In the past fourteen years, Pinoy Big Brother has been the second home for those who had the guts to join the reality program, not just to win the whopping prizes and land a spot on the highly-coveted Big 4, but to gain wonderful experiences and insightful learnings as well.
However, there were a few alumni who had a greater pursuit in joining the competition -- to get to know and/or express themselves fully and educate others about their advocacies and beliefs -- such as the following ex-housemates who have been loud and proud members of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community.
Now that it's been a long time since we have last seen them on PBB, let's find out how they're faring in the outside world.
BB Gandanghari, Prodigal Son of Showbiz
Who would have forgotten Rustom Padilla’s momentous confession to fellow housemate Keanna Reeves during their stint in the Celebrity Season 1?
Being one of the biggest matinee idols and seasoned action stars of his generation, Rustom’s 'coming out' indeed stirred and appalled a lot of spectators and made headlines during that time.
From being proudly gay, Rustom became a full-fledged transwoman in 2009 with a new name, BB Gandanghari. She has been living in the United States since 2016 where she was able to legally change her name and gender.
In a Magandang Buhay interview in 2017, it was revealed through her brother Robin Padilla that she's been working as a ride-hailing services driver while pursuing a Hollywood acting career. She's currently signed with a Los Angeles-based talent management agency.
Rica Paras, Math Goddess of Iloilo
Despite being a consistent achiever at school in her younger years, Rica grew up with her father staunchly disapproving her sexual orientation. Instead of getting disheartened, this pushed her more to excel in her studies and later on graduated in Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in BS Mathematics.
She became a transwoman while still in college with the help of hormone pills and got involved with Doll House, a movement supporting the third sex. She once tutored Math in an academic center to earn money and has been working as an IT Consultant in an international company ever since before she entered PBB Double Up.
Rica is currently based in Paris, France and occasionally travels in other parts of the world for business and leisure trips.
Divine Smith, Darling Dude of Cebu
Among the housemates of the Unlimited Season, she's definitely one of the most remarkable. It's because apart from her genuine and admirable personality, she was also even romantically linked to fellow housemate-turned-Big Winner Slater Young despite being a lesbian.
She shied away from the limelight after her stint in the program and currently enjoys the island life in Cebu. She is now a plant-based chef in a hotel and resort in the said province, and at the same time, works as a DJ. Besides, she's also a loving furmom to her adorable dogs and cats.
Fifth Solomon, Brad Kulit of Pasay
One of the housemates of the All-In season, his participation was also unforgettable as his vibrant personality and impressive creativity truly helped his batch mates get through the whole season. But most importantly, it was his courageous confession regarding his being bisexual that turned out to be the highlight of his stay.
He has remained active in show business as an actor, host, director, and writer. He's one of the hosts of PBB Otso's "Bring 8 On" online show and helmed the indie film “Nakalimutan Ko Nang Kalimutan Ka”a starred by his friend Alex Gonzaga.
Jerome Alacre, Overseas Filipino Warrior of Tondo
Despite already having a promising job as an assistant director of nursing and a travelling nurse in a medical facility based in San Francisco, California, he still joined the Lucky Season 7. However, he did not came there merely for the prize, for he saw it as an opportunity for him to expose that he is gay.
Jesi Corcuera, Transman of the House of Cavite
Being the first-ever transman to join the competition, he was able to educate everyone regarding the life and struggles of transgender men like him, which was actually his main goal in joining the reality show.
He currently maintains a vlog channel YouTube titled "Transman Diaries" alongside his partner Cams and describes himself on IG as traveller and cross fitter.
Lyndon Oros, Gu-Role Model of Quezon City
He might not be able to successfully crossover to the house and become an official housemate of the second batch of PBB Otso, but he probably still went home a winner as he was able to free himself from the fears that has been enshrouding him ever since.
With the help of his fellow Star Dreamers, he found the courage to admit that he's gay. It had been his deepest secret as he concealed it for a very long time to avoid discrimination and snide remarks from other people. After his confession, the licensed teacher hoped that his colleagues and students in the private school he's been working at would accept him.
Ryan Bacalla, Kid Sunshine of Cebu
With his vivacious personality, it's impossible not to notice nor remember this bubbly and talented kid from Cebu. He might not be among the Big 4 of 737 season, but he's still the Big Winner in the eyes of gay teens of his age as he was able to openly talk about and brandish his sexual preference while inside the house.
Last year, the netizens were amazed to see pictures of his transformation on Facebook as shared by a Facebook user. In the comments section of that post, he divulged that he's "happily living a private life with my family and I'm already a Grade 11 HUMSS student of Southwestern University."
He then added, "If you guys are asking kung may plano akong bumalik sa showbiz, well, if it's God's will, then so be it.
But for now I am living a peaceful life with my family and I am so contented of what I have in my life right now. Salamat po ng marami sa inyo".
The Pride Month might be already over, but our fight for equality and respect for our friends and family in the rainbow community should continue until they obtain and enjoy it. Happy Pride!