“You can be whoever you want to be.”
This was the statement of actor-singer Ian Veneracion as he reaffirmed his support for his daughter, Deirdre Veneracion, who came out as a lesbian.
In a joint interview on “Magandang Buhay”, the “Block Z” star recalled how Deirdre, or “Dids” to her family and friends, confessed to him that she is attracted to girls at the age of 16.
“Nandoon lang ako, kinukulit ko ‘yung mga motor ko. So dumating siya, medyo teary eyed. Sabi niya, ‘Daddy, I’ll tell you something.’ Sabi ko, ‘What? Sit down.’ Tapos sabi niya, ‘I like girls.’ Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Me also, I like girls.’ Tapos nagtataka siya. Sabi ko, ‘What? Yeah.’ Sabi niya, ‘It’s okay?’ Sabi ko, ‘Yes. Just don’t ever be apologetic about it, not even to me. You can be whoever you want to be, and I have full support,” said Ian.
“Umatras ‘yung luha niya. Tapos sabi niya, ‘You know?’ ‘Oo naman, bata ka pa, ang macho mo na,’” he added.
Turning serious, Ian said: “Nakakapang-hinayang lang. Isa lang ang buhay natin tapos apologetic ka pa, nahihiya ka sa sarili mo na ilabas ang pagkatao mo. Parang, what a waste of life.”
Asked how she felt after coming out to her father, Dids, for her part, said: “Kasi nung time na ‘yun, I didn’t tell anybody pa. I wasn’t super open. So, it felt weird, since we’re very close.’”
According to Ian, even his wife and Dids’ mother, Pam Gallardo, is supportive of their daughter’s sexuality.
“’Di pa niya alam. Hindi ko pa pwedeng sabihin. Kasi hinihilot ko pa. Kasi hindi ko alam kung anong [magiging] reaction niya. Tapos eventually, sinabi ko sa kanya, ‘Paano kapag nagka-boyfriend si Dids, okay lang?’ Sabi niya, ‘Okay lang.’ Sabi ko, paano kapag nagka-girlfriend siya, okay lang?’ Sabi niya, ‘Kung saan siya masaya, masaya ako,’” he said.
“She has the full support of the family,” he added.