Love knows no boundaries. Throughout the years, this has become a battle cry for people involved in unconventional relationships. Although more couples have become open about their love that breaks boundaries and stereotypes, prejudice and judgement still enormously exist in modern society. For this reason, many still choose to hide their atypical relationships for fear of being judged by the public eye.
Close-Up has always stood for closeness for the past 50 years. This year, it continues its mission of bringing people closer together by celebrating couples who come from different forms of love and attraction. Close-Up wants to play its role in making people feel that you are free to love who you want. It wants to highlight that indeed, there should never be boundaries when it comes to choosing who you love.
In a research conducted by Close-Up particularly in the Philippines, Brazil and India, data showed that most of the youth from these countries do not feel completely free to choose who they love because of societal pressures, prejudice and discrimination. Close-Up aims to alleviate this situation and help champion closeness that celebrate love, diversity and inclusivity.
To fulfill its mission, Close-Up launched its #FreeToLove campaign this year. On November 15, Close-Up unveiled its #FreeToLove campaign here in the Philippines by premiering five feature films of couples who come from different types of relationships. The campaign featured the stories of Christian Busby & Chelsea Robato, Tim Yap & Javi Martinez, Beauty Gonzalez & Norman Crisologo, Issa Pressman & Marga Bermudez, and Joey Mead & Angelina King.
“Close up believes in the freedom of attraction and equal rights and we believe everyone should have the freedom to love regardless of gender, race, social status and religion without free of judgment and prejudice,” Close-Up Philippines brand manager Cella Ozaeta remarked during the local launch of #FreeToLove.
The campaign paved the way for social media influencer Issa Pressman to go public about her relationship with girlfriend Marga Bermudez. “I wanna show everyone that this is the life I live and this is the person I am with. I guess everyone should stand for knowing what you guys deserve as long as you are not stepping on anyone and you are being respectful,” Issa stated.
Meanwhile, Christian Busby and Chelsea Robato, a couple who had to fight for their love despite cultural differences, expressed their elation and pride to be part of the campaign. “I’m very happy to be part of this campaign because on this day and age, there are a lot of different integration of couples, and hopefully this campaign can show that it can be accepted and more people will be more open,” Christian said.
Chelsea added, “I think it’s showing couples that it’s possible. It’s giving people hope and it inspires people to say that if they can, why can’t I?”
For Tim Yap, #FreeToLove campaign is a great platform for couples engaged in unconventional relationships to be more confident in expressing their love for one another.
“You know, this campaign will cause great ripples in the way people behave because I remember after we took the plunge, after we got married (Tim got married to boyfriend Javi Martinez Pardo in New York on Christmas day in 2017), there were people who would go up to us saying, ‘Pwede pala ‘yun? It’s possible that two guys can be celebrated.’ I think years from now, the younger generation will live life without fear of choosing who they want to love,” he said.
Catch the #FreeToLove feature films on Close-Up Philippines social media pages this month and let us all celebrate all forms of love.