Adrian Lindayag is proudly “femme pabebegurl” both onscreen and in real life, in a society that has, and continues to discourage boys from having “feminine” expressions, from the toys they pick to the color of clothes they wear.
“Growing up, I was told that I couldn’t be that. And now, I’m embracing it and celebrating it,” he told ABS-CBN News.
Lindayag is the lead actor of the hit boys’ love film “The Boy Foretold by the Stars” and its upcoming sequel series. The story by Dolly Dulu follows high school boys Dominic (Lindayag) and Luke (Keann Johnson), who fall in love.
Dominic, Lindayag said, is similar if not the same as his real-life sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE) — a matter of pride for the actor, amid the mostly “masculine” portrayals in the recent wave of BL productions.
The effeminate Dominic is the lead character in a romcom movie — a well-loved genre among Filipinos — which screened at the Metro Manila Film Festival, a mainstream venue which caters to families, Lindayag pointed out.
“Ang message to the younger ones, they can be that,” Lindayag said of young viewers who see themselves in Dominic. “There is nothing wrong if they’re like that. You celebrate who you are.”
Recalling his own experience of navigating his SOGIE, Lindayag shared: “‘Yung pagkatao ko, hindi ko piniling maging ganito. Pinanganak akong ganito.
“Because of the culture or the society na nag-iimpose na hindi puwede maging feminine because you’re a boy, o hindi ka puwedeng maglaro ng dolls, o mag-own ng mga gamit na kulay pink, noong nag-out ako, bumili ako ng mga pink stuff!”
“[It was like] taking back the power that is mine,” he said.
Aside from the sequel to “The Boy Foretold by the Stars,” Lindayag is also portraying a gay character in another ABS-CBN series, the upcoming “Marry Me, Marry You,” which is currently filming.
In his interview with ABS-CBN News, Lindayag also shared his take on straight actors being cast in gay roles (he is not against it, but emphasized the issue of employment for queer actors); presenting “kilig,” as well as the plight of the queer community, in BL productions; and same-sex love stories going mainstream, after long being a niche in cinema.