*Mimiyuuuh is comfortable with any pronoun.
You most likely know Mimiyuuuh as the viral Dalagang Pilipina. Beyond an Internet sensation, however, is a member of the LGBTQIA community hoping for genuine change—that minds will be more open, misconceptions will be corrected, and rights will be acknowledged.
But while his newfound fame has put him in the spotlight and has earned him a massive online following, Mimiyuuuh’s story is one that many can relate to.
At age five, Mimiyuuuh, whose real name is Jeremy Sancebuche, already knew that he’s gay.
“Bata pa lang ako alam ko na,” he told MB Life in an online interview. “Not to say that things have a gender, pero mas masaya ako with girls’ stuff like Barbie and Powerpuff Girls noon.”
The 22-year-old content creator says he also experienced bullying as a kid for being different from his peers. His family also had a difficult time accepting his identity. “Pero as the time passed by, naging proud na rin sila sa akin, kasi nakita naman nila na I’m doing great sa mga ganap ko in life,” he shared.
He did well in life, indeed. In fact, throughout grade school and high school, Mimiyuuuh got grades stellar enough for him to earn a full scholarship grant in Fashion Design and Merchandising at the College of Saint Benilde. In 2017, he graduated with honors.
“Fashion helps me know myself more and makes me appreciate what I see,” he said. “Kahit hindi siya maganda, fashion made me realize that beauty doesn’t really have to be what everyone perceives as beautiful.”
Responsibility in influence
Mimiyuuuh has a combined following of over 700,000 on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram and while he never saw himself as “someone to look up to,” Mimiyuuuh understands that with viral influence comes great responsibility.
“[I want] to use my influence for the betterment of this community,” he says. “I want to change the idea of being gay–na salot kami, na makasalanan maging bakla—because in the first place, hindi naman rin namin ginusto maging bakla.”
He plans to do that through creative pursuits like content creation.
“Gusto ko makita nila kung ano na ba ang bakla ngayon,” he adds. “[Siya] ‘yung baklang nakakatulong sa pamilya, ‘yung baklang may pakialam sa paligid niya, at ‘yung baklang makatao na walang ibang gusto but to spread positivity.”
But change does not happen with just one person’s effort, which is why Mimiyuuuh hopes others can help, too.
“I hope Filipinos will be more open about the rights of LGBTQIA community and I hope na mas ma-educate pa natin sila about sexuality,” he says. “[Hopefully, there will be] less discrimination and may we just spread positive vibes.”