Aiza Seguerra has been announced as the next chairperson for the National Youth Commission in the Philippines, contrasting with recent homophobic language from its president Rodrigo Duterte, as of Friday.
Seguerra rose to fame as a child star in Little Miss Philippines: a program on variety show Eat Bulaga, in the Philippines.
After placing second he became a musician. He drew national attention when he came out in 2007 as a lesbian, and later that same year as a trans man.
He has since become a major advocate for LGBTI and workers’ rights in his country, which is relatively more friendly to LGBTI people than the countries surrounding it.
The announcement that he would be chairperson for the NYC came on Friday, when it was tweeted by state broadcaster PTV.
As head of the organization he will be charged with protecting the ‘physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being’ of Filipino children.
‘We have all witnessed Mr. Seguerra’s growth as a firebrand change-maker, with him and his wife Liza Diño actively engaging in vital issues including the plight of our Lumad [indigenous] brothers and sisters,’ a spokesperson for Kabataan, a youth representative party, said.
‘Together, let us address the most pressing issues faced by the youth sector, including soaring tuition rates in our schools, high youth unemployment, and contractualization.’
Aiza Seguerra married his wife Liza Diño in December 2014. They have a son, from Diño’s previous marriage.
Filipino president Rodrigo Dutertes – who’s campaign for president Seguerra supported – has meanwhile courted controversy with a comment he made about the US ambassador.
Dutertes mocked ambassador Philip Goldberg, calling him the ‘gay son of a whore’ in front of his troops. However, Goldberg had not said publically whether he is gay; it’s assumed ‘gay’ was meant as an insult.
He has since said he will not apologize. ‘I will not apologize for anything. He did not apologize to me when we saw each other. Why should I apologize to him?’ he said.
Goldberg had condemned Dutertes for making light of the gang rape of a woman in Davao City in 1989, in which he’d been mayor for twenty years. Dutertes said it was only a tragedy because he hadn’t got there first.
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