Filipino Canadian Kyne Santos, a math graduate from Ontario's University of Waterloo, started his tutorials on TikTok at the start of the pandemic. He challenged himself to explain complex math concepts in the simplest terms possible within 60 seconds, and he does it in drag.
"Most of my audience are not math students or math majors. They're regular people. My message is that math can be interesting and math can be fun," Kyne notes.
Kyne, who has competed in the Canadian reality show 'Drag Race' gets help from his partner Ian Wood in producing his creative content. "I'm terrible at math so it's been a real education for me as well. Kyne can test his videos on me because if I can understand it, then everybody will," Ian says.
Kyne draws his topics from what he learned in school, books, and pop culture. He also takes time to solve math problems sent to him by his followers. Math may come easy for the drag queen, but getting ready for each tutorial takes up a lot of time.
"I make little scripts and then I put on my makeup which usually takes like two to three hours; and then I try to do a couple of videos at once because I can't just turn on the cameras and start doing the videos," Kyne says.
Kyne's mother Cristina and his 13-year-old brother Dane are both proud of his accomplishments. His mother also asserts she and her late husband had no trouble accepting that their son is gay.
"We kind of, like, forced him to come out. We educate ourselves, we read, we researched about it so parang eventually mabilis, mabilis naming natanggap kasi nga talagang knowledge is power, di ba? (We researched about it so it's like eventually, we were able to quickly accept him because knowledge is power, right?)," Cristina says.
However, coming from a conservative Catholic upbringing, Cristina admits that it took longer for their relatives to fully accept Kyne. For Cristina, acceptance should start within the family. "Siguro it should start bata pa, na sana hindi ginagawang joke yung bakla (Maybe it should start from childhood, that being gay should not be treated as a joke)," she argues. "Kasi parang binibigyan mo ng negative side yung pagiging gay (Because you're giving a negative connotation to being gay)."
Cristina is glad that Kyne has found love in his partner Ian. Together for three years now, Ian describes Kyne as a very caring partner who has taught him some Tagalog words and gave him a taste of Filipino food.
"I think his mom, his brother, and all his family and all our friends will agree that he's so generous, caring, and sharing. It really is a joy to be together and we feel very lucky," Ian says.
For Kyne, Filipinos still find it hard to accept the LGBTQ+ community, but he is hopeful that they will soon.
"We're humans too, and we have our own fears and our own ambitions. All we want is to live free and not have to hide ourselves and have the right to love who we want to love just like everybody else," Kyne stresses.