Leandro Muñoz has always been proud of his 26-year-old transgender son Frankie, who came out publicly with his sexual orientation ten years ago.
The 44-year-old former actor says, "This is something I will never ever hide from the public or anyone should hide from the public because this is a serious matter."
Frankie was 16 and using the name Francesca when he first opened up to his father about his gender identity.
Leandro recalls, "Yung anak ko, noong nag-turn siya ng 16 years old, kinausap niya ako.
"He was crying, sabi niya, 'I need help. I am wrong. I need help maybe from a psychiatrist.'
"Sabi ko, 'Why?' Because attracted daw siya sa same sex.
"Then I said, 'There’s nothing wrong with you. Is that what makes you happy?'
"Sabi niya, 'Yeah, that’s what makes me happy. I feel like I am a boy, I am a man.'"
Leandro then told Frankie, "'Then go with what you feel.'"
Leandro goes on to say it was all about wholly accepting his son without judgment.
"My point here is kailangan talagang i-support natin what makes our children happy. So ever since na sinabi niya yun, hindi na siya closet. Hindi na siya nagtago. He came out.
"Now he’s a transman. He’s very, very happy."
HOW FRANKIE COPED WITH DISCRIMINATION
Leandro narrates a story that happened in the September 2 episode of GMA-7's online show, This Just In.
Leandro and Paolo have been close friends since working together inTabing Ilog, a now defunct weekly ABS-CBN series.
In the online show This Just In, hosted by Kapuso star Paolo Contis, Paolo asked Leandro whether Frankie has ever experienced discrimination because he is transsexual.
Leandro answered, "Meron siyang mga experiences that would probably be the reason why ayaw niyang mag-come out dahil nakita niya na may mga ganoon.
"That's why alam mo ngayon, because of that experience, he's gonna be taking up psychology para sa LGBT. Magpo-focus siya dun dahil yun din ang nag-fix sa kanya, e.
"He was able to go through that process because of the support of the psychologist and, of course, the parents."
Leandro ends this story with hopes that his experience with Frankie will nudge others to embrace the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community as regular people.
He says, "My message to everyone, kung meron kayong anak who's trying to come out. Just give a hundred percent support."
one HAPPY FAMILY
Leandro also talks about his happy family life in Fairfield, California.
He now has an eight-month old baby with his current wife Sheryl Espero.
Frankie, who is Leandro's son by his ex-wife, lives with them.
Back in July, Leandro posted on Instagram a photo of him with Frankie and his newborn son Mason. Leandro's caption: "My babies Mason and Frankie!"
In the comments section, Leandro's wife Sheryl wrote, "My World in this pic."
Here's a family photo (upper row L-R): Frankie, Momsie Pat, Leandro, newborn Mason, and Sheryl.
Leandro was known as a dramatic actor during his showbiz career. He played one of the three leading men of Claudine Barretto in Saan Ka Man Naroroon, where the other two were Rico Yan and Diether Ocampo. He was also in a love triangle with Judy Ann Santos and Piolo Pascual for the movie Kahit Isang Saglit.