Model Mari Jasmine finds new love in female director, hopes for a safe space for LGBTQIA+ community

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 5) — Model and TV host Mari Jasmine penned a heartfelt Pride Month tribute, where she bared her relationship with "Baka Bukas" director Samantha Lee.

"Pride is about celebrating love, equality, and owning your truth. So here's mine: in the little time I've spent on this earth, I've had the privilege of being in love with both men and women," she wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday, where she shared photos of the Pride March and her photos with Lee during the event.

#Pride

A post shared by Samantha Lee (@givemesam) on

 

Jasmine said as a foreigner based in the Philippines, she has felt nothing but accepted in the five years she has lived in the country. With this, she hopes members of the LGBTQIA+ can stop living like outsiders in their own space.

"My dream is for the same kind of love, compassion, and understanding to be shown to the LGBTQIA+ community. We still have a long way to go to reach acceptance and equality, especially here in the Philippines," she wrote.

She added, "My dream is to live in a world where I feel safe walking down the street holding my girlfriend's hand. A world where I have the same fundamental human rights that I would be entitled to if I were in a straight, heteronormative relationship."

She sent out a reminder to her fellow members of the LGBTQIA+ community: "You are wonderful, worthy and loved. Don't let any person or any institution let you think otherwise."

Her Instagram post was filled with love, with over 16,000 likes and comments of support.

What an inspiring #pride month we’ve just wrapped up! 25,000 people strong this year in Manila, celebrating as one. Pride is about celebrating love, equality, and owning your truth. So here’s mine: in the little time I’ve spent on this earth, I’ve had the privilege of being in love with both men and women. Filipinos are known to be some of the most loving people on earth. As a foreigner arriving in Manila over 5 years ago, I can attest to this - I’ve been accepted and treated with love and compassion from day one. I’ve been welcomed to family dinners, been nurtured, taken care of and was never made to feel like an outsider. My dream is for the same kind of love, compassion, and understanding to be shown to the LGBTQIA+ community. We still have a long way to go to reach acceptance and equality, especially here in the Philippines. My dream is to live in a world where I feel safe walking down the street holding my girlfriend’s hand. A world where I have the same fundamental human rights that I would be entitled to if I were in a straight, heteronormative relationship. To those who don’t have any friends or family in the LGBTQIA+ community, I implore you to reach out and start learning. We are often only afraid of the things we don’t know or understand. To reach equality, we need our allies to be as passionate and vocal about our rights as we are. To the LGBTQIA+ community and to those who are still questioning/figuring out who you are - you are wonderful, worthy and loved. Don’t let any person or any institution let you think otherwise. I stand by you and I will fight with you forever!

A post shared by Mari Jasmine (@mari_jasmn) on

 

As the news of her coming out and the confirmation of her relationship with Lee was picked up by different news and entertainment websites, Jasmine called out those who referred to her merely as the former girlfriend of actor Sam Milby.

"There is some irrelevant information in this headline. I am a woman with my own story and identity who doesn't need to be defined by past relationships," she tweeted on Thursday.

Lee, who is also a CNN Philippines Life multimedia editor, backed her girlfriend, too.

 

Jasmine and Milby ended their two-year relationship early this year.