At the age of six, Tyrone James aka TJ (6) is left with his strict and thug but loving father, Reydante (30s), while his mother, Cynthia (late 20s), is working as a domestic helper in Hong Kong. Being the only child, Reydante and Cynthia dream that TJ will follow the footsteps of his retired seaman father. However, at a young age, TJ already acts effeminately; not as tough, manly, and macho as Reydante. TJ couldn’t control his naturally unmanly acts that make him the laughing stock of his male cousins. Constantly mocked and devalued by them for being gay, TJ always ends up crying around the scummy city of Pasay. But to his surprise, Reydante is always to his rescue, scouring the streets in the guise of an aggressive gallant; his drunken knight! This leads him to promise a life that is courageous, a fight for himself. However, Reydante’s alcoholism had resulted in liver cancer which eventually caused his death. Afraid and grieving, TJ is left stupefied and intimated by their chaotic community. Thus, Cynthia sends him to Isabela. But to his dismay, TJ is enslaved by his relatives, feeling that Cynthia had left and forsaken him. Unknown to TJ (13), Cynthia (30s) never meant to abandon him. Upon learning of TJ’s plight, she comes home to the Philippines and brings TJ back to Pasay where he feels home. Before Cynthia goes back to Hong Kong, she reminds TJ that Cynthia accepts him for whoever he is, but notes TJ to never crossdress because in his manly and macho physique, he will sure experience mockery. But TJ starts to wear his mother’s clothes, roaming the streets of Pasay in his pink tops and short shorts. And true enough, TJ receives mockery, being called “bakulaw,” and most of the time, being thrown out with beers, water, and cigarettes. But TJ could only bear so much. He puts on the thug Tyrone James; the “bakulaw” who will never let anyone hurt him and who will go into brawl regardless of his looks. Until TJ gets introduced to gay contests. Despite looking manly and his “ugly” features, nothing can stop TJ from joining pageants in which he uses his wits and talents to win them all. TJ (18) becomes hooked on pageants that he starts to drift from school. Cynthia is angered by this and sends TJ to Baguio in hopes of separating him from his gay friends. But this doesn’t stop TJ from joining pageants still until Cynthia reaches her breaking point and condemns TJ. TJ couldn’t help but feel like a disappointment to everyone. He stops going to college and starts supporting himself through his winnings in gay pageants. Until one night, TJ is mobbed by thieves who almost killed him. Then, Cynthia starts questioning her love for TJ. That this is greater than her disagreement about TJ’s acts; that she can’t let TJ’s sexuality ruin their relationship and as his mother, she should love and support his freedom. Since then, TJ (34) receives full acceptance from Cynthia (57) who has become his constant companion and supporter in gay pageants. Now, TJ’s inspirations in answering the Q&A portions are his mother and experiences. Aside from that, through his impromptu and fast mind, TJ always wins especially in the latest pageant he joined and was hailed as the first It’s Showtime’s Miss Q and A– earning not only a rainbow colored crown but the respect and love from the LGBT community and all Filipinos. By winning, he proved to everyone that beauty has no form, shape, and size. Beauty is being able to smile even with one tooth and tell the whole world that you are happy, confident, and free to express yourself.
Sumilip sa likod ng kamera at alamin kung paano nabubuo ang mga madamdaming tagpong iyong natutunghayan sa Maalaala Mo Kaya.