Happy LGBTQ couple hugging at home.

Did you know that the LGBTQ+ community still finds “PDA” or public displays of affection anxiety-inducing? It's unfortunate how something so simple and so human can be deprived of loving couples – all because they’re not what society expects them to be. When will queer couples really be free to love? Here, they share their experience with PDA insecurity and insights on how can help make them feel safer.

LGBTQ+ Couples and PDA

Anxiety over exhibiting affection in public isn’t a small concern. A notes that LGBTQ+ couples are more likely to experience “minority stress,” such as discrimination and physical violence when they engage in PDA, which discloses their sexual minority identity. This makes many couples hesitant to even show that they are together in public – affecting their everyday life and long-term relationship satisfaction.

Filipino LGBTQ+ Couples on Being Free to Love

The Philippines, in particular, can be quite a minefield for a queer couple. Certain areas are more accepting than others, purely because of how people are more exposed to different norms. Neu and his boyfriend usually have this experience when they’re out together. “We sometimes feel judged, but it really depends on the location. There are LGBT-friendly establishments that offer a safe space to express affection,” Neu says. “This sometimes makes me feel like I have to hold back, especially if I constantly get weird stares from strangers.”

Yna and her partner Bea, on the other hand, share that they don’t feel judged in general, but admit that space and company play a big role in making them feel safe. “We don’t necessarily feel like we need to hold back – more like be mindful and respectful regardless of where we are and who is around us. Some people might not judge us, but some just don’t understand yet,” Yna shares.

Sassa shares that having a masc-presenting does catch people’s attention and makes her feel more self-conscious about PDA. “Being out is still so new to me, and I guess I’m quite sensitive to how I think people perceive our relationship or if they even do at all,” she explains. “I don’t feel the need to hold back, but yes, there is that lingering anxiety.”

Even those surrounded by completely accepting families and friends aren't immune to feeling . “Sometimes I still get nervous before posting a sweet photo of myself with my girlfriend. What more kung PDA! In some cases, flaunting our love feels empowering, but it can also be a reality check – not everyone is comfortable seeing it,” shares Mica.

How Allies and Advocates Can Help

Closing the gap between intolerance and LGBTQ acceptance won’t be easy, but small steps from well-meaning individuals – and corporate allies – can make a huge difference. For Yna, healthy discourse is a must. “Actively talking about it helps,” she says.“Encourage allies to show support for the LGBTQ community by speaking out against discrimination and harassment and by actively creating . Visibility in public also helps make us feel safer.”

Neu says, “We need more media materials that normalize people expressing affection in public regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation – constant education that love is love. It’s like reassurance from people in power that we are accepted and empowered just like everyone else.”

Closeup makes its move in Pride campaign, “Close the Gap.”

Closeup dares Filipinos to see LGBTQ+ love from a new perspective with a new campaign that features a gay couple separated in two billboards. When viewed from a different angle, the gap between the two billboards closes so it looks like the couple is kissing. It’s the brand’s way of spreading the empowering message that everyone is free to love and encourage a culture of openness and acceptance that will hopefully extend beyond

Even better, the billboard features a real-life gay couple, Dan & Denver, showcasing their affection in public to be the catalyst for other LGBTQ+ couples to be free to love. They found themselves struggling with a long-distance relationship, until Dan made the bold move to transfer to Denver’s company, closing the physical gap that kept them apart. Now, their love is stronger than ever, inspiring others to celebrate their love, too.

It’s the kind of visibility that LGBTQ+ couples feel would normalize different kinds of love and the healthy PDA that oftentimes comes with each one. If you’re ready to shower your SO with love, don’t forget to with closeup Gel Toothpaste with Antibacterial Zinc Red Hot or closeup Gel Toothpaste with Antibacterial Zinc Menthol. These toothpastes remove 99.9% of bacteria and give you all day freshness that brings you closer for up to 12 hours with regular use.

Everyone has the right to express love and affection and shouldn’t be judged or shamed for doing so, but for gay couples, PDA is yet another thing to fight for. Closeup is working to close the gap in understanding that keeps LGBTQ+ love from being truly free. Check out the billboards along C5 Kalayaan Avenue!