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RAINBOW SPOTLIGHT: Biromantic Pansexual Artist Ian Inoy

Interview by JESSICA PAG-IWAYAN

Every June, aside from commemorating the country’s Independence Day, we are also one with the rest of the world in celebrating Pride Month.
Pride Month aims to promote acceptance of and equality for the members of the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community.
This month, Manila Bulletin Lifestyle trains the spotlight on talented artists who are members of this community for them to share their journey toward self-discovery and acceptance. One of them is Ian Inoy, a 23-year-old biromantic pansexual, multidisciplinary artist.
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FREEDOM For Ian Inoy, self acceptance and discovery helped him express his feelings and ideas in his art, without worrying about what other people think or make of them

Can you share with us your journey toward self-discovery?
It was just last year 2019, when I finally accepted the fact that I am not a heterosexual person. Id always known I’m homosexual since college, however, it didn’t feel right to just say that I was “gay.” There were plenty of times I wondered what to call myself. In addition, there were even moments it felt like I didn’t fit in both communities. To my luck, I was given a report regarding queer theory for my master’s class last semester and that was where it became clearer.

How has it changed the way you live?
Acceptance with one’s own preference takes time. I believe that everyone who feels confused must be given a chance to find out who they are at their own pace. Being able to finally accept who I was and what I am, it just went uphill from there. I have no complaints about choosing to be free of societal standards. When I started accepting my uniqueness, life just flowed better than I expected.

Does being a member of the LGBTQ community affect your profession as an artist?
It does but in a good way. When I started showing my real nature, everything became more natural. Unexpectedly, people nowadays don’t really mind what your gender is or what your sexual preferences are. The thing that matter the most is how comfortable you are with yourself. To be honest, accepting the fact that I am a homosexual artist made me express my art better. I don’t have to worry about how people will perceive my art anymore.

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Does it also affect your artworks?
It does. When I hadn’t yet “come out,” all my works looked so trapped and forced. It felt like I was creating artworks that didn’t really embody who I was as a person and as an artist. Every move I made with my art before had this follow up question in my head, asking if it would look gay or not. Now that I’ve fully accepted myself, nothing like that matters anymore. I no longer have the fear of hearing people perceiving my art as “too gay or girly.”Have you ever experienced discrimination in the field because of your gender?
Not really but I felt like there were times I wish people would just forget gender norms and societal standards. I think life would be much better for everyone if we weren’t strictly taught about those things because sometimes people become too cautious with how they move or act around you so that you won’t get offended and, to be honest, I’d rather have them treat me as how they know me.

What lessons did you learn from coming out?
That acceptance of yourself will lead to acceptance from others because you will learn how to value positivity around you. When you start fully understanding yourself, no words will no longer frighten you.

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Are you happy with the way society is now beginning to perceive members of the community?
I really am. Our generation has been more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. I hope, however, that it doesn’t only end at tolerance. I dream for it to advance more, where people would accept all types of genders, sexual preferences, and the things that come with it like marriage and identity changes. We cannot deny the fact that there are still limits to what people accept and that is what I want to remove. I believe that all colors of the spectrum are special in their own way, no matter what your own standards dictate.

What’s your message to everyone, for members, friends, and adversaries of the community?
To truly accept means to forget the limits made by society. We can say that a person really understands when they don’t give too much attention with sudden changes.
I encourage people to look further than just being able to say that they accept and to really mean it no matter what the circumstances are. The battle for acceptance doesn’t just stop at tolerance. When you truly accept someone, you treat them as how you know them.
Lastly, I would just like to say that I am thankful for how it has become easier to live as a homosexual nowadays, but I promise to never stop paving the way for future generations so that they would no longer have to experience homosexual discrimination and hardship. Hoping to influence others as well to do so, I know we will always win this battle for acceptance because, as cliché as it sounds, love will always win.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/06/11/rainbow-spotlight-biromantic-pansexual-artist-ian-inoy/)

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