Updated: May 31, 2020
For this issue's TFFs Picks, we want to highlight five queer creators and influencers who are not only creative but are also fierce advocates of important social causes. Meet Mimiyuuuh, Phi Palmos, Rica Salomon, Klio and Kat of KFamily, and our feature this month, Roanne and Tina of #RoTin.
Jeremy Sancebuche started his YouTube channel last year, and he has already gained 2.58 million subscribers. He also has 1.2 million followers on Instagram and 1.7 million followers on Twitter. In addition, he has been featured on the cover of magazines and has been chosen by several brands to be their endorser. You might know him better as Mimiyuuuh.
It doesn't make us wonder why Mimiyuuuh has achieved his level of internet and mainstream media fame in such a short amount of time. He is funny, charming, and dynamic, and you will surely laugh when you watch his videos.
But aside from being one of the most popular Filipinx LGBTQ+ creators today, we also love Mimiyuuuh because he's not afraid to talk about pressing social issues. Though he often addresses them in a funny way, we still appreciate his efforts to bring light to these issues, especially because it's rare for famous personalities in the Philippines to talk about politics in fear of polarizing their fans.
If you want to escape reality for a little while, go to Mimiyuuuh's YouTube channel. And of course, don't forget to "Drink your water bitch!"
2. Phi Palmos
If you're like us and you can't get over Ang Huling El Bimbo the Musical, you're probably closely following the show's four main actors, Gab Pangilinan, Bibo Reyes, Boo Gabunada, and Phi Palmos, on social media. These talented theater actors have gained mainstream media attention after the show's limited YouTube stream.
Phi Palmos, who plays AJ in the musical, also starred in several hit local productions including Rak of Aegis, Mula sa Buwan and Dekada '70. And even though theaters were forced to close because of the pandemic, he continues to entertain and inspire his fans. Recently, he held a Facebook livestream and concert called Free: A Night of Light and Love.
Aside from acting, singing, and dancing, Phi also uses his platform to talk about causes that are important to him like SOGIE equality, AIDS and HIV awareness, mental health, and the Philippine arts. You can follow Phi on Kumu (a Filipino livestreaming app) @phibulous to stay updated on everything he's doing!
3. Rica Salomon
Rica Salomon is a transgender woman. She's also a YouTuber, makeup artist, and beauty queen. The first video on her channel, ChicaRica, was uploaded 8 years ago. She started her channel by uploading music videos where she lip-syncs to pop songs.
But it has since evolved into a beauty, lifestyle, travel, and vlog channel. Rica documents her life as a transgender woman in the Philippines. One of her videos is about her "Transgender Transition Timeline" where she openly shows the changes she experienced through the years. She also vlogged about HRT (estrogen) updates, dating as a transgender woman, and attending Manila Pride.
In the Philippines, both gay men and transgender women are called "bakla" or "bading" which is problematic because these terms fail to show the difference between gender identity and sexuality. Therefore, it's amazing to have an influencer like Rica who represents our trans sisters and brings the community even more visibility.
4. Klio and Kat, KFamily
Klio and Kat, or #KatLio to their fans, form the YouTube channel KFamily. This adorable couple has gained almost half a million subscribers since Klio started their channel two years ago. They usually do fun and trendy challenges on YouTube.
But what we like most about them is how unapologetic they are about their identities and relationship. It really shows their viewers that love is love is love. It doesn't matter if you're a same-sex couple—it is possible to be in a committed and loving relationship.
This honest portrayal of their relationship is what made their fans fall in love with them too. So if you want cuteness, kulit, and kilig, you should subscribe to KFamily on Youtube!
5. Roanne & Tina, #RoTin
Last but not least, we have our features for this issue! Roanne and Tina, or #RoTin, are also a real-life couple who have a YouTube channel together. Roanne started their channel only seven months ago, but they are now close to 100,000 subscribers.
The couple first gained attention when they were featured in a Rec-Create video called "Exes Play a Lie Detector Drinking Game". Yes, they broke up once before, but they eventually got back together.
We chose to feature #RoTin because they are not influencers who are doing YouTube just for fame. They are also very vocal about different sociopolitical issues in the Philippines. Aside from LGBTQ+ rights, representation and visibility, they inspire fans to stand up and fight for the causes they believe in.
In Tina's Twitter bio, she says, "Para sa LGBTQ+, para sa kababaihan at kabataan, para sa bayan!" which is a powerful statement that summarizes her advocacies. Meanwhile, Roanne is passionate about mental health, being diagnosed with depression and anxiety. She often talks about mental health in her social media platforms.
If you want to get to know Roanne and Tina more, subscribe to their YouTube channel! You can also read our feature article for The Pride Issue by clicking this link.
Even though queer celebrities are accepted in the Philippines, we still have a long way to go in achieving equal rights for the community. Therefore, it's amazing to see these Filipinx LGBTQ+ creators and influencers who are making space for other queer folks in our heteronormative society.