The #PrideMarch2018 might have ended, held last June 30 at the Marikina Sports Center, but the purpose of marching continues: Encourage everyone to #RiseUpTogether. And Jan Cerezo is among those who raise the rainbow flag high.
Meet 25-year old Jan Gabriel Cerezo, from Metro Manila. He is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer +) community, and identifies himself as gay.
Jan fell in love with dancing in his first year in college. When he took up dancesport, or competitive ballroom dancing, in physical education. At first, he didn’t have the grace and described himself as lanky and unathletic. But through hard work, he got better and became president of the Ateneo Dancesport Club.
After college, Jan decided to consider dancing as a career path. H e learned other types such as ballet, and belly dancing—in which he was able to fully embrace his femininity. In 2015, he started dancing in heels. After joining a local same-sex dancesport competition for the first time, things started to pick up that led to more exposure, such as magazine feature, dancing in a music video, at a festival, and on a TV show.
More than anything, Jan has used the attention to help break the stereotypes. At the moment, he is busy preparing to compete in the coveted Gay Games, in August, to be held in Paris, France, with dance partner Michael Marquez, Jr. He hopes that other than representing the Philippines as a dancing “drag” queen, sexual diversity will be promoted in the realm of sports and dance worldwide.
Aside from performing, Jan also teaches dance, and is a yoga and Pilates instructor. Today, he is a grad student in University of the Philippines, taking up exercise and sports science.
“The road towards self-acceptance will be filled with challenges; obstacles that will make you doubt yourself and people who will try to put you down. But at the end of the day, the choice on what you believe in will always be yours,” says Jan.
Indeed, there’s nothing you cannot do when you become fearless.
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