Gay seafarers are working hard despite facing discrimination onboard vessels.
One of them is 26-year-old Filipino seafarer Reymon “Rae” Laolao, who considers himself a proud member of the LGBT+ community and, since college, never felt the need to hide his true sexuality despite the discrimination he suffered because of it.
“When I was in college, I was fully aware that it’s more of a straight men-dominated school, but it never occurred to me to hide my true identity,” Laolao told the Maritime Fairtrade.
Rae is the youngest of eight children and worked while on scholarship for a bachelor’s degree in marine transportation at the University of Cebu – Maritime Education and Training Center.
He worked hard and even studied harder to fulfill his dream of seeing the world while providing for his family. “Now, I have been sailing worldwide,” Laolao said, declaring himself a certified “sea fairy.”