Raymond Gutierrez proudly came out as gay in an exclusive magazine interview.
"I'm here to formally say that I am a proud member of the LGBTQ community. And it feels great saying that publicly because I am," Raymond told Mega Magazine.
The actor-host, who comes from a high-profile showbiz family, opened up about his problems coming to grips with his sexuality and why he chose to come out publicly. Raymond, 37, is the son of veteran actors Eddie Gutierrez and Anabelle Rama. His twin brother is matinee idol Richard Gutierrez. Their older sister Ruffa Gutierrez is also an actress and a former pageant queen.
“Growing up, it was hard for me to even acknowledge who I am. Like, what is this? I had my brother who was so similar to me but so different in so many ways. But he never had to explain his sexuality, so why should I? And that was my thinking growing up,” the actor revealed.
“Being part of a family that is in the public space – we’re all entertainers for many generations already – I wasn’t deciding on things just on my own. Things that I do will not only affect me, but will also affect my family. So, that was kind of like the burden that I was carrying,” he added.
When he first entered showbiz as a TV personality at the age of 19, he found that being a member of the LGBTQ community was still not widely accepted.
"Well, I was a kid but going back again to show business at 19 to be a TV host, that's when it really hit me that, 'Wow, being gay is really not accepted in a lot of these communities.'"
But Raymond said that the pandemic taught him the value of living life to the fullest, and staying to oneself. “I've never felt more happy and content with my life, and I feel like I wanna share that with people, and what the pandemic really taught me is to live your life because life is short," he said.
Raymond posted a snapshot of himself on Instagram with the message "It's been a long time coming" and a pride flag emoji to commemorate his coming out.
Several celebrities, including his brother Richard, sister Ruffa, sister-in-law Sarah Lahbati, Isabelle Daza, and Anne Curtis, expressed their support in the comments section of his Instagram post.
In a follow-up post, Raymond clarified that he was "never not out."
"I never denied who I was. I just never shared my story publicly until now," he said in the lengthy caption.
Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.