One clip at a Time: Rizza Cabrera Creates Visibility Through His Pride Music Video
by Inside Manila Contributor, June 28, 2019 3:08pm
Art by Dani Elevazo
We’re fortunate enough to be living in a time wherein Equality is constantly (and loudly) being fought for and ever so often, celebrated. During the month of June, in particular, we celebrate the right to love (who we love). And while there are many allies and people of the LGBTQIA+ community decking themselves out for the long awaited Pride March, there are others doing their own part for the community—Singer/Songwriter Rizza Cabrera being one of them. Rizza, who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community, wanted to release a song and a music video by the end of Pride month 2019 highlighting different people and how they go about their daily lives as members of the community.
Coming Out so Everyone Could Come In
Since it started off as a solo project, Rizza released an announcement video on his youtube channel asking for people of the community to help out in any big or small way that they could. This could be by participating in the final output by sending in voice recordings, videos, and pictures or by simply spreading the word on social media.
The goal wasn’t to tell his story about coming out or coming to terms with his sexuality—it started off as just a video of him but then it became clear that the entire concept was bigger and it wasn’t just his story to tell, “it was definitely something that had to have other people involved.'' Each individual on the spectrum goes through their own journey of self-discovery and coming out, and with each journey, comes a story to tell but not a platform to tell it.
On a personal level, Rizza hopes the project will help him get to a point in his life where he is educated and emotionally able to have a decent discourse with individuals who don’t agree with his beliefs and try to find a way to build a bridge between them, if not, find a common ground.
“A lot of hatred is rooted in fear and misunderstanding after all, and I want to be a part of the people that try to resolve hate.”
For those that wanted to play an active role in the project, Rizza hoped that the music video would help those that are in relatively safer situations, to feel empowered enough to be out and proud and loud about it. And for those who are still in the closet, he hopes that the project gives them a sense of comfort in knowing that they aren’t alone.
More Than Just Being Seen
As with any meaningful project at hand, the process was anything but smooth sailing for Rizza especially because he wanted to do right by the people that reached out to help and be heard in the music video. When asked about the reason behind the lyrics, he mentioned that it had something to do with his faith in God and how a lot of people in the community, “felt like they had no right to believe in a god, any god, because they were told that, based on a religion’s teachings, they are unlovable and worthless in the higher being’s eyes.”
It becomes difficult for them to reconcile their faith with their identity, and Rizza wanted to shine some light on that in the song, along with the topic of putting labels and stereotypes on people’s identities.
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Rizza made sure to meet people interested in being seen in the music video so that he could get a better understanding of their story and conceptualize on how to go about portraying them authentically. The struggle came about when his editor and him were going back and forth trying to figure out how to weave the submitted clips into the storyline to make it look seamless, and they were stumped.
It was a matter of having too many visuals but the song not being long enough to fit them all. So two weeks into Pride month, Rizza, with the help of another friend, decided to change the flow so that more emphasis would be put on people being “heard” rather than being “seen”.
We asked Rizza on the message he wanted to convey through his music video, to which he responded —
“We’ve all been there, we’ve all peeked out into the world from our own dark corners. The ones who’ve come out aren’t just living our own lives, we’re out here fighting for those who haven’t and can’t. All we ask is for you to love yourself for who you are, no matter where you are in life at the moment. Stay safe, stay alive, stay you. I’m just here to remind people that we’re all alive and able to love, so why not do just that?”
Being able to openly express themselves without fear can be quite daunting for people of the LGBTQIA+ community but that’s why they have people like Rizza who have taken it upon themselves to tell their truth. On that note, Rizza reminds us that we don’t need to perform a grand gesture to show our support, being an ally just takes respect and understanding. The people of the community are fighting their own battles and we can do our own part by being there for them every step of the way, not just during the Pride Month.
The music video is expected to come out in the next few weeks. You may follow also Rizza’s Twitter, Spotify, and Youtube channel for further updates.
**pronouns used are per interviewee’s permission and request
Written by Manisha Mirchandani for InsideManila.ph