Mari Jasmine took offense at online news sites linking her to ex-boyfriend Sam Milby in headlines about her coming out as a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community.
In her post on Instagram last July 4, Mari revealed her relationship with Samantha Lee, who is the director of the indie film Baka Bukas, starring Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Louise delos Reyes.
Mari also mentioned that her closest friends in the Philippines know about her sexual orientation, and have never made her feel any different since she came to the country as a model/host/blogger more than five years ago.
An Australian citizen, Mari is of half-English, half-Japanese descent.
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! ??????????
Hours after her special shout-out to the LGBTQUIA community, Mari tweeted that being called Sam Milby's ex-girlfriend in news headlines was inappropriate because the story was not even about him.
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. ?????????? https://t.co/VwZhDeX943— Mari Jasmine (@mari_jasmn) July 5, 2018
Mari also retweeted the netizens' comments which pointed out that using her ex-boyfriend's famous name diminishes the impact of her strong message.
Agreed. Anchoring the headline with a "known" name to captivate an audience seems good until the article misses the mark to empower a woman with an equally interesting story to tell. Writers, here's a challenge to do better. https://t.co/k9rQsToJmR— John Harold Escora (@haroldiffic) July 5, 2018
Accomplished host and media personality, Mari Jasmine, admits relationship with award-winning director and pancake aficionado, Sam Lee ♥?— Kai Honasan-Del Rio (@kaihonasan) July 5, 2018
Fixed it. https://t.co/G6IdofH55Q
While she is better known in showbiz as Sam's ex-girlfriend, Mary has always been elusive when it comes to showbiz-related issues.
In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last March, Mari briefly talked about the reasons she turned down offers to enter showbiz.
“I respect the people in showbiz because they have a tough life—long hours and, you know, they don’t necessarily have privacy.
“So, I know that they work really hard with what they have.
“And I see that it’s really not me. I’m really happy with what I am doing.”