Coming out to your peers and family can be quite a nerve wracking experience. Doing it in front of hundreds of people in a fashion show? Almost unheard of. But, for Kaye Morales, a loud and proud lesbian, it was a feat she accomplished with her characteristic audacity.
Beyond her gender orientation, Kaye has taken embracing her true self to a different stratosphere. "Pride for me is to promote self affirmation, and equal rights, and dignity," says Kaye, revealing that fashion is the vehicle in which she makes sense of her world. Clues to her personality and passions are found throughout her collections: facets that make her uniquely Kaye stitched together cohesively in the various fabrics of the garments that she creates with such aplomb. Provocative and progressive, her pieces have always been reflective of Kaye's colorful journey through life, most notably her advocacy for the LGBT community.
A supportive family is instrumental in her resounding success in her chosen career. Having participated and gained recognition in the local and international fashion world, Kaye is quick to pay homage to her parents. "They've always been my biggest inspiration," reveals Kaye, "Kung wala sila sa buhay ko, wala ako as a designer. They've been supporting me all throughout my struggles and victories, in every way possible." Even when she came out about her orientation? "They love me unconditionally," says Kaye.
Adventurous and driven, sports have always appealed to this feisty multi-hyphenate. "The adrenaline rush is something that I look for," admits Kaye, "The discipline sports entails, nakaka-addict siya." Her latest passion, triathlon, was a logical progression from her past athletic endeavours. "I've been swimming for three years," says Kaye. "I started biking this February when I decided to be a triathlete."
Getting into sports marks another evolution of Kaye, one where she consciously and willingly stepped back from the familiarity of a comfort zone. "Getting into sports was a life-changing experience for me, a complete 180 degree pivot," she reveals. The self-confessed insomniac and partyphile gave up her love of the nightlife for rigorous training sessions at the break of dawn. "When I started training, 10 PM tulog na ako," laughs Kaye. "On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I swim after which, I go for a run. I'm building my endurance slowly but surely."
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Her hardwork has definitely paid off. To date, Kaye has finished two sprint distance triathlon races and is currently training for her first standard distance triathlon. "Next year, I want to do an Ironman distance," she says, "Through the help of my coach, I'm ramping up my capacity for that kind of workload." Finishing these gruelling feats fills Kaye with a different kind of satisfaction, one that stems from achieving something you never thought you were capable of doing. "It is something that I have done for myself na di ko in-expect gawin," reveals Kaye, "The happiness I derive from crossing the finish line is incomparable."
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For a woman who is all about self-affirmation, Kaye notes that all her endeavours has enabled her to grow into herself fully, actualizing versions of herself that she never thought possible. The world is definitely Kaye's playground, an arena which she clearly thrives and excels in. "I'm very inspired to do everything: I'm an artist, Im a fashion designer, I'm an athlete," says Kaye, "Nagagawa ko lahat ng gusto kong magawa. I'm out and free."
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Produced by Angela Sy, Mels Timan, & Barry Viloria | Photographs by Vyn Radovan | Cinematography by Jana Jimenez & Gio Vibar | Grooming by Julia Arenas & Jeffrey Caballro of Vivere Salon | Hair by Sam Corbillon of Triple Luck Brow & Nail Salon & Shella Casiano of Vivere Salon | Styling by Barry Viloria | Special thanks to Ogie Rodriguez, Arvin Amaron of Vivere Salon, Guess, Straightforward PH