|Interviewee||Jerico Domingo : Field Museum of Natural History|
|Personal Statement / Transcription:||
Medellin: Ok so the first thing we need you to do is to read this disclaimer into the microphone
Domingo: Ok. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this story do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Medellin: Now please state your full name and spell your last name.
Domingo: My name is Jerico Domingo and my last name is spelled D O M I N G O. OK so do I start now? Ok. So last winter i went back to the Philippines with my whole family and we went back there to sightsee, see like the family there was like a big like reunion for my father, so we went there, it was mainly for vacation. So we went to the town where my parents both met and like where I have some family members and where I could actually visit the old house that my father lived in. His childhood house. It was completely like destroyed because no one has been living there for a couple years. So it was like really interesting to see. But this story is mostly about how I came out to one of my cousins who was also like a lesbian. I was like, “oh my god, stop!” So what happened was that like my mom asked me if I wanted to have a spa day, and like, of course yes I wanna have- I wanna be pampered. Like, obviously, it’s a vacation. So we all went and like my cousin came too, and I hadn’t seen her in a while and we were like really good friends as children and then like now i’m like graduating college, she was like graduating college too at the same time. And- what’s the- so we went in there and like it’s like this hair salon and I have this whole like theory and I’m like kind of gonna turn it into like an art project like how salons and hair places in the Philippines are kind of like these made-safe spaces for people who are bakla and so I really enjoyed the atmosphere, everyone was really nice. But as we were getting stuff - so like my mom was like, “so you want your hair done-” mind you, my hair during the time was like bleached platinum blond and it was kind of dead so I was like, yes, I need a conditioning treatment, like deep conditioning treatment. And then I also wanted to get my nails done, and so when they asked for nail polish, my mom was like “oh, no nail polish.” I was like “no mom, i want like white, I want like pristine white nails” and he was like OK. And so my cousin was like “oh, interesting.” And I’m like.. And so she was like, “cousin, are you...are youbakla?” and I’m like “yes, bitch, are you too?!” I was like and I was so surprised, because I never would have guessed that my cousin was, because she’s like very-like, I think kind of because she had like short hair and I mean obviously you don’t want to assume, but she told me, and after we both found out like we were both gay cousins I was like “Shut the fuck up oh my god. You have a girlfriend? Where is she, show me pictures, oh my- what is her name, what does she do?” Her girlfriend is in Dubai, she’s studying to be a nurse, and it was like, just like a very, a really like uplifting moment for me, knowing that there are other queer members in my family. It was so, I dunno, I think it was like an eye opening thing that like, I wasn’t the only one, A, and like B, like my whole family, like there’s like a bunch of like, queer members of it like on my dad’s side, my cousin, and she is like completely like stone butch, and she’s like amazing. She also has a girlfriend too. And it’s like, it’s like wild to find out about that. But like, the tea though is she never came out to her parents yet, so that’s the thing like she lives in the Philippines and she really never came out to her parents. Flash forward a few months, they found out, I was like “oh girl, what happened?” She messaged me on facebook like “they found out, they’re like threatening me to--” like so like cause the Philippines like has a lot of like queer members of society but they’re not like you know as open with queerness or as accepting. And so she was afraid that she was gonna be kicked out, and I was like, “girl I got you, I can make like a fake profile picture and like pretend to be your boyfriend, this can happen, it could work” and then she was like “no, I don’t want to pretend anymore, I just want to live my life” and I’m like “yes do it” but her family eventually came around, and she was like okay, and i was like “oh my god thank you, I’m glad you’re safe.” And so yeah, that was like the story where me and my cousin found out we were both gay cousins.
Medellin: Jerico, what year did this happen?
Domingo: Year...the year was 2016.
Medellin: And what’s your cousin’s name?
Domingo: My cousin is Helen.
Medellin: Ok and did you say where you were at in the Philippines?
Domingo: Tuguegarao, the city was in Tuguegarao so that was the city where- or it could be a town, I think it was a city, it’s like not a city with skyscrapers but it’s like city for that area. It was where my parents met. For college. ...Was that good?