TV host and endorser Mond Gutierrez has officially shared that he is part of the LGBTQ+ community in an interview with Mega Entertainment for this month. “I feel like I’ve never felt more happy and content with my life, and I feel like I wanna share that with people,” he said as he discussed his coming out process.
Gutierrez entered showbiz at the age of 19 as a television host for GMA Network. Since then, he has never left the public eye. He was probably always bound to be in it, coming from a long line of entertainers and public personalities. Born in 1984 to showbiz icons Eddie Gutierrez and Anabelle Rama, he joined the industry in the 2000s with twin brother Richard Gutierrez, then a teen heartthrob.
“Things that I do will not only affect me, but will also affect my family. So, that was kind of like the burden that I was carrying? Like, I can’t be gay because my brother is a superhero, right?” he noted in the interview as he recalled the pressure he felt, which he says pushed him to self-destructive behaviors.
Although it took him some time to come out publicly, Gutierrez reassures us that he has always been out to his closest friends and family. They helped him come to terms with his own fears and insecurities—a privilege he realizes he is lucky to have.
There are many ironies in how Filipinos view LGBTQ+ people and experiences. You’d think that for people like Gutierrez, who not only works in a queer-dominated industry but is also from a prominent family, coming out would surely be no problem. But you’d be wrong.
In the article, Gutierrez talked about his struggles entering the industry and being bullied by his elders because of his orientation—which, at the time, he wasn’t even sure of. The same kind of behavior can also be seen in the reactions to his coming out.
Hours after the story was released, many people (including some from the LGBTQ+ community) took to social media to express how they always knew his orientation. If it’s not outright discrimination, it’s people being all up in your business—as if going through an identity crisis isn’t hard enough.
In a follow-up Instagram post addressing the public reaction, Gutierrez wrote, “So to those saying ‘we knew,’ you never knew my story and my struggles.”
What merits would one gain from expressing how long they’ve known anyway? Coming out takes so much will and self-love, which for many queer people takes years to achieve, especially in a country that continues to belittle you for being who you are. It’s a personal and internal struggle that can make one feel alienated. Queer people have to hide and deal with it alone oftentimes, afraid of the people who would react the same way people are reacting now toward Gutierrez.
And as far as we’re concerned, this is the first time Gutierrez came out publicly. So it’s truly bewildering to see that people are confident in saying they’ve known all along. Was it because he appears more feminine than his brother? Was it because he’s a TV host and not a matinee idol?
Sexuality and gender expression are two different things. One can never define the other. Men can be feminine, inclined to more feminine things, and still identify as heterosexual. At the same time, there are queer people who may not appear typically queer at first glance, but that shouldn’t erase their queerness.
How we react and respond to his coming out is crucial not only for him but for the community as well. Like Gutierrez, many queer people find it hard to share this part of themselves. Coming out of the closet is an integral part of one’s journey to self-acceptance. It’s a point where queer people can finally shed their old skin, choosing to live their truth after such a difficult struggle. The best we can do is honor their bravery and let them have their moment, especially as they look back on how far they’ve come.
So let’s not take this moment away from Gutierrez. Instead, let’s offer him—and the people who are still struggling to come out—the assurance that no matter what and no matter when, we will accept them and support them.