The Golden Gays


“It is one thing to be alone, but what we would consider the greatest poverty, is the feeling of being unwanted.”

You can cross them on the street, and not be able to recognize the sparkling joy that emanates when they come together to perform.

Their gaze changes, and you are projected into a world of rhinestones and glitter, where every child's dream becomes possible.
These are the Golden Gays, or how they call each other "lolas," which means Grandma in the tagalog language.
With the death of their leader Justo Justo in 2012, a famous activist for the LGBT of Manila, the Golden Gays also lost their home, the only shelter they had from poverty, and loneliness. For these elderly people who cannot count on their families’ support, and end up marginalized, performing is a source of joy, a unique way to feel united and happy; but it also turns into a chance to receive groceries, and donations to deal with everyday life. Is not easy being gay, lesbian, or transgender, and being accepted in such an extremely Catholic country as The Philippines. Most of them have lost all contact with their loved ones, sometimes because they are no longer able to support them financially. Despite their age, which ranges from forty to ninety years old, each of them tries to continue to work: as cigarette seller, clerk, make-up artist for parties, street sweepers; anything to provide for themselves, and also to continue performing.
To take pride in diversity, to be loved and free.
To feel alive.
To feel in their Golden Age, once more.
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