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Free to Be Proud: Min Ortiz

"I don’t want to be a woman—I just want to look like one."
Free to Be Proud: Min Ortiz
IMAGE Charisma Lico
"I don’t want to be a woman—I just want to look like one."

Capping off Pride month, we seek to learn more about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE) with various members of the LGBTQIA community. Their stories are a glimpse of the diversity, beauty, and power of SOGIE and we hope that they empower you to find love, understanding, and acceptance for yourself and others.

Min Ortiz is shining bright like a diamond. Literally—in one of his many makeup videos, he turns himself into a glittery, pink-skinned creature with long blonde tresses, wearing some of the most incredible eye makeup effects you will encounter, and a crown seemingly crafted from a shattered disco ball, but really made up of compact disc shards (clever!) This makeup transformation video in particular, made in time for last year’s Pride Month, speaks of the struggles of the LGBTQ community, who have been “denied, judged, and abused” by society—but still they manage to transcend what people see, and what they themselves see in the mirror, to find the “queen within.”

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IMAGE Charisma Lico

 

On Min: Top, P25,485 and trousers, P28,985 both JOSEPH, SM Aura. Sneakers, P4550, CONVERSE, Robinson's Galleria

In high school, Min started experimenting with makeup, mainly to conceal bad skin. But as a fine arts student at UST, he tried a class on body painting and discovered just how much you could change the way you look with a bit of skillfully applied paint. He studied makeup on his own, and now wields his tools like a paintbrush, using his face as a canvas. You can see how his work moves beyond mere contouring into the realm of art.

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The beauty vlogger feels fortunate that he had a very open-minded family and never had to tell them that he was not straight. They just knew, and accepted it without question. Min is also on board with the gender-free baby movement, wherein parents reject boy or girl assignations for their children at birth. “Let kids discover themselves,” he suggests. “If you see that they are LGBT, support them. Some parents try to stop their kids, and the relationship suffers.”

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IMAGE Charisma Lico

Min considers himself gender non-binary, but is more comfortable using masculine pronouns. “I was thinking about where I fell under the LGBTQ umbrella,” he says. “I don’t want to be a woman—I just want to look like one.” When Min was younger and there wasn’t a lot of information about all these other terms, he thought he might be trans. But he’s since decided on identifying as queer, not wanting to be limited when it comes to his personal aesthetic, which is genderfluid and androgynous (unless he’s performing in drag, or creating a fantastical outré look for a makeup competition). He’s used to being misgendered.

“I’m happy we’re doing this feature to educate more people about SOGIE issues. It’s confusing at first, but LGBTQ is a spectrum, not a division.”

Being able to express himself as a woman is like “having fun two times,” Min adds. He can book modelling gigs as either a guy or a girl—and what’s more, every shade in between.

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Produced and edited by Jae de Veyra Pickrell

Photographed by Charisma Lico

Art directed by Vince Uy

Styled by Loris Peña

Assisted by Ning Nuñez

Makeup by Min Ortiz

Hair by Mong Amado

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