28 Jun Rica Salomon Inspires The Brave in All of Us
Rica Salomon is a Filipino vlogger born and raised in the Philippines. She is a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University and studied AB Interdisciplinary Studies with psychology and communications as her tracks. She is a proud transgender advocate and her passion revolves around making videos, playing computer games, and also volleyball. To watch her vlog click HERE.
Q: You are so brave in fighting for who you are. Where did you gather this courage? Have you always been this bold?
I don’t think of myself as THAT brave because I honestly had it ‘easy’. Compared to the stories and experiences of others, it was relatively easy for me to be who I am. I owe all my courage and confidence to my family and friends. They have been such a great support system that my life was simply smooth sailing when I came out as transgender. I get my courage from them, because without them – I would probably be concealing my true self. Have I ever been this bold? Yes. People around me allowed me to freely be myself and grow – and because of this, I became bold inside and out.
Q: What is your goal in sharing your stories? What do you wish to see change in society?
Honestly, my initial intention was to have an outlet to express myself in the best way I knew how…but through time, I learned that these experiences I share on YouTube and other outlets may change a person’s perception regarding transgender people. I learned that in sharing my stories, someone out there is able to relate to me…someone out there feels inspired to be themselves…someone out there learns that we (transgender people) are people too.
As bliss and ideal it is to wish for a world that values equality, I doubt that will happen anytime soon. I’m not being pessimistic but as long as we condemn and alienate others for being different, as long as we deny others of the freedom to love, we will never see that kind of world. However, I do believe it is possible to see a world where people embrace their individuality. I want to see people embracing their flaws, insecurities, and value their identity. I want to see a world where transgender people (or anyone who feels they are not part of society’s norms) saying “I love myself – for being who I am and for who I am not.”
Q: What are the greatest challenges that you have overcome?
Love. For quite some time, I’ve always felt like being transgender leads to having zero lovelife. I’ve always thought that being the way I am, no person would love me. I mean, why choose a transgender woman when you can get a biological woman? I mean, as superficial as that may sound, I just felt like I would never be a better and wise choice for people to love. In my past relationships, I’ve always felt like these guys were just “settling” for me – but in time, I’ve learned that I am more than just my sex. I am more than just what is in between my legs. I have come to realize that I am a person who is worthy of love. The challenge that I had to face was not to find love but to accept the fact I am a transgender, not to see it as a curse but a blessing. As the great Ru Paul once said, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else?”
Q: Has society change in their acceptance of the LGBT community?
Nope. We have grown more tolerant regarding the LGBT community but it is far from being called acceptance. People tolerate us as long as we conform to society’s stereotype of what being part of the LGBT is. In the Philippines, there are many stereotypes that describes a gay man, a common one would be a person who identifies as gay is a comedian or a comedic character. The moment a person of the LGBT community steps out from the stereotype, for example: being an openly gay basketball player or a transgender politician that is when people start feeling uncomfortable.
Q: Please tell us something about yourself that most people are not entirely right / wrong about?
People say I look mataray, but if you really get to know me, I’m actually very sweet and friendly. I may seem to have a strong front, but a lot of my close friends would describe me as ditzy, weird, and crazy. I don’t think people also know that I’m actually a gamer and I am quite athletic. It’s really easy to get to know me because I’m such an open book, I keep it real and simple as long as I’m comfortable with people.
Q: what would you tell your seven year old self?
“GOOD JOB! Oh and stay away from elephant pants”