Fil-Am model launches global campaign for transgender rights

By Troy Espera, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

April 3, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – A Filipino-American fashion model from New York is spearheading a global campaign to change perceptions about transgender people.

Geena Rocero kept her true gender assignment a secret while modeling for one of the world’s most prestigious agencies.

But at a TED conference this week, she admitted to being a transgender woman during her talk about the need for more progressive gender recognition laws around the world.

Click here to view Geena Rocero’s full talk at TED conference

On Monday, Rocero launched Gender Proud — an advocacy campaign fighting for the universal right to change one’s gender marker on identifying documents without having to first undergo gender reassignment surgery. It’s a policy that Rocero says is only allowed in a handful of countries.

In the United States, the Social Security Administration, the State Department, and other federal agencies have adopted policies that make it easier for transgender people to self-identify.

Rocero’s Gender Proud will target countries considering new gender marker laws.

“Sometimes that gender doesn’t match,” she said on stage at the TED conference, referring to gender assignment vs. gender identity. “There should be a space that allows people to self-identify. And that’s a conversation that we should have with parents, colleagues.”

You can contact Troy Espera at troy_espera@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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