We're speechless! On June 15, beauty influencer Manny Gutierrez AKA Manny Mua shared a new video for Pride month centered around his coming out story, and how difficult his relationship with his father became in the aftermath. Manny's dad Manny Sr. joined him for the video, and things quickly turned emotional during the raw and intimate conversation. Afterwards, Life & Style caught up exclusively with Manny.
"I really do feel like in a way this was my dad's own coming out video, about his past," explained Manny. In the video, his father admitted he struggled to accept Manny, both for being gay, and then later, for his love of makeup. Manny admits he struggled to be himself growing up for fear of upsetting his family, until eventually his father found his Instagram page where he practiced drag makeup. That's when the pair was forced to confront their differences. After a lot of internal struggle and years of therapy, Manny's dad finally came to terms with it, and in honor of Pride, the pair thought now would be the perfect time to share their hard-earned success story.
"I'm so proud of him for doing this," said Manny. "I cant even put into words how proud I am. For him to not only do a video but be so candid and honest and showing his emotion in it is extremely hard. I was so shocked, I didn't expect him to be so emotional. He's not an emotional person, I've only seen him cry a handful of times in my life."
Manny's dad teared up in the video, both while thanking fans for supporting his son, and while reminiscing on the times that he didn't provide that support himself. Manny Sr. also encouraged parents with LGBT kids to go to therapy, and to remind themselves that their gay child is still the little kid they raised and love. While Manny believes parents are definitely "supposed to know better," and support their kids no matter what, children can also help mend the relationship with their parents. "It needs to be a two way street, the kid needs to be really understanding as well," he said. "It's hard for a parent, especially if you grew up religious."
And while waiting for that breakthrough to happen, LGBT kids they need to take their happiness into their own hands. "It's important for them to reach out to their outlets as well, whether it's confiding in a friend or a counselor," said Manny. "I went to a counselor for years and it wasn't the kind of counseling to help you, it was the 'let's make you straight' type, but counsellors can help. It's doing your due dilligence for yourself, reaching out, being on social media and having people to look up to. I think that's really, really, really important."
Manny also hopes to remind fans that what they see online isn't the whole story. "I’m a beauty guru and it looks fun and crazy and like I have the most fun life ever, but that's not always the case. Sometimes people have to go through hard times just to get to a happy place. I started in a really rough place and it was really hard for me for so long. It took me having to fight for myself and what I believed in to get to a place that I'm happy with. I want people to see that you don't need to rely on other people to make your dreams happen, you have to grab them yourself."