TV host Raymond Gutierrez has just come out as gay.
The 37-year-old Filipino-American television personality made the announcement in a cover story with the magazine Mega Entertainment. In a feature interview, he also outlined the journey that brought him to this moment.
“Growing up, it was hard for me to even acknowledge who I am,” he said. “Like, what is this? I had my brother [Raymond’s twin, actor Richard Gutierrez of My Best Friend’s Girlfriend] who was so similar to me but so different in so many ways. But he never had to explain his sexuality, so why should I? And that was my thinking growing up.”
Gutierrez is the son of Phillipino movie star Eddie Gutierrez and talent manager Annabelle Rosales Rama-Gutierrez. His own career began in 1987 with a role in the film Lahing Pikutin and he has worked steadily ever since, hosting several popular Filipino TV shows and appearing in his own reality series It Takes Gutz to Be a Gutierrez on the E! South East Asia Network.
He continued, “Entering show business at 19—well, I was a kid—but going back again to show business at 19 to be a TV host, that’s when it really hit me that, ‘Wow, being gay is really not accepted in a lot of these communities.’”
Gutierrez added that his fear of being bullied by colleagues earlier in his career is what prevented him from coming out until now, recalling moments when he heard people talking about his sexuality backstage.
“Back then, being the new person on TV, I was bullied by a lot of the older people in the studios,” he explained. “Being gay now is not the same as being gay back then. 10 years ago, it was totally different.”
He continued, “Because of those moments, where people really wanted to put me in a corner and really label me and kind of diminish my skills and diminish what I can bring to the table because of my sexual preference, I was still going through so many emotions at that time that I had no idea. Like, ‘Can I go through this first before you label me anything?’”
For Gutierrez, the constant pressure–or expectation–to come out from a young age led to mental health struggles.
“So, that kind of became—why I got depressed and why I gained so much weight. I really became self-destructive,” he revealed. “I turned to alcohol, I turned to drinking, partying, and to food unhealthy habits—just because I had no way else to express myself.”
Now even becoming a successful TV host in the US and the Philippines could seem to bring peace to Gutierrez’s inner struggle. Only by sharing his truth, he realized, could he accomplish that.
“As I grew older and as I matured, I realized the best thing that you can really offer your family is to be yourself,” he said. “So drop the cloak, drop the act; just be yourself.”
“I’m lucky just because my family wants nothing but the best for me. They always just want me to be happy. We’ve always been very close and at the same time, I had friends that are like family to me. My chosen family who made it much easier to kind of realize that it’s never too late to love yourself, it’s never too late to acknowledge those feelings, and face your fears.”
Scroll down for more pics from Gutierrez’s Instagram page…