"What is unseen by the eye is what's really the harder part."
BB Gandanghari made this statement in her latest vlog entry uploaded Wednesday as she opened up about her mental health struggles amid her transition process from male to female.
"It's not a bed of roses", the US-based actress-model, who is undergoing hormone replacement therapy as part of her transition to a woman, said in the 19-minute video.
"Not to mention, 'yung mental health issues. That's why you'll hear a lot of transgender individuals saying, 'I can't do hormones because it's driving me crazy.' That's really true, but it's part of it. It's nothing really... it's not that you'd go crazy but it's really the mood swings. And I always say, 'di ba ang mga cis gender women, you have 28 day-cycle, so your mood changes every 28 days. For me, I do my shot injections twice a month, so I basically have a 14-day cycle, and it's... mahirap," she added.
"We have to deal with changes physiologically, too. We don't only do the physical change, or the outer appearance change. The change is coming from within, especially if you're doing hormone therapy. Physiologically, there are changes. What is unseen by the eye is what's really the harder part. That is why it is always encouraged that when you have a transgender relatives or friends, you give emotional support."
BB then turned emotional as she encouraged her viewers to reach out to their friends who, like her, are transitioning, as "it's hard for hard for a transgender individual to go through transition by themselves."
"It's very difficult kasi you are vulnerable emotionally. So reach out. [To those who have transgender friends, ask them], because a lot of transgender individuals always have that happy face. You may call it their mask, but [it's] actually for self-preservation," she said.
"So reach out to them. Ask them how they're coping as far as theirtherapy is concerned. Ask them if they're emotionally strong and strengthen them if they're not. And most definitely don't expect them to be strong enough. Let them feel accepted. Not tolerated, accepted. Tell them, from the bottom of your heart, they're more than enough," she added.
It was in 2006 when BB, born Rustom Padilla, came out as gay during a televised conversation he had with fellow housemate Keanna Reeves in the reality competition show "Pinoy Big Brother". He identified as a transgender later on.
In 2016, a petition to change her legal name and gender was approved by a court in Los Angeles, California, to which she has since relocated.