA, Philippines – Actress-singer Aiza Seguerra said she was never confused about her sexual preference but "coming out" to her parents proved to be a painful undertaking.
|Aiza Seguerra. File photo
"Actually, never ako -- hindi dumating sa buhay ko na na-confuse ako. I knew already," Seguerra told "Showbiz Inside Report" in an interview that aired Saturday.
The former child star said she had already acknowledged signs of her gender preference as she was getting older, especially in school.
"Basta naalala ko noon, nawi-weirduhan ako sa sarili ko, kasi mga kaklase ko kinikilig sa boys, ako sa girls," Seguerra shared.
Now openly a lesbian, Seguerra recounted that although coming to terms with her sexual orientation was easy for her, admitting it to her parents was a painful episode in her life.
"Medyo nagkaroon ng mga bukingang naganap diyan. Because when my parents asked me if I was lesbian, of course, 'yung ganung diretsahang tanong, hindi ako makapag-sinungaling. I tried to hide it at first. It took a lot of guts na sabihing yes," she said.
Seguerra recalled that her parents seemed hurt after she admitted that she was lesbian.
"Umiyak silang dalawa ni erpats. Umiyak din ako, syempre. Ayaw mo naman masaktan 'yung mga magulang mo," she said.
Even as she "came out" to her parents, acceptance at the time didn't seem to come easy, Seguerra said.
"May time na nag-rebelde ako, kasi, 'Kung hindi niyo matanggap kung sino ako, [magre-rebelde ako]," she said.
Looking back, the acclaimed singer said there seemed to be distance between her and her parents since her admission, but she eventually realized it was her who had caused the rift.
"I had to forgive myself. Hindi pala 'yung pagiging lesbian ang problema eh, kung paano ko sila tratuhin. Because I was so defensive, nahu-hurt ko na pala sila. 'Yun pala 'yung reason kung ba't kami nagkakaroon ng problema," Seguerra said.
Her mother's gestures proved her parents had been accepting all along.
Seguerra recalled that there were instances when her mother would nudge her to notice pretty girls.
"Nagulat ako kasi mommy ko inaasar ako about, kunwari naglalakad ako sa mall -- 'Uy, angganda noon, ah' -- gumaganon si mama. 'Wow, mama, anong meron,'" Seguerra said, laughing.
Five years since publicly admitting she is a lesbian, Seguerra admits she still has "haters," or detractors who judge her because of her sexual preference.
"Hanggang ngayon naman may haters pa rin. People would say bad things about me because I'm a lesbian and everything.
"Pero the mere fact that my mom, my dad, my brother love me for who I am, it makes me stronger. 'Di man ako tanggap ng maraming tao, the people I love, nire-respeto ang choices ko."