PBB Otso List: Unforgettable LGBTQ moments in Pinoy Big Brother history

Without a doubt, Pinoy Big Brother is arguably been the most exciting, most controversial, and most watched reality program ever on local television.

Through its 13-year run, it has introduced us to diverse batch of housemates who came from various age groups, walks of life, and provinces or countries. Despite the differences when it comes to their personalities and perspectives in life that often led to their misunderstandings, each set were able to live harmoniously while inside the famous yellow house. However, what made us admire their camaraderie more was when they showed their full acceptance and all-out support to their housemates who courageously exposed a very sensitive detail about their life – their gender preference.

We all know the plight of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) community in the past decades, thus, it’s delighting how our friends who are members of this worldwide organization are gaining courage to free themselves out of the closet where they’ve hiding for a long time.

As we look forward on the much-awaited re-opening of the PBB house, here are eight proud LGBTs who confidently wore their colourful hearts on their sleeves.

Rustom Padilla

The 90’s matinee idol shocked the whole nation when he revealed to his fellow housemate Keanna Reeves that he is gay on February 28, 2006. Making this confession more unforgettable was when a mariposa (or butterfly) perched on his knee all of a sudden, perhaps signifying his freedom from years of hiding his real identity.

Years after his stint on the debut of the celebrity edition, he declared himself a transgender, which was succeeded by a Los Angeles court formal recognition of him as a woman and approval of changing his name to “BB Gandanghari” in 2016.

Rica Paras

Dubbed as the “Math Goddess of Bacolod”, she made history as the first-ever transgender to join the reality competition. Because of the intelligence and open-mindedness she exuded, Big Brother challenged her and fellow housemate Rob Stumvoll by bestowing them the task to pretend as a couple upon their entrance in the house that completely stirred the housemates as this setup made them feel uncomfortable.

In an article published on ABS-CBN News, she revealed that her stay in PBB “not only helped her express her true self and feelings, but it also taught her to stand by her beliefs.” Besides, it also helped her to mend her tattered relationship with her father, who used to not accept her gender preference, after Kuya invited him to come over to his house to visit Rica and reconcile with her.

Divine Maitland-Smith

The Filipino-British tattoo artist from Cebu City is probably one of the most memorable contestants for being the first-ever openly lesbian housemate. Notwithstanding, she was still romantically to her fellow housemate Slater Young because of how close they had become while inside the house. Their beautiful friendship remained strong even after they went back to the outside world, with their season’s Big Winner as her date in the 2012 Star Magic Ball.

Fifth Pagotan

Bothered by a snide comment from a netizen regarding one of the housemates’ sexual orientation, which was relayed by hosts-turned-house guests Robi Domingo and John Prats, the All In contestant was pushed to confess to Big Brother about his being bisexual. He also discussed the situation with his twin brother Fourth and their fellow housemate Manolo Predrosa, who both showed their understanding and full support towards him.

During that poignant conversation, he disclosed being consistently compared with his twin growing up because of how he behaved and being tired with addressing the issue over and over again. He remains active in show business up to now and had his directorial debut recently through the indie flick Nakalimutan Kong Kalimutan Ka starring his close friend since their PBB days, Alex Gonzaga.

Ryan Bacalla

Tagged as the “Kid Sunshine of Cebu”, he made history for being the first-ever openly gay teen housemate to join the competition. With his cheerful, energetic, and vibrant personality, it wasn’t difficult for him to get along with his PBB 737 housemates, especially with the girls.

Jerome Alacre

The “Overseas Filipino Warrior of Tondo” welcomed 2017 with a bang after dropping an explosive revelation that truly stunned not only his Lucky Season 7 co-housemates, but the avid viewers as well.

In one of their activities, Kuya told them to write down the personal qualities they would like to let go for the coming year and attached those to the water-filled balloons which they had to hurl on a makeshift wall to signify that they’re already quashing those undesirable traits. What supposed to be an act of liberating themselves from the negativities became an avenue for Jerome to unravel his true self by bravely telling his housemates that he is a gay man.

Jesi Corcuera

At first glance, he could easily be identified as a male for he possesses unmistakable masculine features. Thus, we’re all astounded when it was revealed that he’s a transman – a person born as female and underwent a series of procedures to become a man.

Upon his entrance, Big Brother gave him a special task not to divulge his own identity, lest he would be automatically considered for the first nominations. He successfully accomplished it with the help of his co-housemates Baninay Bautista and Luis Hontiveros, who he personally chose to be his accomplice for he assumed that they knew some things about him after meeting them during the auditions.

Years prior to his participation in PBB All In, she was initially known by the public when she joined a rival network’s reality talent search in 2006 (as a woman), and even became the on-screen partner of now Kapamilya heartthrob Paulo Avelino.

Vice Ganda

He might not be a housemate, but the Unkabogable Star’s surprise appearance during the PBB All In season was able to spark inspiration and provide moral support to Fifth who just confessed about his gender preference. Being one of the forerunners of the LGBTQ community in the country, he gave him and Fourth advices regarding the complicated situation they’re in during a drinking session with them and the other housemates.

What is the most memorable LGBTQ moment still engraved into your mind up to now?