Aiza: Just call me Ice.
For transgender people, choosing a new name is a crucial-and oftentimes difficult-part of transitioning. But in singer Aiza Seguerra's case, the desire to be called 'Ice' came naturally and was only logical. After all, he said, many of his loved ones have always called him as such.
'Being a trans man and still being called Aiza felt weird...I didn't want to adopt a drastically different name, but I also wanted to be called something else. I went with Ice because it's not entirely new to me and it isn't too far-off from my given name,' he told the Inquirer in a recent interview.
Going through immigration overseas can be a peculiar experience, Ice admitted, because his name doesn't match his physical appearance or gender identity. And so, it would be great, the recording artist said, if he could legally change his name someday.
But he would rather take things one step at a time.
'Hopefully-let's see. I didn't really plan to express publicly that I wanted to be known as Ice. But, the yearning builds up inside you,' said the 34-year-old artist, who in a past Instagram post, made an impassioned plea to the public to refrain from referring to him as ate, tita, ninang, sis, senyora and worse, madam.
Ice believes that people like him are starting to get more acceptance, especially in show biz. 'When 'Pagdating ng Panahon' came out years ago, people didn't care about who I was: What mattered was the material,' he recalled. 'People in the entertainment industry are typically more accepting of members of the LGBT community; outside, it's 50-50, I would say. There's still a barrier.'
While being the chair of the National Youth Commission is his top priority and takes up most of his time these days, Ice still tries to find time for his music. But it hasn't been easy.
'As long as it doesn't interfere with my work, it shouldn't be a problem,' he said. 'But I can't travel out of the country anymore.'
And Ice, who's a vocal supporter of President Duterte, stressed that he doesn't-and wouldn't-let opposing political beliefs affect his professional relationships with other artists. 'I have friends who are critical of the government, but that's how it is. What's yours is yours, and what's mine is mine. As long as we don't end up disrespecting each other, it's all good,' he said.