Dora Dorado (social media's ever-woke @6foot1crybaby) lived his life as a closeted gay man in fear of his father, who used to be homophobic back then. He would recall his Papa Jojo actively against the queer community back in the day—from poking fun at them to threatening to lay a hand on Dora himself if ever the latter was gay.
“Sabi nya nung bata ako—siguro mga eight or nine years old—kapag nalaman nyang bading ako, ibibitin nya ako nang patiwarik,” Dora tells ABS-CBN Lifestyle in a confessionary chat with his dad.
Papa Jojo, admittedly raised the ultra-conservative Catholic way, isn't proud of this past. “Hindi lang patiwarik! Gagawin kitang Vetsin, o kaya fertilizer,” he sheepishly seconds his son's anecdote.
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While Dora has been out to the world for the longest time, the Twitter and TikTok sensation reveals passing through a rocky road toward self-acceptance. He had to hide his sexual orientation for a while especially from his dad—in many ways he could.
“Very scary lang talaga nung time na yun,” he confesses.
“Hindi ka naman halata nun, eh—na bading. Sobrang in denial kasi nya talaga dati,” Papa Jojo adds.
Dora's burden would soon be alleviated with his dad, among others, finally getting to acknowledge his being different from other boys.
As Papa Jojo recalls one family gathering when a relative casually joked about Dora being "bading," “(I said) No big deal.” He then pertains to Dora, “Mahal naman kita, eh... Yung buong katauhan mo, ‘yun ang mahal ko.”
Dora reveals sighing relief then, as he didn't have to go through any of those emotional, ceremonial coming out moments with his dad. “Nag-sink in nalang din sya, tapos wala na syang nagawa."
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To this day, Dora declares, Papa Jojo has been nothing but supportive.
“Nung sobrang into makeup ako tapos wala na akong pilik-mata, papatakbuhin ko sya ng mall para bumili ng pilik-mata,” he shares as one of the little ways Papa Jojo backs him up. Dora also mentions his dad being supportive of his college degree in UP (Clothing Technology) and his dancing competitions abroad, the latter he says could be really costly.
And so, Dora says, “Kaya kunyari, pagka-11:11, diba mag-wi-wish ka? Mag-wi-wish ako ng kunyari, sana yumaman ako. Tapos binabawi ko bigla. Lagi kong binabawi kasi sabi ko, safety nalang ng parents (and) family ko. Good health (nila)."
Papa Jo replies to say Dora being his true self has always been what mattered most. “Kapag nakikita kong masaya ka, napapasaya mo na ako. Totoo yun. At tsaka kapag nakikita kong nabibigyan kita ng ikinatutuwa mo, masaya na ako.”
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Banner image taken from Dora Dorado's Instagram account